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07.3 Community based research. Outcomes and impact in transitioning rural regions

Thursday, June 29, 2023
11:00 - 12:30


Stefan Niedermoser
LEADER-forum Austria

How can leader/clld practically become an instrument of transformation?


Initial situation and problem: How to reorient the work of a LAG in a time of triple challenge? It is about local transformation management in the process of comprehensive ecological, economic and social changes. To what extent can the participation of civil society in particular via the LAG as an organizational form be expedient? How can the communication of LEADER priorities become more understandable in this regard?
Goals and target groups: A redefinition of the LAG tasks is therefore needed: The goal is to establish the role as a public-private partnership with special expertise in innovation and transformation management and the role as a project manager "social entrepreneur" - from the funding advice center to the regional and at the same time transnational network office.
On the new role of local action groups: The LEADER/CLLD-typical network of local action groups is to be seen as a contribution to strengthening a participatory democracy in which communities, the private sector and civil society are given joint decision-making and co-financing tasks in a joint redesign of their environmental and living conditions. The principle of public-private co-financing appears to be a particularly effective participation indicator. In this context, the European policy function of the established LEADER region network, which is little known to the public, should not be overlooked.
In any case, global and local changes creates various forms of insecurity and uncertainty. Therefore, methods for urban and regional development that directly involve the population and are locally adapted are currently of particular importance.
Steven Ross
Research Assistant
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Co-creating Rural Resilience Pathways: Rural Area Typologies and their Applicability to Empirical, Community Based Research


While both urban and rural area find themselves in a continuous state of transition due to challenges such as Climate Change and Globalization, rural areas are especially vulnerable to ecosystem changes and face the additional threat of demographic decline, which presents itself as a long-term trend but can be exacerbated by short-term ecological and economic shocks that can strip rural areas’ internal capacity to respond resiliently to challenges.
Based on models of resilience in socio-ecological systems, expanded to highlight the role of agency in responding to challenges, our research studies several typical rural communities to better understand the current state of their robustness, resilience, and adaptation processes, as well as to identify measures to develop and improve those capacities. Participant communities were identified through an analysis and comparison of social, economic and ecological indicators, followed by the establishment of categories of rural areas. From each category we selected one area for further community-based research, highlighting citizen participation workshops. The workshops are designed to collaboratively establish the nature and scope of the challenges each area is facing, their self-identified strengths and weaknesses, and to hear first-hand about their visions for their future. The overarching goal of the project is to develop concrete governance measures that can be implemented at a local level and that can be enshrined in planning documents at the regional and state level.
Dr. Shane OSullivan
Technological University of the Shannon

The Role of Collaborative Governance in Strengthening Rural Resilience


The notion of ‘resilience’ is very much to the fore in public and policy discourse (OECD, 2020). The European Union has put resilience and innovation at the core of its climate adaptation and zero-carbon strategies (EU Green Deal, 2019). Regional policy, at the EU and member state levels, increasingly emphasises the sustainable development of regional and territorial resilience. Citizen and social movements are also advocating resilience, and are embracing initiatives such as Smart Villages as part of multi-pronged and integrated approaches to place-making. According to REBOUND (2023), a resilient rural community or territory has the capacity to utilise equilibrium or evolutionary approaches in order to respond to sudden socio-economic or environmental shocks. Furthermore, these locations have the capacity to continuously adapt to the multiple processes of change affecting them whilst strengthening their essential functions and structures, ensuring effective governance, as well as maintaining a satisfactory quality of life and well-being for their inhabitants (French, 2022; Brown and Shafft, 2018). The adoption and promotion of collaborative decision-making approaches (neo-endogenous, quadruple helix and /or community-led local development) and strategic action planning by all relevant stakeholders within a rural community or territory facing an existential crisis is critically important. This paper will explore the role collaborative governance plays in strengthening place-making and resilience within peripheral rural communities / territories through the provision of best practice case studies from Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia, Germany, Latvia and Poland.
Federica Ammaturo
Phd Candidate, Early Stage Researcher (msca-itn)
IRS, Leibniz Institute

Collaborative Working Practices in Rural Areas: the emergence of a trans-local community and the co-creation of value for rural development


The uneven territorial development produces disparities not only between urban and rural regions, but also among different rural areas. These disparities, extensively studied in academic research, result in socio-spatial configurations studied as wastescapes (Armiero M., 2021) or left-behind places (McKinnon D. et al., 2022) and ask for an urgent change in the approach used to investigate and implement development. In particular, rural development studies have shown that neither exogenous nor endogenous development approaches are perfect, and a Nexogenous concept (Bock B., 2016) is regarded today as a way to overcome the current limitations and promote a new paradigm for rural areas.

Based on these assumptions, and building on the literature on Collaborative Working Spaces (CWS) the research investigate Collaborative Working Practices (CWPs) and Spaces as an entry point for understanding the processes of local and trans-local collaboration between non-conventional actors operating in rural areas. The analysed case study is that of WWOOF (Worldwide Organisation of Organic Farmers), an international bottom-up community that combines placed-based and location-dependent CWPs in agriculture with trans-local networks and global connections.

The ongoing empirical research focuses on how CWPs co-create value in rural areas and eventually produce value spillovers related to tacit knowledge exchange, social innovation, and sustainable land governance. Moreover, through an applied research approach, the study highlights the challenges and opportunities of using ethnographic and participatory methods to build agency and empower rural (marginal) communities.

The research is part of a MSCA-ITN funded by the EU Commission (coral-itn.eu).

Session host

Elles Bulder
Hanze University of Applied Sciences

Korrie Melis
HAN University of Applied Sciences



Contact for questions about abstracts or registration: groningen@congressbydesign.com 

Contact for questions about the content of the programme: ruralgeo2023@rug.nl