Evaluating Agri-environmental Policies

Design, Practice and Results

image of Evaluating Agri-environmental Policies

These conference proceedings present a series of evaluations of agri-environmental policies in OECD countries.  They examine how effective the policies have been in achieving objectives and what policy makers have learned about the design and implementation of their policies. 

These proceedings show that different methods of policy evaluation are complementary. Most countries focus on evaluating the environmental effectiveness rather than the economic efficiency of policies, using physical indicators rather than monetary values. Many policies are achieving their environmental objectives, but are taking longer than originally anticipated. The initiative being taken in many countries to incorporate monitoring and data collection into programme design and implementation is a positive development.  But a number of steps need to be taken to improve the quality of evaluations, including the better articulation of policy goals and objectives, improving data quality and establishing baselines for comparison.



Evaluating Community-based Programmes in Australia

The Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality

The Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality are Australia’s principal programmes aimed at protecting and restoring the environment and furthering the sustainability of agriculture and other uses of natural resources. The majority of programme investments are made through fifty-seven regional community based organisations covering the entire continent. Each regional body is required to prepare a natural resources management plan for joint accreditation by governments and programme investments are made in response to the targets and priorities identified in those plans. Governments have established nationally agreed frameworks for resource condition targets, for monitoring and evaluation, and for indicators and protocols. The practicality of these policies for assessing the impact of programme investments and improving the broad understanding of landscape condition and trends has been reviewed through regional trials conducted by the National Land and Water Resources Audit focussing particularly on data availability and regional community capacity. Co-operative effort is underway within regional, State and national partnerships to build an integrated and enduring monitoring and evaluation system capable of meeting needs at all these levels.


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