ORGAPET: The Organic Action Plan Evaluation Toolbox

ORGAPET should be cited as: Lampkin, N.; Schmid, O.; Dabbert, S.; Michelsen, J. and Zanoli, R. (eds.) (2008) Organic action plan evaluation toolbox (ORGAPET). Final output of the ORGAP research project ( for the European Commission. Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, UK and Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick, CH.

Navigation tips : Copyright : Contacts : Acknowledgements : Disclaimer : Glossary of technical terms (Evalsed)

Overview of ORGAPET

The Organic Action Plan Evaluation Toolbox (ORGAPET) is a collection of different information/data sources and evaluation tools, including participative techniques, quantitative assessments and methods to identify relevant indicators, which can be used selectively to meet the needs of a particular assessment of national or EU organic action plans. 

The toolbox is structured around ‘compartments’ or sections containing ‘tools’ fulfilling different functions. Each section contains an overview document and a series of annexes detailing a range of methodological approaches (including background documents, relevant data sources and other items), as well as examples of how these have been applied in specific cases, for example the evaluations and workshops conducted as part of the ORGAP project. The structure of ORGAPET is summarised below.

ORGAPET is aimed primarily at organic action plan managers/administrators and engaged stakeholders involved in action plan implementation and the commissioning (and possibly conduct) of evaluations. It does not attempt to provide the full methodological guidance that might be necessary for the training of expert evaluators, but expert evaluators should benefit from the specific organic farming policy examples presented and the information on relevant data sources (particularly in the annexes to each section).

The full version of ORGAPET is not aimed at stakeholders involved in overseeing the implementation of action plans or working with the results of evaluations, for example as participants in action plan steering groups. For this purpose, a manual for developing, implementing and evaluating organic action plans has been produced. (If using the CD-ROM version of ORGAPET, the manual referred to is the one accompanying the CD-ROM.) The manual is intended to be a tool for stakeholder involvement in future action plan development and implementation processes at national, regional and EU levels and to provide an introduction to the use of ORGAPET and the interpretation of evaluations.

ORGAPET covers all possible aspects of action plan evaluation - if at first this seems overwhelming, try a small part first!

Part A: Background and context provides:

Section A1: Introduction to organic action plans and the ORGAP Project covers:

Section A2: Principles of policy evaluation with reference to organic action plans includes:

Section A3: How does policy influence the development of organic food and farming? considers:

Section A4: Involving stakeholders in programme design, implementation and evaluation covers:

Section A5: Planning an evaluation details:

Part B: Evaluating programme design and implementation focuses on methods for evaluating:

Section B1: Evaluating the process of programme design and implementation addresses:

Section B2: Assessing content and failure risk of action plans covers:

Section B3: Methods for evaluating the level and nature of stakeholder involvement covers:

Part C: Evaluating programme effects focuses on:

Section C1: Methods for identifying action plan and policy objectives considers:

Section C2: Methods for defining indicators considers:

Section C3: Generic indicators provides:

Section C4: Evaluating policy outcomes using stakeholder feedback and expert judgement covers:

Part D: Synthesis covers:

Section D1: Integrating and interpreting results covers:

Section D2: Examples of national action plan evaluations covers:


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The widespread distribution and use of this product is encouraged free of charge, subject to recognition that the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Wales and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland are the lead organisations responsible for its development and maintenance and retain the copyright for ORGAPET.


Comments on ORGAPET content and enquiries concerning support with the application of ORGAPET are welcome:

Dr. Nic Lampkin, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Llanbadarn Campus, Aberystwyth, SY23 3AL, Wales. Tel: +44 (0)1970 622248. Fax: +44 (0)1970 611264

Mr. Otto Schmid, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Ackerstrasse, Postfach, CH-5070 Frick, Switzerland. Tel: +41 62 865 7272. Fax: +41 62 865-7273.


The editors acknowledge the contribution of the individual authors indicated in each section. For full details of the project partnership responsible for the development of ORGAPET, see The input of the project advisory committee, and the participants in the ORGAP workshops, into the design and refinement of ORGAPET is also gratefully acknowledged, as is the input of Ian Jeffreys into the creation of the electronic version of ORGAPET, and the input of Anne-Marie Sherwood into the final copy-editing and checking process.

ORGAPET has been developed as part of the EU project "European Action Plan for organic food and farming - Development of criteria and evaluation procedures for the evaluation of the EU Action Plan for Organic Agriculture” (ORGAP:, CT-2005-006591). The editors and authors gratefully acknowledge financial support for this project from the Commission of the European Communities under the Sixth Framework Programme for European Research and Technological Development (Priority 8.1 Policy-oriented Research (SSP), Area 8.1.1 Sustainable management of Europe’s natural resources: B. 1.2 Tools and assessment methods for sustainable agriculture.)


The content of ORGAPET does not necessarily reflect the Commission’s views and in no way anticipates the Commission’s future policy in this area. The contents of ORGAPET are the sole responsibility of the editors and the authors indicated in each section. The information contained herein, including any expression of opinion and any projection or forecast, has been obtained from sources believed by the authors to be reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. The information is supplied without obligation and on the understanding that any person who acts upon it or otherwise changes his/her position in reliance thereon does so entirely at his/her own risk.