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Partnerships for rural integrated development in Europe

Contract nr: FAIR-CT98-4445
Project nr: 4445
Project type: SC
Starting date: 01/02/1999
Duration: 24 months
Total cost: 1,033,000 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,033,000 EUR
Scientific Officer: Muriel Huybrechts
Research topic: Rural development policy
Acronym: PRIDE

The principal aim of the project is to explore how and how far locally focused partnerships do indeed stimulate rural development - as is by now generally claimed or assumed - and thereby to improve the theory of rural development and the practice of its delivery in the next period of Structural Fund expenditure.

The objectives of the 24 month project are:
1) to explore, in six EU member states, the effectiveness of local partnerships as a tool of rural development;
2) to explore the origin, development, structure and operation of such partnerships;
3) to identify those elements of partnership which induce or, conceivably, constrain development.

The work is being undertaken by six academic research units/institutes, based in the UK, Finland, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Spain. Most research is being concentrated on those six member states.

After an extensive literature review, fieldwork began with a questionnaire survey of 330 relevant local partnerships in the six member states plus Luxembourg and the Republic of Ireland. Then, in each of the six member states, four partnerships were subjected to detailed investigation - i.e. 24 partnerships in all. This analysis is in two stages, the first concerned the structure and operation of the partnership, the second their impact upon both the development of the local area and the partners themselves. A final stage of research will include the results of the case study work being validated by a further postal survey of the 330 partnerships surveyed earlier. A European workshop will be convened in January 2001 to consider the draft findings of this research before the Final Report is completed. Those benefiting from the research will include agencies involved in rural development at the European, national, regional or local levels, plus anyone involved in local partnerships with a development remit. More fundamentally, rural residents and firms stand to benefit, especially those in disadvantaged areas, as the research is designed to help the cost-effective stimulation of integrated rural development and employment, the quality of local decision-making and the involvement of local people and interest groups.

Current situation/results:
Situation in February 2000: The research is proceeding as set out in the plan described above. The research teams are currently (early March 2000) completing the first phase of the fieldwork - that concerned with the structure and operation of 24 partnerships


Book: The literature review has been published in book form - Local Partnerships and Rural Development in Europe: A Literature Review of Practice and Theory - Contact the Swedish partner, Dr Westholm, for details

Malcolm John MOSELEY
Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education
Countryside and Community Research Unit
Francis Close Hall
Swindon Road
UK-GL5O 4AZ Cheltenham
Tel.: +44 1242 54 35 57
Fax: +44 1242 54 32 73


  • Javier P. ESPARCIA
    Universitat de Valencia
    Department de Geografia
    Apartado 22060
    E-46080 Valencia
    Tel.: +34 96 398 33 18
    Fax: +34 96 386 42 49

    Universita della Calabria (UNICAL)
    Departimento di Sociologia e Scienza Politica (DSPS)
    Via P. Bucci
    I-87030 Rende (CS)
    Tel.: +39 09 84 49 25 17
    Fax: +39 09 84 40 13 24

  • Günter KROES
    Universität Dortmund
    Institut fuer raumplanung
    D-44221 Dortmund
    Tel.: +49 231 755 23 78
    Fax: +49 231 755 25 08

    Dalarnas Forskningsrad
    (Dalarna Research Institute)
    Box 743
    S-791 29 Falun
    Tel.: +46 23 394 70
    Fax: +46 23 394 89

  • Juha NIEMELA
    University of Helsinki
    Seinajoki Institute for Rural Research and Training - SIRRT
    Keskuskatu 34
    FIN-60100 Seinajoki
    Tel.: +358 6 4213 330
    Fax: +358 6 4213 301
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