The ARTISAN project will contribute to the understanding of how rural telematic applications can best contribute to rural development.
The project will develop a coherent evaluation methodology which will subsequently be applied to ORA and other rural telematics trials.
The three main objectives of the project are:
- to help pilot projects learn from the process of implementatlon and the results of the applications
- to develop and pilot appropriate methods for evaluating telematics as a contribution to rural development
- to prepare good practice guidelines, both for evaluation and for the future introduction of rural telematic applications.
Orientation to Evaluation
The evaluation process is seen as being about learning, as well as about the process of innovation and its outcomes.
Evaluation should meet the needs of different 'stakeholders': including pilot projects, the CEC and other rural development and telematic actors.
The ARTISAN project will work alongside the pilot projects in their own self-evaluations as well as conduct independent studies.
The strategy adopted involves three main elements.
(i)Supporting and building on pilot projects' own evaluations
(ii) Independent qualitative case studies
(iii) Techno-economic studies.
The scope of the ARTISAN evaluation is not confined to ORA funded pilots. First, other telematic applications in rural areas will be included in order to understand existing good practice and help develop evaluation methods. Second, some new and significant rural telematic applications funded under other DG XIII programmes, such as RACE and DELTA, will also be included in the planned evaluation.
The main elements of the workplan and how they link together are outlined in the accompanying diagram.
The diagram underlines a number of the design features of ARTISAN Workplan:
(i)The preliminary specification of methods (WP2) is expected to contribute both to the evaluation of ORA pilots and to the assessment of ongoing rural telematic application
(ii) The three main elements of the evaluation - WPs 4, 5 & 7 overlap and are intended to reinforce each other. Thus qualitative case-studies will complement techno-economic studies and the guidelines for pilot self-evaluations will encourage pilots to consider similar issues to those that ARTISAN's own case-studies will address.
(iii) The synthesis - of evaluation methods and lessons regarding rural telematics - draws on both the outcomes of the evaluation activities and consideration of rural telematic experience prior to ORA.
Two main frameworks underpin the approach adopted by ARTISAN.
1. Telematic applications will be examined from a 'life-cycle' viewpoint. The various stages of an applications life-cycle will be considered, This will include the introduction, implementation, diffusion and impact of telematic applications in a rural context. Reasons for the failure of post rural applications will also be considered within this framework.
2. Telematic applications will also be considered within a 'systems' context. The links between the different elements of regional and national systems will therefore be addressed, e.g. the relative role and influence of regional socio- economics, IT infrastructure and rural development policies on telematic applications.
As an evaluation project ARTISAN is interdependent with many other ORA projects. It will draw on the outputs of typology and database Projects; and ARTISAN's milestones are linked with those of Task 2.2.1 for part of its work.
Most centrally we see ourselves as working with - and being a resource to pilot applications. We anticipate a high level inter-action between ARTISAN and their projects both in and out of concertation meetings.
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