Social Partnership and the Evolution of LEADER in Ireland

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Social Partnership and the Evolution of LEADER in Ireland - NLFL Convention - Canada - November 2009

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Social Partnership and the Evolution of LEADER in Ireland

  1. 1. Social Partnership and the Evolution of LEADER in Ireland Paul Keating NLFL Convention National Centre For Rural Development Nov 2009 Tipperary Institute Ireland
  2. 2. The Context • Rural - Regional • National - EU level • Social Partnership • Local Development • LEADER in Ireland
  3. 3. Rural Context • Rural Population – Dublin - 33% – 4 cities - 7% – 60 % live in “Rural” Ireland, 40% outside Towns – 28% of all employment is rural based – 15% of rural employed work in Agriculture
  4. 4. Employment by Sector
  5. 5. Teagasc conference 2008
  6. 6. Ireland Teagasc conference 2008
  7. 7. Rural and Regional Development 1. EU policy is all about the regions 2. Transfer of funds to Rural Development 3. National policy emphasise on regional spatial approach. 4. All areas have gained but gaps and vulnerabilities remain
  8. 8. Impact of regional perspective
  9. 9. National Context
  10. 10. National Context /Crisis • Reality of Ireland in the late ‘80s – Migration/Emigration, Unemployment, Conflict, Rural Identity, Investment in Education • Impetus for Action – Increasing Social/Political Unrest, EU Membership, External Fiscal Intervention
  11. 11. Early 1980s – macro • High inflation economic perspective • 200 strikes in 1984 • 19% unemployment • 250k people left in the • Rising income tax 1980s
  12. 12. Action • National Governance Initiative – National Economic and Social Council, Social Partnership • Economic Initiative – Political Consensus on Economic Measures, Fiscal Controls, Planned External Investment (Structural Funds and Inward Investment) • Local Development – Establishment of local partnerships and LEADER – Reform of local government to include “participative democracy” – Establishment of County Development Boards
  13. 13. Local/Regional Development in Ireland
  14. 14. Models of Local Development 1. Rural Development • Local geographic communities • Focus on Enterprise and service provision • Mentoring, Grant provision and Interagency collaboration. 2. Community Development • Focus on Communities of interest • Commitment to Social Justice/Inclusion • Emphasis on consciousness raising and collective action
  15. 15. Models of Local Development 3. Co-operativism • Agricultural co-operatives (processing / marketing) • Community co-operatives (Group water, tourism, small enterprise) • Credit Unions 4. Private enterprise and the market • Economic development based on investment has generally been urban biased. • Private Enterprise has interfaced with local government • Community sector has filled the gaps (social sports, heritage..etc..)
  16. 16. The Emergence of Local Partnerships (Rural Development) • 1991- LEADER established with 17 companies distributing €44m to 64% of Rural Social Scheme rural areas • 1994 - LEADER expanded to 34 groups covering all rural areas and managing €99m Enterprise Rural Community public funds and Services LEADER Transport • Framework defined and co- funded by the EU commission. Other
  17. 17. The Emergence of Local Partnerships (Community Development) • 1992 - Establishment of 12 Partnership Companies in special areas of Community disadvantage, urban and Childcare rural. • 1994 - Expanded to 38 partnerships (18 rural) distributing approx €100m Social inclusion Partnerships Community Development • Co-ordination was by a central partnership committee at national level. Social Economy
  18. 18. • 12 of the companies had Cohesion been integrated since 1994 • In rural areas membership Process of the two boards overlapped. Rural Social • Not all rural areas had a Scheme Community Transport social inclusion programme. Community Childcare Rural • It was anticipated that in Enterprise and LEADER excess of €1B would be Services delivered through the two Community programmes between Partnerships Development 2007 and 2013. Other • Cohesion process imposed in 2006 Social Social inclusion Economy
  19. 19. LEADER
  20. 20. The LEADER method 1. THE AREA BASED APPROACH 2. THE LOCAL ACTION GROUP 3.THE BOTTOM UP APPROACH 4. INNOVATION 5. INTEGRATION/PARTNERSHIP 6. CO-OPERATION CO- 7. FINANCIAL MEASURES
  21. 21. The LEADER method European Framework for Local Action Group • Population Base – Between 10,000 and 100,000 inhabitants (1992-2007) – 5000-150,000 (2007-2013) 2007-2013 is the forth • Regions vary in size programming period, with – 477km2 (ADRAMA in Portugal) – 14,425km2 (PPKRY in Finland) 1500+ LAGs across EU • Varying Governance Structures distributing €15Billion in – Limited companies in Ireland public funds – Requirement for multi-sectoral representation
  22. 22. The LEADER method • Local Action Groups Compile and implement a Strategic plan with specific measures. – Training – Analysis and Development – Innovative rural enterprises/ – Rural Tourism – Alternative agriculture, forestry and fisheries products – Village enhancement. – Environmentally friendly initiatives – Animation and capacity building
  23. 23. Typical Irish LEADER Local Action Group • Covers an Area of 2000km2 • Serves a Population of 100,000 people • Is a Non-for-Profit Limited Company • Administers an annual LEADER budget of €1m+. • Has a voluntary board of management made up of local politicians, community representatives, private industry representatives and state sector representatives. • Employs 5 people to manage LEADER and up to 100 on other programmes. • Represents the interests of the rural development sector on local and regional committees and organisations. • Is involved in farm enterprise development , community development, tourism, renewable energy, training, planning, research and analysis.
  24. 24. LEADER In Ireland • Institutional Strengths – Established and Expanded Legitimacy through EARDF – 36 LAGs with Full National Coverage – Strategic Partner of the Department of Community Rural & Gaelteacht Affairs – Integrated with the social inclusion programme • Resource Strengths – Mechanism to Access EU Programmes • EARDF (500 Million Euro) • INTEREG, PEACE, EQUAL, LEARNADO, SOCRATES, Carrefour – Mechanism to Roll-Out National Rural Development Programmes • Rural Social Scheme (2500 employees) • Rural Transport Initiative
  25. 25. The Enamlers??Critical Factors 1 On the Ground – Community Commitment and Cohesion – Shared Need 2 At Institutional Level – The political will – The opportunity and legitimacy 3 The Capacity of the LAGs – The structure – The people
  26. 26. 1 Situation on the Ground Public Awareness of the Concept or the model being used. – We had A History of Bottom Up Rural Development. – Post colonial drive for self-sufficiency, Muintir na Tire, Co- operative Action A Political or Institutional “Vacuum” – Centralised Government ineffective at local level – Tradition of community politics Strong Homogenous Rural Communities – Dominant position of Agriculture – Close knit but outward looking communities
  27. 27. 1 Situation on the Ground A need for action – Rural Ireland was in Crisis • High levels of rural unemployment /underemployment • Significant urban migration and chronic emigration • Under developed rural services and infrastructure Consensus what needs to be tackled – Jobs first and then services Significant commitment to local action – Within the community – At institutional level – Nationally
  28. 28. 2 The Institutional Situation • External Political Support – Consensus on the need for integrated local action – Political Commitment to Social Partnership • Adoption of a strong organisational model – Independent structure as the model of local partnership – Requirement on the part of State agencies to participate
  29. 29. 2 The Institutional Situation • Money provides the fuel – Emergence of Structural funds and LEADER. – Proactive approach of civil service to access and exploit EU funds to a maximum. • Legitimacy for the LAGs – EU funding gives legitimacy – Strong, well organised and demanding community sector
  30. 30. 3 The Capacity of the LAGs • Positive Leadership – Significant numbers of positive and skilled community leaders – Voluntary ethos on boards. • Proactive Capacity Building – National and Regional Management and skills training programmes
  31. 31. 3 The Capacity of the LAGs • Predevelopment Work – Strong tradition of Local Action – Established Organisational models • Clear organisational structure and role – Clear legal structure (ltd company) – Clear operational guidelines – Locally developed action plan • Careful Building of the Structure – Gradual build-up of the Programme – Strong Network – Flexible and Consistent Enforcement
  32. 32. Lessons to Be Learnt from Ireland • The LEADER approach works as a way of stimulating enterprise & improving quality of life. • It needs time and commitment at all levels. • Partnership is based on trust and a shared commitment between politicians, private enterprise, community and state sectors. • This trust must be built locally. • You need champions and models to lead and to encourage.
  33. 33. Evolving the LEADER Approach • Coherent LEADERSHIP in rural Development is needed now more than ever. – The LEADER approach must genuinely become integrated/collaborative across programmes/agencies. – We must develop a strategic approach to policy which is complimentary to practice. – Document, Analyse, Present.
  34. 34. “Rural Development needs to secure its identity, build its confidence, define its goals, find its voice and lead!!“ Trim Tab Paul Keating : Tipperary Institute ppkeating@tippinst.ie ++ 353 (0) 504 28115

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