Dr. Maura Farrell - Shaping Intervention for Sustainable Rural Development

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  • Rural areas are constantly changing – have always changed and will always change – but contemporary rural change is different and in many respects can be defined by two distinct characteristics: the pace and persistence of change and the totality and interconnectivity of change. The pace and persistence of change is reflected in the rural economy and society and the constant and persistent changes that we witness almost on a daily basis. Let it be the closure of the local shop, post office or garda station or the fact that your child constantly speaks of friends that families are neither from the area nor may not even have a name that you can pronounce very well.
  • For a development partnership such as the West Cork Development Partnership not just to survive but also to thrive it is imperative that they tap into the innovative practice of many rural inhabitants that they witness the resilience of the rural population and they capitalise on it for the future development of rural areas and they utilise the communtiy spirit that exists within all rural communities
  • The full title of the DERREG EU Framework 7 project is “Developing Europe’s Rural Regions in the Era of Globalisation: An interpretative Model for better anticipating and responding to challenges for regional development in an evolving international context.
  • The DERREG project is an EU Framework seven project and is funded under Theme 8 – the Socio – Economic Sciences and Humanities The projects is of 3 years duration
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  • Dr. Maura Farrell - Shaping Intervention for Sustainable Rural Development

    1. 1. Dr. Maura Farrell NUI Galway West Cork Development PartnershipRural Development Conference 30 th November
    2. 2.  Personal Introduction Rural Ireland – Spaces of Change Shaping Intervention – via – DERREG Research Key Research Outcomes – Relating to: ◦ Innovation ◦ Resilience ◦ Community Spirit in Challenging Times
    3. 3. Lecturer - Discipline of Geography, NUI GalwayLecturing Research Undergraduate PhD ResearchAgricultural Change and Agricultural Change and Rural SustainabilityRural Development Most recent Research Masters in Rural DERREG Sustainability
    4. 4.  Rural areas were always spaces of change But.. Contemporary Rural Change is different and can be distinguished by two characteristics: 1. The pace and persistence of change  Rural economy and society are changing constantly and rapidly  Driven by new technologies and social reform. 1. Totality and Interconnectivity of change  Rural areas tightly interconnected by global social and economic processes.
    5. 5.  For Development Partnership to ‘Tap Into’Innovative Practices ; witness Rural Resilience andCommunity Spirit they must: Acknowledge Change Embrace Variety See Potential in Difference Support Innovation
    6. 6. Providing Examples of Good Practice DERREG Research Project
    7. 7. Developing Europe’s Rural Regions in the Era of Globalisation: An Interpretative Model for Better Anticipating and Responding toChallenges for Regional Developmentin an Evolving International Context
    8. 8. Seventh Framework Programme - Theme 8 – Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities - Project – 36 Months Duration – 7 partners- Aberystwyth University (Lead Partner) (Wales)- Geography Department, NUI, Galway- Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (Germany)- Mendel University (Czech Republic)- Institute NeVork, Slovenia- Nordregio Centre for Spatial Development (Sweden)- Saarland University (Germany)- Ljubljana University (Slovenia)- Wageningen University, The Netherlands
    9. 9. Case Study Regions- Sweden- West Of Ireland- Lithuania- Spain- Slovenia-Goriska- Slovenia-Pomurska- Czech Republic- Netherlands- Germany-Dresden- Germany-Saarland
    10. 10. 1. Global Engagement and Local Embeddedness of Rural Businesses2. Environmental Capital and Sustainable Rural Development3. International Mobility and Migration of Rural Populations4. Capacity Building, Governance and Knowledge Systems5. Synthesis and Contextualisation of Research and Development of an Interpretative Model
    11. 11. Environmental Capital and Sustainable Rural Development
    12. 12. - Central Objective To examine the repositioning of forestry within the Border Midlands and West (BMW) Region of Ireland under influence from the interaction of global, regional and local environmental discourses, including the relative positioning of productivist forestry.
    13. 13.  Primary production - no longer mainstay of rural areas (Woods, 2011). Diversification – may ensure farm viability for farm family - but also huge advantage as a wider rural development initiative Forestry as a diversification initiative - represents many functions: ◦ Product value ◦ Amenity value ◦ Recreation ◦ Energy
    14. 14. EU Policy Irish Policy  Ireland - Policy document EU Rural Development ‘Growing for the Future’ (1996) and Forestry Policy: increase in forestry cover from forestry has a role in realising 4.8% in 1993 to 17% by 2035. rural development objectives, Currently 10%. promoting employment , improving well-being and the environment.  Afforestation Scheme - provides forestry grants and Competitiveness of agriculture premiums – incentives to plant and forestry is at the core of Axis 1 of the EU’s Rural Development Policy.
    15. 15.  Five Dimensions 1. Collection of Statistical Data 2. Documentary Analysis 3. Media Analysis 4. Individual Interviews - Key stakeholders 5. Identification of best practice examples of forestry initiatives
    16. 16.  Forestry increasingly viewed as an important element of sustaining the rural , but considerable challenges, in particular, ‘buy in’ from farmers. Nonetheless, - increase in farmer and non-farmer planting and a decline in state planting – from 4.8% in 1993 to 10%. On-farm diversification relating to forestry was evident – But….. Little effect on wider rural development.
    17. 17. County Clare Wood Energy ProjectAfforestation as a RuralDevelopment Initiative
    18. 18. Example – County Clare Wood Energy Project.Clare Local Development Company & Teagasc.Created a commercially viable wood energy sector.Thinning cluster; Supply chain and knowledgetransfer and information staff.
    19. 19.  Forestry is suitably placed to: ◦ Help maintain viable rural communities ◦ To stimulate rural development ◦ Provide alternative/additional rural activities for enterprise, employment etc. ◦ Afforestation is an effective farm diversification policy for the farming community, however, ◦ without putting additional structures in place it is not effective as a wider rural development initiative.
    20. 20. Capacity Building, Governance and Knowledge Systems
    21. 21.  Considered the importance of governance arrangements to facilitate the development of grassroots initiatives at the regional and local level, particularly in answering the increasing challenges of globalizing forces. Examples of specific interfaces/common boundaries Illustrate diversity of arrangements and interfaces Reveal extent of existing and potential learning and innovation capacity in a rural context Highlight nature of blockages and constraints 22
    22. 22.  Firstly - identified public strategies which support learning, innovation and capacity building in a rural and regional development context within the BMW Region Secondly – carried out a review of the selected grassroots initiatives in terms of support of joint learning and innovation - focusing on support arrangements based on main criteria of initiation, expertise and facilitation, and finance. 10 initiatives selected – narrowed to 4 initiatives.
    23. 23. West of Ireland – County Roscommon Úna Bhán Tourism Co-operative Roscommon Home Services Grassroots Kilbride Community development Interfaces or Devt Co-operative initiatives CommonGleeson’s Townhouse Boundaries And Artisan Foods Ros. Co. Co. Pobal RIDC FAS CEB n no of t io Su pol va in n & t io pp icie ng lita or s tin ni ci EU ar Fa g Teagasc Government Departments Local development St. Angela’s College BMW Regional Assembly le prioritised VEC LEADER WDC Education and ‘Public Administration’ Advisory function 24
    24. 24.  Example 1: Local ‘agency’ collective interfacing Example 2: Pobal; Example 3: Gleeson’s Town House and Artisan Foods: 25
    25. 25. Local ‘Agency’ Collective Interfacing • Strong inter-agency co-operation • Shared committee membership • A good overview of development needs - • Example: Training needs analysis of micro- enterprises • Informal collaboration as effort to set locally- relevant development agenda • Constrained operational and funding remits (set at national level) • ‘subcontractors’ of government? (Jones, 2001) 26
    26. 26. Pobal (Agency) Interfaces • Delivery agency for government NDP programmes • Social inclusion/equality focus • Parameters clearly set • One-to-one project support via local area case officer (CO) • Familiarity with project context • Nature of project/CO relations - Key to maximising project benefits within set parameters 27
    27. 27.  From 1996 - Townhouse, Restaurant 2007 - Artisan Food Shop - consolidating locally-based food connection Place-based identity with high quality local food production Informal networks with local producers BMW Voucher Innovation Scheme (marketing local produce in shop) RIDC’s “Roscommon Food Showcase” initiative – assistance with project planning Gleeson’s as RIDC main promoters on this project Catalyst for drawing in other producers Membership of Good Food Ireland Network (i.e. accessing international network) International (global) dimension essential to marketing But, local agencies vital in consolidating local base 28
    28. 28. Direct forms of support and facilitationNone of the grassroots initiatives could operate without funding supports….However, observed need for more flexibility in interpreting the way in whichfunding could be applied.Certain conditions and parameters attaching to funding (driven by nationalimperatives) - can dilute core aims of initiatives – as they make decisions to‘trade off’ between securing funding to keep them operating, or trying to goalone without support.Level of paperwork and perceived ‘red-tape’ - applying for funding could bebetter streamlined - reflecting the voluntary nature of the initiatives.
    29. 29. Indirect forms of support and facilitationFormal and informal networking - vital for exchange of information and developing systems of mutualsupport and facilitation.For Example:The on-going involvement of agencies - a core part of the value in this networking – they have abilityto act as interface between initiatives and government (main provider of finance)They are in the position to provide key information and advice on funding and other capacity-buildingopportunities such as training, or to guide initiatives in the case of major policy changes.They provide more informal support through their ability to link initiatives with each other or with otheragencies.E.g. Agencies in County Roscommon - representatives on each other’s management boards -facilitates - on-going flow of information and knowledge
    30. 30.  Linking initiatives and networking initiatives – hugely important Achieved through representatives from organisations or initiatives occupying places on agency boards of management. Links between the initiatives surveyed and third level institutes were almost non-existent. Support from local communities for initiatives was regarded as an important dimension that would ultimately help to build capacity and ensure success. However, it would appear that levels of local awareness and support varied and were not by any means assured. If there is not support and buy-in from the local community, then an important layer in the knowledge and capacity- building process is missing.
    31. 31. DERREG Project Research showed: Good Practice Example showed: ◦ Innovation ◦ Resilience ◦ Community Spirit in Challenging TimesSignificance of Rural Agencies as the interfacebetween RD initiatives/organisations andgovernment for the continued sustainability anddevelopment of rural spaces.
    32. 32. Thank You 33

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