In June 2017, the Managing Authorities of rural development programmes have submitted the first enhanced Annual Implementation Reports to the European Commission. In addition to monitoring information this enhanced AIR included for the first time the quantification of programme achievements through the assessment of the result indicators (including complementary result indicators), and answers to relevant evaluation questions. In 2019, the second enhanced AIR will build on this information further by providing the progress towards the programme objectives and on the achievements of the Union’s Strategy towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (Figure 1). This will be achieved through the assessment of programme net contributions to changes in the CAP impact indicator values, and answering the relevant evaluation questions.
Figure 1: Enhanced AIRs and reporting on evaluation
Source: European Evaluation Helpdesk for Rural Development, 2018
Providing support for the evaluation of impacts
Against this background, the Evaluation Helpdesk in collaboration with selected experts and DG AGRI has launched its 5th Thematic Working Group in October 2017 and concluded it with the publication of the Guidelines: Assessing RDP Achievements and Impacts in 2019, which serves to provide support to evaluation stakeholders by providing a non-binding guidance document on how to structure their evaluation activites and answer the CEQs related to impacts for the AIRs to be submitted in 2019.
The objectives of the thematic working group were to:
The guidelines serve to address, among other topics, the following challenges linked to the evaluation of RDPs and reporting on these findings: