Evaluation of Agri-Environmental Policies: Selected Methodological Issues and Case Studies

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July 2012
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Governments are increasingly aware of the importance of monitoring and evaluating their policies − including agri-environmental policies − and are devoting efforts to strengthening their monitoring and evaluation systems and capacities. They aim to improve their performance by establishing evidence-based policy-making, evidence-based management and evidence-based accountability, which will help to improve the design and implementation of policies.

Have agri-environmental and agricultural policies, including cross-compliance and environmental regulations, succeeded in meeting environmental objectives for agriculture in OECD countries (and selected non-OECD countries? What is the role for governments to encourage farmers to deliver environmental public goods. This report presents a selection of papers presented at the OECD Workshop on Evaluation of Agri-environmental Policies, held in June 2011 in Braunschweig, Germany. They covered a broad range of conceptual and practical issues related to evaluating policy measures for stimulating improvements in the environmental performance of agriculture. The focus was specifically on those policy instruments that target farming practices with the objective of enhancing agriculture’s provision of public goods or raising environmental performance standards above the mandatory level specified by legislation. 

The report includes case studies of agri-environmental policy evaluation from Belgium, Canada, Finland, Greece, Italy, Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.