[ Index ]
Assessing the added value of the LEADER approach
Questions and evaluation issues for each specific feature
3.5. The actions: linkages and multi-sectoral character
Linkages between actions and the multi-sectoral approach are
different features of LEADER actions.
The linkage between actions - contained in the acronym of the LEADER
Initiative "Links between Actions for the Development of the Rural
Economy" - explicitly states that actions and projects within the
business plan should not be individual and separated measures (for
example training courses on the one hand and grants for establishing
farm accommodation on the other) but should be co-ordinated and well
integrated in a coherent whole. Integration may refer to actions
within the same sector or in different sectors, to all actions in
the programme or to groups of them (measures).
Among the most important forms of linkages is the "chain of
production" type of linkage, which covers the production process
from the very beginning (necessary inputs, raw products) to the
intermediate phases of processing right through to the end
(distribution and marketing). For each of these phases, efforts are
made to create as many links as possible with existing activities or
those likely to be set up in the area. This can address all the
problems and the bottlenecks which could be strategic for the area.
A more complicated form is the inter-sectoral linkages that may be
established between actions. This involves adopting a comprehensive
overview of intervention, involving all the relevant sectors in the
area (economic, social, cultural and environmental) and endeavouring
to have as many multi-sectoral actions as possible.
3.5.2 Motivation and expected results
The main objective for emphasising different forms of integration
between actions and their multi-sectoral character is to reorganise
and co-ordinate the different sectoral approaches, predominant in
rural development policies, into a coherent set of policy measures
to ensure they are neither implemented independently nor in
opposition to one another.
The holistic, integrated approach to planning:
- creates or exploits existing synergies among different
- increases the overall effectiveness of the programme and the
sustainability of individual actions;
- encourages the diversification of the rural economy, creating
an alternative to the declining agricultural sector and
strengthening its capacity to respond to sectoral crises.
3.5.3 Main questions
a) the initial situation
Describe the type of linkages between actions that were considered
in the business plan and their multi-sectoral character. In what way
were these linkages established or secured (animation, preliminary
negotiations among interest groups, selection of projects, etc)?
b) The processes
- In what way was the co-ordination of other pre-existing
sectoral interventions improved through LEADER actions? Were there
any difficulties and obstacles? Were they overcome? How?
- Which synergies were created or enhanced between different
sectors? How was this achieved?
- Which forms of integration and linkages prevailed? How?
- the creation of production chains within the area?
- the organisation of supply and demand?
- the creation of simple linkages, such as ad hoc training for a
- the diversification of agriculture in related activities
(tourism, environment etc)?
- the creation of products and services involving a range of
public and private figures and/or different sectors of activity?
c) the results and impact
- What influence did the various forms of integration
implemented have on the result and impact of the actions?
- What effect did co-ordinating different sectoral measures have
on local players, existing institutions and the rural context?
- What were the advantages for the local economy and community
of creating or adding value to potential synergies between sectors?
Which groups and sectors benefited most from this?
- Did integration and the multi-sectoral aspect facilitate the
diversification of the area or the specialisation of some sectors?
d) the lessons
- what lessons should be drawn for future actions to facilitate
the integration of actions and their multi-sectoral approach?