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EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Network

Evaluation of AKIS

An Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) is the combined organisation and knowledge flows between individuals, organisations, and institutions who use and produce knowledge for agriculture and interrelated fields. AKIS contributes to the CAP’s cross-cutting objective of modernisation, knowledge sharing, innovation, and digitalisation.

AKIS has gained importance in the 2023-2027 period as the backbone of modernising the CAP and the related objective. As such, the evaluation of AKIS plays a prominent role in the overall evaluation of the CAP. During this period, Member States shall assess the functioning and improvement of AKIS, as referred to in Article 114 of the Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, including the assessment on how the various components of the system work together to support those who use and produce knowledge and innovation (e.g. farm advisory services, research and national CAP networks).

The overall objective of the Thematic Working Group (TWG) is to conceptualise and operationalise the methodological guidance that Member States may need in assessing the functioning and improvement of AKIS and its impact on innovation uptake by farmers. Among its specific objectives, the TWG aims:

  • To exchange practical experiences and research-based ideas on lessons learnt from the implementation and assessment of AKIS strategic approach and identification of success factors;
  • To design a methodological assessment framework;
  • To propose evaluation approaches/methods for robust AKIS assessments;
  • To produce guidelines on the assessment of the AKIS strategic approach.

The workflow of the TWG follows traditional steps of evaluation with involvement of various AKIS stakeholders ensured through a series of meetings:

  • Working Package 1: Launching of the TWG where several aspects that frame the concept of AKIS were discussed;
  • Working Package 2: Coordination and content development around the scope of AKIS evaluation and exchange between TWG members on evaluation approaches/methods that could be useful for the evaluation of AKIS’ strategic approach;
  • Working Package 3: Quality control and finalisation of content sourced from Work Package 2 and development of guidelines for the assessment of AKIS strategic approach, including incorporating input from Sounding Board members (Managing Authorities, evaluators, researchers, networks, various AKIS stakeholders, European Commission);
  • Working Package 4: Knowledge transfer and dissemination of the finalised guidelines.