For the evaluation of the EU Rural Development Policy in the programming period 2007-2013, the European Commission has designed a Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (CMEF). Given a widespread lack of enthusiasm and the complexity of the CMEF, in this paper a comparative analysis of 22 evaluation methods of rural development policy is conducted in order to explore whether an alternative approach for the evaluation of the EU Rural Development Policy exists. The mixed case study approach is identified as potential alternative. This approach combines the analysis of data on input and output with in-depth interviews. First results of testing this method in the mid-term evaluation of the EU Rural Development Policy 2007-2009 in the Dutch NUTS2 region of Zeeland indicate that this approach might be a promising alternative to the CMEF. It is easier to implement and renders useful insight into the question why measures have been effective.