My experience as an evaluator for the Farm Investment Support Measure of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) in Germany is that evaluation may not have the power to bring about 'policies that perform better'. Its recommendations are often ignored by national as well as the European administration, either because evaluations are low in scientific quality or because managing authorities are accustomed to adapting measures mainly for fiscal or political reasons. The Commission's approach to improving evaluation quality has been focused on advancing the indicators of the Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and on building capacity. Although these measures can contribute to an upgrading of RDP evaluation they will neither be sufficient to achieve satisfactory quality nor substantially increase the use of evaluation in policymaking. These effects could potentially be achieved through quality control and enforcement, and an obligation for policy to react to evaluation results. The Commission is already using a standardised quality control grid in the evaluations of the CAP's first pillar and should apply this instrument to RDP evaluations. Additionally, the consideration of evaluation recommendations in policymaking should be encouraged through the introduction of a 'fiche contradictoire'. This is the formal and explicit mechanism used in EU development policy for follow-up on the use of evaluations. Copyright (c) 2009 The Author. Journal compilation (c) The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2009.
Volume (Year): 8 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
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