Reference : How should rural policy be evaluated if it aims to foster community involvement in en...
Scientific journals : Article
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Earth sciences & physical geography
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Human geography & demography
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Regional & inter-regional studies
How should rural policy be evaluated if it aims to foster community involvement in environmental management?
Prager, Katrin [James Hutton Institute]
Nienaber, Birte mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Neumann, Barbara [Christian-Albrechts University Kiel]
Phillips, Alistair [New South Wales Natural Resources Commission]
Journal of Rural Studies
Pergamon Press - An Imprint of Elsevier Science
[en] complexity science ; policy evaluation ; rural development ; social capital ; social-ecological systems ; community-based environmental management
[en] This paper brings together different theoretical perspectives to propose an evaluation
framework for policies which have the explicit aim to foster community involvement in the
management of their natural environment in the context of sustainable rural development, such as the
EU LEADER programme, Australia's Caring for Our Country, and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. Previous
policy evaluations have over-simplified the complex social-ecological systems on which these policies
are supposed to act, have lacked specification of the policy level they address and were predicated on
the assumption that policies can be designed to produce predictable outcomes.Based on a concept of
'complex realities' we developed a framework to guide the evaluation of policy effectiveness in socialecological
systems. This comprehensive framework provides the conceptual and theoretical context in
which individual evaluation exercises for policy review and future programme design can be
embedded. It goes beyond existing frameworks by allowing the identification of factors that explain
how and why a policy tool was effective. It provides a structure within which data sets from different
sources, relevant stakeholders and relationships can be identified and analysed in a multi-level and
multi-scale context. However, we emphasise that policy makers and evaluators' mindsets would have
to change to accept uncertainty and the validity of various stakeholders' perceptions and evaluations.
Researchers ; Professionals

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