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Title: A critical appraisal of the socio-economic evaluation of agri-environmental policy : the case of ESAs
Author: Skerratt, Sarah
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
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The UK programme for Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) began its implementation in 1987/88 with the designation of 19 ESAs. Since then, 18 more ESAs have been designated to date. Concurrent with this programme has been the legislation concerning the monitoring of ESAs (Agriculture Act 1986, Section 18[8]) "designed to identify any significant changes to wildlife, landscape or historic features which occur after designation" (Hooper [1992]). In addition to the monitoring of ESAs, MAFF commissioned a series of Socio-Economic Evaluations. The Thesis comprises a Critical Appraisal of this evaluation programme, with reference to a specific case study: The Socio-Economic Evaluation of Breadalbane ESA. The Critical Appraisal builds on government-published guidelines for policy evaluation, and upon farm-level research from a number of disciplines which highlights the complexity of the policy recipients' contexts. The discussion also examines the development of the ESA policy as an indicator of the significant shift in norms of environmental obligation faced by individuals and institutions within the farming industry. Further, the MAFF Evaluation of Breadalbane ESA is examined in detail in the light of specific farm-level data gathered through the 1993/4 Fieldwork, subsequent to the MAFF Evaluation itself. The discussion points to data omissions, concealment and inaccuracies, as well as the underlying conceptual emphases and assumptions consistent with overall government guidelines. The primary conclusion is the conventional approaches and methods applied within the MAFF Evaluation have resulted in poor analysis. When the specific implications of a continued adherence to this dominant tradition are outlined, it becomes evident that such an Evaluation scenario can no longer be justified.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available