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Newsletter of the Good Practice Workshop "National Rural Networks: How to show their benefits"

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Rome, Italy - 10 & 11 April 2014

National rural networks (NRNs) have proved to be useful instruments of rural development policy in the period 2007 - 2013. Building on positive experiences, the EU foresees the establishment and operation of national rural networks also in the next programming period.Rural networks represent specific EAFRD interventions implemented either within a particular Rural Development Programme (RDP) as national rural network - NRN or as a separate national rural network programme - NRNP. Rural networks operate in the context of programme territory (RDP or NRNP) and aim to enhance the involvement of stakeholders in the RDPs implementation, improve the quality of RDPs, inform the broader public about the benefits of the rural development policy and foster innovation in rural areas.Since national rural networks are supported with the EAFRD, they are subject to evaluation as any other rural development intervention, in order to demonstrate their contribution to the EU rural policy objectives and to the development of rural areas.To enhance capacities for the evaluation of rural networks, the Evaluation Helpdesk organised in close collaboration with the the Istituto Nazionale di Economia Agraria - INEA and the Ministero delle politiche agricole alimentary e forestali a Good Practice Workshop (GPW) "National Rural Networks: How to show their benefits". It took place in Rome (Italy) on the 10&11 of April 2014. During the GPW participants (evaluators, MAs, NRN representatives and EC officials) discussed and exchanged experiences, information and knowledge on how achievements of rural networks and results/impacts of their activities can be assessed.