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View from an Oversight Agency on Evaluation of Rural Development Programmes

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  • Susan Offutt

Abstract

Central government budgets will be highly constrained in the wake of stimulus spending and recession. Fiscal imperatives will increasingly drive the need to reconsider government policy fundamentals. There will be greater scrutiny of public programmes, including those addressing rural development, as decision makers weigh future options for action. Questions will be raised about the efficacy and efficiency of public programmes in meeting their goals, and the results of objective evaluation will be at a premium. Assessment is within the competency of many entities, but national audit agencies offer advantages in performing evaluations to support public deliberation and dialogue. The audit agency perspective is one that is independent from the branch of government that is responsible for programme execution. This independence is necessary but not sufficient for ensuring that evaluations are fair and balanced. An effective audit agency adheres strictly to professional standards of review and referencing and adopts procedures to guarantee that all facts and analyses are thoroughly checked for accuracy. Thus, an audit agency operates with a consistency in approach that may distinguish it from other potential performers of evaluation. This implies that audit agencies may have an increasingly important role to play in evaluating rural development programmes. Copyright No claim to original US government works. Journal compilation (c) The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2010.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Offutt, 2010. "View from an Oversight Agency on Evaluation of Rural Development Programmes," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 9(1), pages 10-14, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:eurcho:v:9:y:2010:i:1:p:10-14
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