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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.

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Key Issues

The recent expansion of agri-environmental payment approaches in European countries provides a rich set of experiments to discover ways to improve programme performance. The mid-term evaluations of agri-environmental measures in the Belgian, French, Greek, and Italian Rural Development Plans offer early insights on improving their efficacy and cost effectiveness, and suggest ways to strengthen future evaluations. The authors are to be commended for contributing new knowledge to a critical agri-environmental policy arena in all OECD countries...

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