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    Evaluation of the National Parks Sustainable Development Fund

    Clarke, Richard (2004) Evaluation of the National Parks Sustainable Development Fund. Technical Report. Birkbeck College, University of London, London, UK.

    Clarke_2004_SDF_MainReport.pdf - Published Version of Record

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    The Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) is a new pilot funding stream for English National Park Authorities and the Broads Authority (henceforth collectively NPAs or ‘Parks’), launched in July 2002 by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The aim is to provide a flexible and non-bureaucratic means of funding projects that “aid the achievement of National Park purposes by encouraging individuals, community groups and businesses to cooperate together to develop practical sustainable solutions to the management of their activities”. SDF is a novel and unique funding stream intended to support original and innovative projects. Although the funding is relatively small (some £2.6m or £325,000 per park over the 18 months to this report) the aim is ambitious; with a minimum of preconceptions or formalities, to “develop and test new ways of achieving a more sustainable way of living in the countryside”. In each Park, small SDF Panels, serviced by, but at arms length from, the NPA have been established to oversee delivery of the Fund, to foster innovative projects and to monitor their outcomes at Park level. The SDF Prospectus declares that monitoring and evaluation are to involve a “very light touch regime”.. Auditing of individual projects by the SDF panel is to be achieved mainly by maintaining close contact with the projects as they develop. Whilst responsibility may be delegated, panel members are encouraged to take a personal interest in projects. Each NPA is required to submit to the Minister of State for Rural Affairs (and to copy to the Countryside Agency) an annual report. This should summarise the performance of the fund against performance indicators which are to be developed by NPAs themselves in the light of experience of the fund. First Annual Reports must be submitted to the Minister of State for Rural Affairs (and copied to the Countryside Agency) at the end of March 2004 NPAs are encouraged to learn from the experience of delivering the Fund and to promote the results to a wider rural audience. In addition to this Park level monitoring, the Countryside Agency (CA) on behalf of Defra has commissioned the Centre for European Protected Area Research (CEPAR) to conduct an evaluation of how SDF has performed against its key objectives after the first eighteen months of its operation, to aid decisions about the future of the scheme from April 2005.


    Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Richard Clarke
    Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2013 11:45
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:07


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