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Evaluation of Rural Projects and Programmes

Monitoring and evaluation are essential tools for the organisations who commission or deliver publicly-funded projects.  These organisations need to be able to take stock and learn lessons as their work develops, reviewing their results and listening to the views of their intended beneficiaries and partners, enabling ongoing adjustment and improvement.


Rural Focus provides an independent and objective service to assess the achievements and future legacy of projects and programmes.  We gather evidence carefully, using a variety of measures including analysis of data on project activities and outputs; interviews with project organisers and participants; surveys of the intended beneficiaries and key ‘audiences’; and comparisons with suitable case studies.  


We take care to test the links between the inputs to the project, its activities and the extent to which they lead to the desired outcomes (the evaluation ‘logic chain’).  Our reports are written in clear and non-technical language, and we use charts and images to illustrate points where appropriate.


In the last 18 months, Rural Focus has:


  • Undertaken the final evaluation of the £1.2M Heart of Exmoor Scheme for the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership Scheme, meeting the requirements of the main funders, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Exmoor National Park Authority.


  • Supported LUC, in a contract for Natural England and Defra, in monitoring the contribution that England’s Environmental Stewardship scheme is making to landscape character and quality.


  • Prepared an independent assessment of the achievements and legacy of Exmoor Society’s Unlocking Exmoor’s Heritage project.

Rural Focus’s Director, Robert Deane, has extensive experience, over 20 years, of preparing project evaluations for Government Departments and Agencies (including EU Rural Development programmes), protected landscape bodies (such as the Sustainable Development Funds administered by National Park Authorities and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnerships) and local authorities.  In 2014 he managed a major contract for the World Bank, undertaking a Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) of the minerals sector in Malawi in southern Africa.

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Preparation of Strategies and Action Plans

Public Engagement and Participation