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Good governance approaches in policy formulation and implementation - based on key concepts like participation, networking, transparency and accountability - are more and more adopted by the EU in addressing its rural policies reforms. Public Administrations at all levels should be evaluated with respect to their capacity to respect good governance principles. First, on the basis of a meta-analysis of ongoing initiatives (e.g. the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators), a methodological framework for assessing the quality of new governance modes is presented. Secondly, on the basis of case-studies in Italy, the monitoring and evaluation tools currently used by the European Commission to assess Administrations’ performances in rural development programs and Leader approach are compared with the proposed framework. Gaps are identified and discussed. Findings demonstrate, among others, the weakness of the European evaluation system in the analysis of the cost/benefit ratio of (local) governance and non market (environmental, social, distributive) effects.


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