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Developing rural services

Part 3
Some tools


Tool sheet 3
Fine tuning the improvement of services


This tool makes it possible to carry out a more in-depth analysis of the gaps between supply and demand, notably in terms of quality and personalisation of services.

Step 1: Analysis of specific needs and of the degree of satisfaction of each socio-professional category, age group, etc.

This analysis can be conducted through:

  • a survey of the community;
  • the setting up of meeting points, offices (fixed or mobile) for centralising people’s opinions, wishes, complaints, suggestions, etc.

Step 2: Processing and codifying gathered data

Giving form to a certain number of the types of demand expressed, in terms of:

  • types of services demanded;
  • particular expectations (flexibility of timetables, customisation of the service, etc.);
  • number and distribution of the services.

Step 3: Identifying the possibilities of putting in place a service that corresponds to each type of demand and to the quality required

  • who could provide the services?
  • can existing services be used to reduce costs?
  • what agreements, investment in equipment, training, etc. would be required?

A centre providing services and counselling for citizens was opened within a police station in Newstead (England, United Kingdom), an area with high levels of unemployment and crime as a result of the closure of a local coal mine in 1987. The centre comprises an education and training section for adults and a mobile health service. It enables the police to establish a feeling of trust with the community, to develop preventive measures and to guide the users of the centre to other social services. Certain services are also provided during the night, especially those relating to assistance for young people [10].

Step 4: Attaining the critical mass needed to make the service viable

Reaching multi-area agreements between several public authorities.

“Samaritel” provides a distance personalised service to the elderly in the province of Luxembourg (Walloonia, Belgium). The service functions 24 hours a day in several districts from one single centre of operation. The users of the service can alert the centre simply by pressing a button on a bleeper that they carry with them and the centre immediately alerts the nearest and most suitable help [11].


[10] Source: Malcolm Moseley and Gavin Parker , op. cit.

[11] Source: LEADER Europe Observatory -
Innovative actions of rural development -
factsheet n° S05

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