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Mid Term Evaluation of Defra's Investment in RCAN/ACRE 2011-15 - RE0264


Defra’s funding relationship with the Rural Community Action Network (RCAN) is a means of delivering national policy initiatives and benefit to rural communities. The current partnership is governed by a four year agreement (2011/15). The overall strategic aim of this partnership is “To promote and develop community led initiatives that help secure a step change in local action and self-reliance across rural England

Given the considerable size of Defra’s investment in RCAN/ACRE a mid-term evaluation is now required to provide evidence for the remainder of the programme and to feed into departmental discussions for the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) 2015 – 2018.

The evaluation is intended to provide additional independent evidence to supplement the information provided by RCAN/ACRE in the two annual reports (year one 2011/12 and year two 2012/13) and other key performance documents generated through the programme such as the intelligence reports, Defra feedback reports, risk register and programme management reports.

The objectives of the mid-term evaluation are to;

i. Assess the impact of Defra’s investment in the Rural Community Action Network (RCAN) and Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) against the three pillars of the agreement
ii. Assess the wider impact of Defra’s investment in RCAN and ACRE - i.e. to identify what difference the investment is making to rural communities in the targeted priority areas of broadband, housing and planning, transport and services and fuel and energy
iii. Provide an independent evaluation of the success to date against the objectives of the investment programme
iv. Review the goals of the current investment programme and draw out lessons learnt concerning rural proofing of policy and delivery at the local level and community led action in rural areas
v. Identify factors that contributed to the success or failure of the programme’s implementation, and the identification of best practice
vi. Propose measures to improve the quality of the programme and its implementation in the future
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Mid Term Evaluation of Defra's Investment in RCAN/ACRE 2011-15   (531k)
• ANX - Annex : Final report annexes   (315k)
• OTH - Other : Case study, pillar 1 - Local influencing   (312k)
• OTH - Other : Case study, pillar 2 - Supporting communities   (308k)
• OTH - Other : Case study, pillar 3 - Providing rural intelligence   (311k)
• OTH - Other : Learning note: Financial sustainability   (378k)
• OTH - Other : Learning note: RCAN work on rural economic growth   (313k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2013

Cost: £42,863
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Brian Wilson Associates
Rural Development              
Fields of Study
Rural Affairs