Evaluation results in discussion – „Thinking outside the box“ (c) Thomas Horlitz
Podium discussion with Folkhard Isermeyer and representatives of the Federal Ministeries (© Thomas Horlitz)

On-going evaluation of Rural Development Programmes (RDP) based on Reg. (EU) 1698/2005 of Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony/Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein

How much public money is spent for rural development? Are objectives and measures appropriate? Could they realise the intended impacts? What approaches exist for improvements? We are analysing these and further questions within other RDP-evaluation activities in seven German states.

Background and Objective

Evaluation is a legal requirement for all EU-co-financed programmes. Responsible for programme implementation are the German states. Therefore, they contract evaluations. The EU-Commission sets the overall evaluation framework with common evaluation questions and indicators. The framework should lead to EU-wide comparable results and an overall assessment of their policy. In 2007, the Thünen-Institute was contracted by seven German states to conduct an on-going-evaluation. The reporting includes two major reports in 2010 and 2015 (new: 2016) and annual progress reports. The evaluation has different characteristics: At the beginning of the programming period the evaluation focuses on programme delivery aspects, while at the end, questions of the added value are more important. The results build a basis for adjustments of programmes or measures. The Thünen-Institute of Rural Studies, Farm Economies and WF are working in close cooperation with entera (Hannover).

The project partner are responsible for different parts within the whole project.

The Thünen-Institute of Rural Studies is responsible for environmental issues, economic groth, employment and qualitiy of life in rural areas.

The Thünen-Institute for Farm Economics deals with animal welfare and the support of investments in agriculture and processing as well as diversification measures.

The Institute WF is responsible for the evalation of forstry measures.

The main focus of entera lies on biodiversity measures and climate protection.

Detailed information can be found on our project Website www.eler-evaluierung.de

Target Group

 We address different target groups: EU-Commission, Managing Authorities and those responsible for measures in the State ministries, economic and social partners, environmental organisations, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, scientific community and interested experts. Therefore, we have to take into account in our communication strategy that we address different groups with our evaluation results.


Evaluation is composed by different steps: First, we check the intervention logic, the relevance and objectives of measures. We identify expected impacts which build the basis for the evaluation design. Besides the assessment of the programme output (How, where and for what the public money is spent?) we are interested in the achievement of the objectives and intended or unintended impacts. The end point is the question of efficiency based on the cost-impact-relation. The costs are not only comprised of public spending. We include as well implementation costs of public administration. Therefore, we can compare measures among each other.

Data and Methods

Used data and methods, as well as the programmes themselves, are heterogeneous. The heterogeneity could be described with triangulation. This means that we use for evaluation purposes different data, different methods and different perspectives. The results are multifaceted and allow differentiated conclusions and recommendations.


2010 (mid-term) and ex-post (2016) enhanced reports for the whole programmes were published. Furthermore, we conduct thematic studies. All reports are available on our Homepage www.eler-evaluierung.de.


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • entera
    (Hannover, Deutschland)


11.2006 - 6.2017

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: finished

Publications to the project

Results 6 - 10 of 19

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  1. Pollermann K, Raue P, Schnaut G (2012) Fostering smart places through networking. In: Networked regions and cities in times of fragmentation: developing smart, sustainable and inclusive places . Regional Studies Association, pp 148-149
  2. Pollermann K, Raue P, Schnaut G (2012) Partizipation im ländlichen Raum : das Beispiel LEADER. Raumplanung 160(1):41-43
  3. Schuh B, Lukesch R, Michalek J, Kaufmann P, Pufahl A, Schiller S, Koorberg P, Beaufoy G, Pinay G, Moran D, Gömann H, Storti D, Rossi P, Paracchino M-L (2011) Approaches for assessing the impacts of the rural development programmes in the context of multiple intervening factors : paper prepared for the 122nd EAAE Seminar "Evidence-based Agricultural and Rural Policy Making: Methodological and Empirical Challenges of Policy Evaluation", Ancona, February 17-18, 2011. 14 p
  4. Ebers H, Grajewski R, Pollermann K, Roggendorf W (2011) Bilanz zur Halbzeit - nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel. LandInForm(2):42-43
  5. Moser A (2011) Halbzeitbewertung des EPLR Hessen : Teil II - Kapitel 10 - Anhang 6: Förderung der Dorferneuerung und -entwicklung in Hessen ; Dorfstudie in Hessen. In: Institut für Ländliche Räume (ed) Halbzeitbewertung des EPLR Hessen im Rahmen der 7-Länder Bewertung : Entwicklungsplan für den ländlichen Raum 2007-2013. Braunschweig; Hamburg: vTI, pp 1-64

Results 6 - 10 of 19

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