The research starts from the necessity to create specific tools for evaluating the impacts of rural development policies on fragile areas. The study is motivated by the need for developing an appropriate evaluation method that leads to gather meaningful information for a broader understanding of the quality of life in rural areas, including the subjective well-being’s dimensions and its determinants and feeds the policy designs on this specific domain. The multidimensional nature of quality of life is a main challenge in terms of evaluation. Indeed, within the Rural Development Programmes 2007-2013, the enhancement of the quality of life in rural areas is one of the major strategic objectives to be addressed by a menu of measures. Selections of some current literature on the multidimensional nature of quality of life have been used as conceptual basis for analysing the extent to which the European evaluation framework for rural development programmes (EC 1999, 2006, 2010) - based on the intervention logic model, the use of economic indicators and evaluative questions - is able to capture the relevant dimensions of well-being rural people’s lives. A part of the research is based on the analysis of ex-post evaluations carried out in Italy. The evaluations are expected to assess the improvement of quality of life in rural areas as effect of programmes’ implementation. The paper provides two different experiences of quantification of quality of life in rural area: a synthetic measure of marginality as a proxy of quality of life indicators (in Piedmont) and a synthetic index of quality of life (in Emilia Romagna). The paper proposes a wider integrated evaluation approach to be used in the context of the evaluation of impacts of rural development programmes, that through the combined utilization of quantitative and qualitative indicators and additional evaluative questions, allows a more comprehensive assessment of quality of life in rural areas.