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Enhancing Rural Innovation and Sustainability Through Impact Assessment: A Review of Methods and Tools

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, E.T.S.I. Agronómica, Alimentaria y de Biosistemas, Avda, Puerta de Hierro, 2 - 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6559; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166559
Received: 15 June 2020 / Revised: 8 August 2020 / Accepted: 10 August 2020 / Published: 13 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
Assessing impacts in innovation contexts/settings with the aim of fostering sustainability requires tackling complex issues. Literature shows that key sources of this complexity relate to the need to integrate the local context; identify the underlying problems; engage key stakeholders; and reflect on their feedback throughout the innovation process. A systematic literature review on innovation impact assessment reveals that social impacts have been the most studied, thus, where promising methods and tools were used. Nevertheless, there are many unresolved issues beyond assessing social impacts in innovation processes. Literature highlights that building on co-creating innovation processes that respond to stakeholders’ real needs and context, and adapting to changing circumstances by integrating timely feedback from stakeholders are two critical challenges calling for a systems thinking approach. This study proposes Developmental Evaluation (DE) as a systemic approach to evaluation which supports adaptive development in complex environments and that adds value by integrating continuous feedback from diverse stakeholders. As a non-prescriptive evaluation approach in terms of methods and tools, DE can provide meaningful guidance to use diverse methods and tools in furthering ongoing development and adaptation in innovation processes by linking the evaluation activities—impact assessment among them—with the DE principles that are situational, adaptive and continuously responsive. View Full-Text
Keywords: developmental evaluation; evaluation methods; impact assessment; innovation; sustainable rural development developmental evaluation; evaluation methods; impact assessment; innovation; sustainable rural development
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, S.Y.; Díaz-Puente, J.M.; Vidueira, P. Enhancing Rural Innovation and Sustainability Through Impact Assessment: A Review of Methods and Tools. Sustainability 2020, 12, 6559. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166559

AMA Style

Lee SY, Díaz-Puente JM, Vidueira P. Enhancing Rural Innovation and Sustainability Through Impact Assessment: A Review of Methods and Tools. Sustainability. 2020; 12(16):6559. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166559

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lee, So Y., José M. Díaz-Puente, and Pablo Vidueira. 2020. "Enhancing Rural Innovation and Sustainability Through Impact Assessment: A Review of Methods and Tools" Sustainability 12, no. 16: 6559. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166559

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