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Guidelines for the evaluation of decentralized policies: Challenges, evaluation techniques and impacts. Public Deliverable D6.5, PRIMA collaborative project, EU 7th Framework Programme, contract no. 212345

Abstract : Facing structural change, European rural areas still fulfil multiple social, economic and ecological functions. Because of scale interplays and sustainability trade-offs, their future dynamics are yet particularly difficult to ascertain. The research project prima, backed by the European Commission’s Seventh framework programme, aimed to develop methods for scaling down the assessment of policy impacts on multifunctional land-use and economic activities. The analysis covered the cohesion policies (ERDF, ESF, CF), the enlargement process (IPA) and the rural development policy (EAFRD), with a focus on agriculture, forestry, tourism, and ecosystem services. Special attention has been paid to the structural effects of the policies and on their impact on the environmental quality in the regions. 1.1 Objectives of the guidelines This report, based on materials provides a short synthesis of the methodo-logical outputs of prima that are most relevant for the downscaling of population parameters and indicators for the analysis of local policy impacts in any exante Impact Assessment Tool. The aimed added value is to enhance major existing Impact Assessment procedures (EIA, SEA, SIA) by models that consider individual stakeholders-and interactions between them and the environment-in addition to already used aggregate model approaches at coarser scale. In this way, more environmentally impact assessment procedures will be enhanced by social and economic considerations. Rural sustainable development, viewed through the lenses of multifunctio-nality, diversity of activities, and ecosystem services, is a major challenge for the cohesion policy. Taking an European perspective, prima helps demonstrate how sustainable development can be triggered by problem-solving oriented research. By prioritizing local scales, prima has developed innovative integrated assessment tools for rural development, taking into account site-specific potentials and perspectives of local stakeholders. The approach was structured in five steps: - A review of structural policies, drawing on six regional case studies (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Croatia and Bulgaria), identified driving forces, local constraints and baselines for the design of national and regional scenarios for multifunctional land use and economic activities. - The involvement of local stakeholders (e.g. farmers, forest industries, local consumers, tourism actors) was implemented during the whole exercise, through the design of scenarios, the formulation of agent decision rules, the assessment of models’ design and outputs. - The design and development of micro-simulation and agent-based models was grounded on local dynamics and simulated the impact of EU policies on multifunctional land uses and ecosystems at the municipality level. - A mapping between available municipal-level data and prototypical, contrasted model outputs, allowed scaling up the results to the regional scale, for comparison with integrated models. - The potential of the approach was investigated to enhance screening and scoping steps of existing impact assessment methods.
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R. Laplana, B. Hautdidier, B.C. Meyer. Guidelines for the evaluation of decentralized policies: Challenges, evaluation techniques and impacts. Public Deliverable D6.5, PRIMA collaborative project, EU 7th Framework Programme, contract no. 212345. irstea. 2012, pp.22. ⟨hal-02597732⟩

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