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Reconciling the different dimensions of rural: the role of the rural animator Betty-Ann Bryce Administrator Rural Development Programme Regional Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Reconciling the different dimensions of rural: the role of the rural animator Betty-Ann Bryce Administrator Rural Development Programme Regional Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reconciling the different dimensions of rural: the role of the rural animator Betty-Ann Bryce Administrator Rural Development Programme Regional Development Policy Division Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate

2 Roadmap 1.About OECD Rural Programme 2.Common trends in Rural areas 3.Rural Policy and the New Rural Paradigm 4.Common policy threads 5.Rural areas: opportunities and growth 6.Role of the animator


4 Rural Development Programme work First phase Second phase Third phase Rural Studies > Mexico, Germany Finland, Scotland UK, Netherlands Spain, Italy, China 2006 The New Rural Paradigm 2007 Cáceres, Spain 2006, Edinburgh, Scotland 2005, Oaxaca, Mexico 2004, Virginia, US 2002, Siena, Italy October 2012 Krasnoyarsk, Russia Rural (and Territorial) Database Rural Case Studies Policy Analysis Micro-Regions (Mexico) Extremadura, (Spain) Basque Country (Spain) Tuscany (Italy) Lake Balaton (Hungary) Crete (Greece) Active Regions (Germany) Local Strategic Partnerships (UK) Community Futures Programme (Canada) Turuel (Spain) Sumerke (Greece), Siena (Italy) Rural Conferences Rural Policy ReviewsForthcoming Rural Publications Cologne, Germany Renewable Energy Multi-Level Local Governance: Italy Rural-Urban links Renewable Energy Multi-Level Local Governance: Italy Rural-Urban links Innovation and Modernising Rural economies Innovation and Modernising Rural economies England, UK Québec, CA Rural Services 2009 Québec Canada

5 Common trends in rural areas

6 Common trends in Rural areas Each nation has roughly the same rural issues: »Declining role of agriculture and a historic rural policy focus on agriculture »Aging demographics »Increasing demands for more and better public services »Tension between preservation and development »Difficulty in devolving power to lower levels »Only a vague sense of new economic opportunities »For EU countries an additional problem of reconciling EU priorities with national priorities

7 Common trends in rural areas changing economic profiles of rural economies Farming is still important but employment opportunities in agriculture are declining. Difficulty establishing the necessary: critical mass of facilities; producer services; and, infrastructure to support economic development.

8 The OECD NEW RURAL PARADIGM and Rural Policy

9 Basis of analysis:evolved from the New Rural Paradigm… Two principles characterise the new rural paradigm: 1) a focus on places instead of sectors and 2) a focus on investments instead of subsidies. Old approachNew approach Objectives Equalisation, farm income, farm competitiveness Competitiveness of rural areas, valorisation of local assets, exploitation of unused resources Key target sector Agriculture Various sectors of rural economies (ex. rural tourism, manufacturing, ICT industry, etc.) Main toolsSubsidies Investments Key actors National governments, farmers All levels of government (supra-national, national, regional and local), various local stakeholders (public, private, NGOs)

10 The New Rural Paradigm In the NRP, the focus is on enhancing competitiveness of rural areas using local assets, in a manner that taps all aspects of the local economy, relies on investments over subsides, involves all levels of government (private and public stakeholders) and allows for decisions to be taken at the appropriate level.

11 What is Rural Policy? Not a coherent set of policies and programs – amalgam of independent pieces that evolves through time. Two levels Narrow Rural Policy – those policies that are designed to explicitly affect rural areas – agriculture, rural broadband, rural doctors Broad Rural Policy - those policies that have no specific geographic focus but have major rural impacts – national health insurance, education policy, investment policy

12 OECD framework for Rural Policy Somewhere between narrow-niche policy and broad-grand plan policy


14 Common policy threads (1) In the aggregate, rural economies are seen as similar to urban regions. However, below the aggregate level, there are different types of activity, skills utilized, value-added, wage levels and organizational complexity. In some cases, the difference between rural and urban economies is not considered

15 Common policy threads (2) Focus of most rural policy is on remote rural. Very little policy targets peri-urban areas or more intermediate regions, even though the majority of the rural population is found in these places. Need for a focus on intermediate regions and urban-rural linkages

16 Common policy threads (3) In terms of broad socio-economic indicators the aggregate rural population is near national averages, and in some nations above. Service delivery in rural areas is an increasingly important issue. National average for rural masks significant pockets of rural deprivation.

17 Common policy threads (4) Most national governments accept that rural development requires devolution of responsibility to local authorities, but are reluctant to provide financial capacity. Central governments often struggle with overcoming their own sectoral approach in favour of an integrated policy approach to rural development. Devolution: more responsibility, limited resources.

18 Common policy threads (5) Tourism and other amenity based activities are seen as providing growth opportunities Different use of EU funds defining domestic rural policy, and/or supplement an indigenous policy. No country sees agriculture as a way to achieve major rural development objectives

19 Rural areas: opportunities and growth

20 Opportunities Tourism Forestry Renewable Energy Local Foods Threats Single Industry towns Demography Climate change Declining fiscal resources to local govts.

21 There is strong growth potential Rural regions can in fact be potentially important sources of growth, but a different policy approach is needed to tap that potential Across the OECD area, predominantly rural regions have, on average, enjoyed faster growth than intermediate or urban regions with an average rate of growth of 2.33% for rural regions close to a city, 2.24% for rural remote regions as compared to the OECD average of 2.06% over

22 some rural areas outperforming urban areas Transport infrastructure is one factor (e.g. but it can be a positive and a negative) Endogenous resources drive development –Each region have different combinations and different levels of endowment: what is important is the availability of one form of capital and the. ability to properly exploit it.

23 The Rural Animator

24 Some key issues from the perspective of the OECD for the Rural Animator What: – What key issue(s) are rural policy makers trying to address?; What are the drivers of these issues?; Do the issues vary by country or by regions within countries? What issues get the attention of government decision-makers? Why – Why is it important for government policy makers to take rural considerations into account? Why is it important to take rural-urban linkages into account?

25 Some key issues from the perspective of the OECD for the Rural Animator How –How can regional rural differences be communicated clearly to other policy makers within government? –Which approaches to integrating rural considerations into policy making are achieving promising results? –Who are the key actors in these promising approaches? Tools - What tools have proved to be helpful? What improvements are needed for greater effectiveness? Should rural-proofing, or the application of a rural lens to policy and program initiatives, be mandatory or voluntary?

26 Rural Animator Today the rural voice is much more diffused partly due to decentralisation and new firms and sectors in rural areas. The issues and stakeholders have multiplied RA need to be able to: Advocate – diff levels of govt Negotiate -- diff levels of govt Rural proof – diff levels of govt

27 Navigate complexity

28 Thank you! For more information please visit or contact me at:

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