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Tools4CAP unveils benchmarking factsheets for CAP Strategic Planning

Mar 12, 2024 | Tools4CAP Results

Author: Miranda García (AEIDL)

In an effort to refine the design and monitoring of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plans (CSPs) across the European Union, the Tools4CAP project has embarked on an evaluation and benchmarking exercise of methods and tools used for the current CSPs. The aim was to identify, leverage, and promote the replication of the most promising tools and practices used by Member States (MSs), culminating in the production of a series of benchmarking factsheets.

A methodical approach to innovation

At the heart of this initiative is the Tune-up Evaluation Framework (TEF), developed by the project team. The TEF has been designed to provide a conceptual and methodological instrument for the analysis of the inventoried tools specifically employed for the design and monitoring of the CSPs.

The benchmarking factsheets help to evaluate the accuracy, reliability, applicability, accessibility and efficiency of different tools to cast light on their pros and cons and provide a reference for MSs to understand the implications of different types of tools.

The assessment spans four main categories (stakeholder needs assessment tools, policy choices supporting tools, policy analysis tools for evidence-based decisions, and monitoring and data collection tools), incorporating a broad range of information sources, including interviews and focus groups.

Main categories and use of different categories of tools across design and monitoring tasks.
Insights from the evaluation

Key findings from the evaluation reveal that while stakeholder needs assessment and policy choice supporting tools are generally more accessible and efficient, they may lack in accuracy and reliability. In contrast, policy analysis and monitoring tools, though technically complex, show higher precision and dependability but face challenges in terms of accessibility and applicability.

The report highlights the importance of an integrated strategic approach, suggesting that no single tool can be labelled as the “best”. Instead, it emphasises the selection of the most “proper” tools tailored to each country’s specific needs. This nuanced approach encourages MSs to adopt a mix of tools to address diverse policy tasks effectively, promoting transparency and evidence-based decision-making.

Furthermore, the initiative underscores the potential of exploring tools used in other policies or scientific research that could be adapted for CAP contexts. This exploration is part of an ongoing effort to enhance policy design and implementation, with future work aimed at identifying promising tools for re-adaptation and testing in case studies.

A resource for the future

As a result of this evaluative process are the benchmarking factsheets. They are detailed guides designed to inform and direct policy-makers and stakeholders involved in CAP strategic planning and monitoring. Each factsheet addresses a specific policy task, outlining the primary tools used by Member States and analysing their strengths and weaknesses based on the established criteria.

These factsheets have yielded invaluable insights, not only into the efficacy of current tools but also into the potential for innovation and improvement within CAP strategic planning and monitoring. These documents serve as a beacon for Member States, offering a roadmap for the adoption of best practices and the integration of cutting-edge methodologies into their Strategic Plans.

More information: D1.3 Evaluation and benchmarking of methods and tools