The evaluation of national development projects and coordination projects within the Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland 2014–2020 as well as national development projects during the previous programming period is part of the evaluation plan for the current programming period. MDI has been appointed to carry out the evaluation in cooperation with TK-Eval.
The objective for the national project activities is to allocate financial resources into projects, which improve the result-orientation and effectiveness in programme implementation. In addition, the objective is to complement and support the development work and project implementation in the regional level. The rural network supports the implementation of inter-regional projects and coordination of the programme. During the programming period 2014–2020, national development projects have been addressed to e.g. strengthen the expertise in the fields of energy and food industries in the entire country. In addition, this programming period includes national coordination projects aiming at developing the functionality and results of the programme. Some of the contents in the coordination projects are novel, which puts more emphasis on the dissemination of information and best practices. Coordination projects aim at creating networks between projects in a certain field. The selected themes include organic, natural products, local food, green care, energy efficiency, and tourism. There is a huge expectation to see a lot of regional and local business and project activities in these themes.
In the evaluation project, data will be collected in many different ways in order to identify the results and impact of the projects. The evaluation work is ordered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and it is due at the end of 2017.