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National Impact Evaluation of Leader - RE0242

Defra have commissioned ekosgen to build an evaluation framework for the economic impact of Leader in England, drawing on experience covering the period 2000 to 2009. The purpose of this commission is two-fold:

• Firstly it will provide a systematic approach to understanding the impact of Leader, particularly its economic impact, which is in a comparable format to that used for mainstream economic programmes under the aegis of the Treasury. This framework will be used to inform the MTE and the final evaluation; and

• Secondly, it will provide advice and guidance to Defra and Leader stakeholders on flexibility, good practice and improving impacts with regard to the current programme and looking towards the 2014-20 programme.
In fulfilling these purposes, the project intends to draw out lessons from current and past applications of the Leader approach and activity over this period, with a focus on identifying those interventions and suites of interventions and approaches that have generated the greatest economic impact. Whilst the assessment will aim to capture social and environmental impacts, particular attention will be paid to the quantifiable net economic impact of Leader activities and approaches at the local area, regional and national programme levels, drawing on net impact assessment guidance and IEF+ and Treasury Green Book principles. Ekosgen will develop a classification of Leader activities to facilitate this impact assessment and construct evaluation tools accordingly.

The work will explore the way in which taking Leader into the RDPE, fostered by delivery through the RDAs, has led to a change in focus in delivery. The work will help to inform the forward monitoring and evaluation framework for Leader under the current RDPE through establishing benchmark value which will in turn support the Mid-term Evaluation process. Further, the work will help to inform Local Action Groups, regional and national stakeholders as to the impact of Leader since 2000 to help shape future rural policy, including post-2013. Overall there will be an emphasis on identifying ways in which Leader can be used flexibly and imaginatively to maximise impact including the identification of lessons from the Devolved Administrations and more widely across the EU.

Defra have asked ekosgen to work closely with those involved in the Leader and RDPE at regional and local levels and to draw on the expertise and understanding that already exists. So, the consultant team are likely to be in touch with stakeholders in the near future to help progress this commission. We hope you will be able to give them some time to help progress this important piece of work.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : National Impact Assessment of LEADER   (708k)
• TRP - Technical Report : European Best Practice Paper   (330k)
• TRP - Technical Report : Method report   (223k)
• TRP - Technical Report : The LEADER Approach in the Devolved Nations   (139k)
• TRP - Technical Report : The Story of LEADER in England   (513k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2010

To: 2010

Cost: £76,227
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Economic Policy Evaluation              
Economic Research              
Rural Development              
Rural Issues              
Fields of Study
Rural Affairs