National Rural Networks (NRNs) operate in each EU Member State to support and enhance rural development objectives as defined in the Rural Development Programmes (RDPs). NRNs enable and facilitate exchange and learning between all the partners involved in Rural Development policy implementation: public authorities, economic and social partners, and the relevant bodies representing civil society.
Network managers can choose to carry out self-assessment activities in order to estimate whether the NRN is working effectively towards the achievement of its objectives. In this sense, self-assessment is different from the formal and obligatory RDP evaluation as specified in the Rural Development Regulation [PDF]
Network self-assessment is carried out on the basis of an ‘intervention logic’ – a document setting out the linkages between objectives and activities, including required resources and expected results. The intervention logic facilitates the drafting of NRNs’ work programmes (action plans) and the measurement of their success.
ENRD tools and resources on NRN self-assessment, including intervention logic documents, in the 2007-2013 programming period can be found here.
Assessment of NRN events
Networking events are key to increasing the involvement of rural development stakeholders in the implementation of the policy. Assessing the effectiveness of NRN events in achieving this objective can start with a synthesis of participants’ feedback forms, but can be extended to a systematic comparison of events, assessment of the long-term results and outcomes, and improved performance.
- Guidance on design of surveys, questionnaires and feedback forms
- Examples of events assessment tools
- Case study ‘New approach to in-depth assessment of events’, Latvian NSU [PDF]
Assessment of NRN thematic work
Thematic and analytical exchanges among rural development stakeholders are essential for improving policy implementation. These exchanges usually take place within Thematic Groups (TGs) organised and supported by the NRNs. Assessing the effectiveness of thematic exchanges involves measuring their benefits to TG participants and a wider range of stakeholders, as well as their impact on policy implementation.
For additional information on NRNs, see the following pages:
- NRN self-assessment Toolkit: collection of NRN materials and resources gathered during the 2007-2013 programming period;
- NRN Profiles: summary information on the structure and functioning of NRNs and NSUs;
- NRN Mapping Reports: synthetic information on the state-of-play and activities of NRNs and NSUs;
- NRN Toolkit: collection of useful materials intended to assist NSUs in achieving key NRN objectives and tasks.
 Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013