About the Programme Monitoring Committee

Programme Monitoring Committees are established to monitor the implementation of EU funded programmes such as the Rural Development Programme, Investment in Growth and Jobs Programme (ERDF and ESF), PEACE and INTERREG.

The requirement for a Monitoring Committee for the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme is set out in European regulations.



The main requirements of the Committee are:

  • To oversee the implementation of the Rural Development Programme;
  • Consider the selection criteria for various measures of the Programme;
  • Consider any amendments to the Programme;
  • Approve annual implementation reports before submission to the European Commission.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is the Managing Authority for the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme. The secretariat to the Monitoring Committee is provided by the Rural Development Programme Management Branch within DAERA.

In addition to monitoring the current 2014-2020 NI Rural Development Programme, the Committee also has responsibility for overseeing the completion of the 2007-2013 NI Rural Development Programme. Documents in relation to this Programme will be made available on the DAERA website.



There are three types of attendees at Monitoring Committee meetings: full members, advisors and observers.

There are 24 full members of the Monitoring Committee who can take part in discussions at meetings and have the right to participate in decision making. A list of the organisations that are full members of the Monitoring Committee is below and cover each of the Programme Objectives. Some full member organisations have more than one representative appointed to the Committee.

Objective 1 - Competitiveness: 7 Members

  • Ulster Farmers Union (2 members)
  • Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association (2 members)
  • Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster 
  • Invest NI  

Objective 2 - Environment: 5 Members

  • RSPB 
  • Ulster Wildlife Trust 
  • National Trust 
  • Council for Nature Conservation 
  • Northern Ireland Environment Agency 

Objective 3 - Rural Development: 6 Members

  • Northern Ireland Rural Women’s Network 
  • Rural Community Network 
  • Rural Support Networks 
  • Northern Ireland Tourist Board 
  • Gaelic Athletic Association 

Cross-cutting organisations: 6 Members

  • Local Government (5 members)
  • Disability Action (1 member)


Advisors to the Monitoring Committee may participate in discussions at meetings and may provide advice or information on a particular topic, but they do not take part in decision making. Advisors are usually drawn from the Managing Authority, or involved in the monitoring and evaluation of the Programme. A representative of the EU Commission may also attend the Monitoring Committee in an advisory/observer capacity.

Observers are individuals or members of organisations with an interest in the Programme, who have been invited to attend meetings by the Managing Authority. Observers do not participate in discussions at meetings and do not take part in decision making.



The Committee meets at least twice per year, with additional meetings scheduled if necessary.



The Managing Authority may appoint sub groups to focus on particular thematic areas relevant to the Rural Development Programme. Each sub group will consist of at least 2 full members of the Monitoring Committee, with advisors attending as required. Other stakeholders, who are not full members of the Monitoring Committee, may also be invited to participate in sub groups at the invitation of the Managing Authority. Sub groups will be chaired by a member of the Managing Authority and will report to the Monitoring Committee.



The NI Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 is worth in the region of £623m, funded through EU funding, DAERA and NI Executive funding. A range of priorities are included within the Programme.  Reporting to the Monitoring Committee on the progress of the Programme will be on the basis of the six European priorities for rural development, and the schemes that contribute to those priorities.