The European Evaluation Helpdesk for Rural Development

The overall objective of the European Evaluation Helpdesk for Rural Development (Evaluation Helpdesk) is to contribute to the improvement of evaluation of EU rural development policy. It therefore supports Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, Member States and other evaluation stakeholders in meeting the objectives of the Common Monitoring and Evaluation System (CMES), and in facilitating networking between them.

The Evaluation Helpdesk is one of the two support units of the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) and works under the guidance of DG Agriculture and Rural Development (Unit C.4 "Monitoring and Evaluation").


ENRD Networks


The Evaluation Helpdesk works on the basis of Annual Work Programmes based on needs of the Member States identified through surveys, interviews, evaluation-related queries and discussions with the members of the Expert Group on Monitoring and Evaluating the CAP and agreed with the European Commission. The activities for the period 2014-2020 include several new features, such as:

  • stronger focus on good practice in evaluation methodologies and processes;
  • capacity building and training activities for evaluation stakeholders in the Member States;
  • assessment of the evaluation components of the 2017 and 2019 enhanced Annual Implementation Reports. 

Team Structure

A Brussels-based permanent team is supported by non-permanent core team members, geographic experts in each Member State and a pool of thematic experts.

The permanent team carries out the daily work, liaises with the European Commission and coordinates the expert team.

The core team provides methodological know-how and supports in drafting evaluation-related guidelines.

The geographic experts act as geographic and thematic relays in the Member States. They have an informative, communicative and supporting role. As such their main activities are to:

  • collect interesting evaluation practices in the Member States
  • support surveys and interviews developed by the Brussels-based team
  • organise and animate capacity building meetings in the Member States, including reporting (each year in autumn)
  • extract and summarize information from the evaluation section of the Annual Implementation Reports of the RDPs (beginning in 2016)
  • participate in Geographic Expert Meetings in Brussels (where we train the experts in their tasks)

The thematic experts bring specific expertise and are only involved in the Evaluation Helpdesk’s work when their specific skills are required.

Who is the Evaluation Helpdesk’s target audience?

The Evaluation Helpdesk collaborates with and prepares support for stakeholders that are involved in the evaluation cycle of rural development policy. This comprises all those who:

  • Manage evaluations (Managing Authorities, Evaluation Units within Ministries, Public Administrations and Commission services);
  • Contribute with data and information to evaluations (Paying Agencies, data managers, statistical offices, Local Action Groups, and National Rural Networks);
  • Carry out evaluations and assessments (evaluators and researchers);
  • Disseminate evaluation related information and build evaluation capacity amongst stakeholders (Monitoring Committees, National Rural Networks, EIP-Agri Network, etc.)



Get to know the team members of the Evaluation Helpdesk

For the European Evaluation Expert Network 2007-2013, click here.

Be part of the conversation: