Innovation, performance and improvement of Australia’s rural industries is largely driven by investment in research, development, technology transfer and adoption.
In 2014-15, the 15 Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) invested around $580 million per year in RD&E to improve the profitability and sustainability of rural industries and communities. The funding is a combination of levies on production paid by producers, and contributions from government, paid by taxpayers.
As managers and stewards of this money on behalf of the government and industry, it is imperative that the RDCs are fully accountable and transparent for expenditures, and able to demonstrate the impact and performance of the work they do.
To assist this program all RDCs support and have implemented a set of guidelines for impact assessment (updated 2014). An analysis of evaluation and performance activities across the RDCs identified 288 documents and evaluation artefacts generated between 2009 and 2015. Work is underway to collate this material and make a directory of reports publicly available.
In 2016 the Council of Rural RDCs commissioned Agtrans Research and Consulting, AgEconPlus Consulting and EconSearch to review the completed evaluations and generate an aggregated analysis of the results. The report from this project is available now: 161021 CRRDC Cross-RDC Impact Assessment 2010-2015 [FINAL REPORT].
Follow the links below to download:
- The Council of Rural RDCs Impact Assessment Guidelines, which provide guidance and establish criteria for the RDCs and consultants when conducting economic evaluations of RD&E investments
- Accompanying the guidelines is a revised Procedures Document, which provides advice on what will be evaluated and how it will be aggregated
- The Companion Document explains key changes between the current and previous versions of these guidelines and procedures
- The report from the aggregated impact assessment completed in 2008 (Measuring economic, environmental and social returns from Rural Research and Development Corporations’ investment)
- The report from the impact assessment analysis published in January 2010 (Impact of investment in research and development by the Rural Research and Development Corporations)
The next analysis from the RDCs aggregating results across multiple impact assessments is scheduled for 2018.