The main objective of the ex-post evaluation is to examine in how far the objectives specified in the operational programmes have been achieved. At the same time, the study will contribute to our understanding of rural development (RD) processes and to efficient ways of promoting such processes. Particular emphasis is placed on the identification of key strategies and actors for introducing new, ecologically responsible forms of economic activity and for strengthening the economic basis of rural areas. A closely related question pertains to market-led developments which can be effectively supported by policy, but for which policy is not the key factor. The potential for new products and activities, and the extent to which indigenous development potential can be mobilized is examined.
Diversification is defined in terms of high-quality production, regional specialities, agro-tourism, as well as new services and products that contribute to a broader income basis for the rural economy. The effectiveness of different measures is analysed in terms of the enhancement of the ability of rural communities to utilize diversification opportunities. Community measures, as well as national and regional policies in support of RD, are assessed in terms of the type of support given, relevance, co-ordination and institutional structures for implementation. Suitable policy actors, partners and levels for the planning and implementation of measures are identified. The very positive experience with the establishment of local action groups (LAGs) and regional management agencies in the context of the LEADER programme is emphasized. The major tasks of LAGs are information, motivation, mobilization, project initiation, the provision of investment support, market development and the provision of further training.
With respect to the real impact and efficiency of RDP it is asked who precisely benefits (target groups, final beneficiaries, traditional and new institutions/agencies/networks). Research is mainly based on the analysis of secondary data, the analysis of programme data, regional case studies, key person interviews and context analyses. The results obtained include recommendations for a more integrated rural policy and for the improvement of structural policy and – in particular – of RD programmes under Reg. (EC) 1257/99. Direct inputs are provided at the regional level for the planning and implementation of different schemes and in terms of the targeting and tailoring of individual measures.
|Evaluation | Rural areas ||
Hessian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport and Regional Development
2000 - 2001
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