Rural Priorities - Monitoring and Evaluation

Background

Monitoring and evaluation of the SRDP is required to provide accountability for the funds spent on rural development. It involves:

  • monitoring how SRDP funding has been spent
  • measuring the results; and
  • evaluating whether the desired outcomes have been achieved

The EC has set out guidance for the monitoring and evaluation of rural development programmes and has produced a set of indicators against which the SRDP must be monitored.

EC Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework

The EC guidance on monitoring and evaluation is known as the Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (CMEF). This handbook shows how a common set of indicators covering all Member States will help to assess rural development programmes.

The aim of the CMEF is to provide a firm foundation for evaluation of rural development programmes against their strategic objectives, without significant or unnecessary administrative burdens.

Full details of the CMEF are available on the EC website.

Indicators in the SRDP

The CMEF sets out different types of indicators:

  • Input indicators. These refer to the budget or other resources allocated. They are used to monitor progress in terms of the (annual) commitment and payment of funds.
  • Output indicators. These measure activities directly realised within programmes. For example: Number of training sessions organised; Number of farms receiving investment support.
  • Result indicators. These measure the direct and immediate effects of the intervention. For example: Gross number of jobs created; Successful training outcomes.
  • Impact Indicators. These refer to the benefits of the programme beyond the immediate effects on its direct beneficiaries. For example: economic growth, employment creation.

The indicators for the SRDP are contained in Chapter 12 of the programme document.

The EC requires the reporting of indicators to broken down by gender and age.

General Approach to Data collection

In order to produce the indicators, data are required. Careful consideration has been given to capturing the information as efficiently as possible. The approach to data collection depends on the indicator type.

Input and output indicators will be measured through information collected at the point of delivery, generally through administrative records (such as application forms) though there may be occasions when the information is better obtained by carrying out surveys.

Result indicators may be measured either through administrative records or through evaluation methods such as sample surveys.

Impact indicators will be determined at the evaluation stage, using input, output and result information. Along with other tools and wider sources of data these indicators will provide a picture of the net impact of the programme on its wider strategic objectives.

Information required from beneficiaries

Information collected from beneficiaries at application and claim stage will be used to report against the indicators.

In some cases, questions have been added to application and claim forms to provide information for monitoring. These include questions on gender and age in order to meet EC requirements.

Beneficiaries may also be asked to provide additional information at a later stage to assist with the evaluation.