Work plan of the work packages and key objectives of the ORGAP project

The work plan consists of six work packages each designed to address the key objectives.

The figure below shows the general structure of the project and the interlinkages between the work packages are schematically indicated.

Work packages

Work package 1 - Project coordination and management

Work package 1 addresses the project management and scientific co-ordination tasks, including communication and dissemination, quality management, time planning, reporting and financial control.

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Work package 2 - Development of Evaluation Toolbox ORGAPET

Key objective 1: Development of the Evaluation Toolbox ORGAPET

Work package 2 involves the development of the evaluation toolbox ORGAPET, an instrument for the evaluation and monitoring of the implementation of the European Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming.

Two main steps are planned:

  1. The initial evaluation toolbox will cover the key areas of the European Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming by adapting already existing policy evaluation methodology.
  2. This initial evaluation toolbox will be reviewed and completed in consultation with national and European level stakeholders and tested later in work package 3.

Step 1:
The European action plan …

  • Identifies a dual role for organic farming:

    • Production of organic food for the market to meet consumer demand
    • Organic land management providing public goods (environment etc.)

  • Specifies the need to develop a balanced approach addressing both role.

The key areas covered by the European action plan include:

  • Consumer information and promotion campaigns
  • Improved research, market intelligence and statistical data collection
  • Full utilization of rural development programme and other existing options to support organic farming
  • Improved transparency, scope and implementation of the regulation defining organic farming

Step 2:
The ORGAP evaluation toolbox (ORGAPET) is a collection of different evaluation tools, including participative techniques, quantitative assessments and methods to identify relevant indicators, which could be used selectively to meet the needs of a particular assessment of national or EU action plans. ORGAPET is therefore not a single piece of software or a set of procedures to be followed strictly in their entirety.

The toolbox is structured around ‘compartments’ or sections containing ‘tools’ fulfilling different functions. Each section contains an overview paper and a series of Annexes detailing a range of methodological approaches (including written materials, relevant software and other items) and examples of how these have been applied in specific cases, for example the evaluations and workshops conducted as part of the ORGAP project. As the toolbox is developed, the contents will be subject to continual revision and updating throughout the project.

The ORGAPET toolbox builds on existing socio-economic and agri-environmental policy evaluation methods (MEANS, IRENA*) and incorporate work from current and previous projects on organic farming policy analysis and development. Stakeholder input into the development of the toolbox is emphasised.

* The MEANS approach (EC, 1999) provides a basis for assessing in particular the socio-economic impacts of rural development and structural policies. Although the MEANS approach does not formally address the environmental impacts of policies, some of the basic MEANS concepts are applicable also for this purpose. The MEANS approach is designed to address two key issues, which are common also to the evaluation of organic action plans (EC, 1999 Vol 1:27-30):
1) The evaluations need to consider multiple, often interlinked, objectives that are difficult to observe and analyse in detail.
2) There is a complex interaction between multiple objectives, multiple domains, multiple instruments and multiple geographic/institutional levels, which makes it difficult to identify causal links between policies and outcomes.
The MEANS approach proposes a multi-methodological approach.
EC (1999) Evaluating Socio-economic Programmes. MEANS Collection Vols. 1-6. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg

* IRENA stands for ‘Indicator Reporting on the Integration of Environmental Concerns into Agriculture Policy’, and is a project coordinated by the European Environment Agency (EEA), in cooperation with four partners: DG Agriculture, DG Environment, DG Eurostat and DG Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

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Work package 3 - National Organic Action Plan analysis

Key objectives 2 and 3: Test of the toolbox on selected existing national organic action plans, identification of conflict areas between targets of European and national organic action plans

Once the evaluation toolbox ORGAPET is developed (see work package 2), its operability and appropriateness will be tested on existing National Organic Action Plans in selected European countries.

Work package 3 will provide first a general overview and status quo analysis of National Organic Action Plan objectives, design and implementation in eight case study countries. It will than make an analysis of the results of existing evaluations of a selection of these national action plans. Based on this, it will:

  • identify the factors affecting the success or failure of these plans and
  • determine the potential contribution of existing evaluations and available data to the application of ORGAPET at the European level.

Work package 3 will address the key objectives taking the following steps:

  1. First, an overview of the objectives, the design and the implementation of the National Organic Action Plans in eight European countries will be prepared.
  2. Some of these eight countries, where a national organic action plan has been implemented, have already evaluated its implementation. The existing evaluations of the implementation of a National Organic Action Plan will be analysed. Good evaluation elements will be taken to further improve the evaluation toolbox ORGAPET.
  3. Afterwards, the refined ORGAPET will be tested. ORGAPET will be used to evaluate the implementation of the National Organic Action Plans in the eight countries mentioned in point 1.
  4. By means of ORGAPET will be identified conflicts and synergies between the objectives of the European and the National Organic Action Plans. The significance of the identified conflicts and synergies for the implementation of the European Organic Action Plan in the countries will be assessed.
  5. Once the areas of conflicts and synergies are identified, a cross-country comparative analysis and synthesis report will be prepared.

Interviews with stakeholders in the case study countries are used to assess the feasibility of applying the ORGAPET approach at national level and to prepare for its application at the European level. In a focus group discussion areas of conflict and/or synergy between the objectives of national and European organic action plans will be discussed. This provides the basis for the development, of strategies aimed at resolving the potential conflicts and exploiting the synergies in order to facilitate implementation of the European Organic Action Plan at national level.

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Work package 4 - European Action Plan analysis

Key objectives 4: Analysis of the implementation processes and procedures

Knowing the areas of conflicts and synergies between objectives of national plans and the European Organic Action Plan (see work package 3), the implementation processes of the European plan in the countries and the related procedures will be examined.

The following steps will be taken in work package 4:

  1. Based on the conflict areas identified in work package 3, an early assessment of potential risks and problems associated with specific policy-relevant areas (i. e. excessive bureaucratic burdens, different rules for the national implementation of the organic regulation) will be provided.
  2. Strategies aimed at resolving these potential conflicts and exploiting the synergies will be developed, in order to facilitate the implementation of the European Organic Action Plan at national level.
  3. During the implementation of the European Organic Action Plan assistance in the initial evaluation of its implementation in the countries will be offered. This will be done by making available a structure for thinking through the likelihood, seriousness and probability of detection of potential problems.
  4. During the early stages of the implementation of the European Organic Action Plan in the countries, the ORGAPET evaluation toolbox will be tested.

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Work package 5 - Synthesis and recommendations

Key objectives 5: Make policy recommendation to the European Commission, national authorities as well as further actors

The key objective 5 of making policy recommendation to the European Commission, to the national authorities and to further actors is addressed in work package 5:

  1. First, the results of the analyses of national action plans and the implementation of the European Organic Action Plan will be synthesised, taking into account potential conflict and synergy areas as well as risks and problems.
  2. Based on this synthesis, policy conclusions relating to the implementation and development of the European Organic Action Plan and national action plans will be identified.
  3. Finally, based on the outcome of the tests the ORGAPET evaluation toolbox will be finalised. A manual for its application will be produced.

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Work package 6 - Stakeholder integration and dissemination

Work package 6 parallels the project co-ordination work package, focusing on the effective integration of stakeholders in the project work.

Stakeholders will be involved in the development and testing of the evaluation toolbox ORGAPET, the evaluation of the conflict and synergy areas as well as the assessment of risks and problems of the implementation of the European Organic Action Plan in the countries. Since this stakeholder involvement is of utmost importance, a separate work package is dedicated to this aim. This involvement will be ensured by the following measures:

  1. First, the participation of national stakeholders will be ensured through a series of national workshops and interviews with stakeholders.
  2. Moreover, the involvement of relevant stakeholders and policy makers at the European level will be secured through the organisation of three project Advisory Committee meetings.

It will be ensured that the ORGAPET evaluation toolbox and the evaluation of the implementation of the European Organic Action Plan in the countries will reach most of the stakeholders of organic farming in Europe. To achieve this target, a broad e-mail consultation on the main project results and dissemination of the results of the project to the main stakeholder groups and IFOAM EU network in Europe is planned.

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