The academic literature makes evident that the main immaterial contribution of the LEADER approach (LA) consists in the promotion of social capital in rural areas. Therefore the insertion of LA in the framework of Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) should be considered as a powerful opportunity to promote rural development initiatives by means of a bottom-up methodology, much more focused on social relationships among local actors. These aspects open new opportunities also in terms of evaluations of RDPs and of LA, in the context of the already established Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (CMEF). The objective of this paper is to present a methodology for the definition of the Relative Index of Social Capital Promotion (RISCP) to be used in the ongoing evaluation of RDPs. The RISCP doesn’t represent an impact indicator, but it measures the potential social capital that could be promoted by means of the logic of intervention of selected measures of the RDPs.


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