A previous EuroChoices (Vol. 7, No. 1) compared and contrasted approaches to rural development policy in the EU and US. This Special Issue focuses on the evaluation of these policies, drawing on a workshop held in June 2009 at OECD Conference Center in Paris. Evaluation is an activity that runs parallel with policymaking and is capable of contributing to effectiveness and efficiency at all stages. Evaluators, wherever they work and whatever aspect of rural development is their focus, face some common technical problems. These include multiple (and often ill-defined) policy objectives, the choice of appropriate indicators (especially the need to distinguish between outputs and outcomes), how to establish baseline values, where to draw boundaries in terms of impact and time, and the identification of additionality and causality. Ensuring that lessons learned from evaluation are actually applied is problematic. Experiences covered in this Issue include the use of macro and case-study approaches, and various schemes (investment in human and social capital, and agri-environment and forestry). There is an inherent tension between using a common approach across countries and regions in the interests of comparability and the flexibility needed to capture all the relevant factors in the diverse situations in which rural development actions take place.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development