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Department of Spatial Planning
Research project

PRIDE - Partnerships for Integrated Rural Development

 Project duration: 01/1999 to 12/2001

The project PRIDE (Partnerships in Rural Integrated Development in Europe) looks into the contribution of local partnerships to integrated development of rural regions. For a number of years the European Union has in the LEADER Programme supported integrated rural development projects in which public and private actors pursue common development objectives. However, a critical assessment of the operation and impacts of these projects is still missing.

In the project therefore, as far as possible all partnerships in rural development (including those not financed by the EU) in six countries (Finland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom) as well as in Ireland and Luxembourg will be identified and analysed by way of a questionnaire survey. Based on the survey, in each of the six countries four partnerships will be selected for in-depth case studies. In the 24 case studies the formal organisational structures as well as the informal oprational procedures of the partnerships will be studied with the help of local interviews. These will then be correlated with the empirical impacts of the projects on participants and target groups as well as on the general development of each rural region. The results of the survey will be fed back to all partnerships initially surveyed in order to assess the transferability of the case study results. On this basis finally recommendations for the partnerships themselves and for rural development policies at the local, national and European level will be made.

The project is funded by the General Directorate VI (Agriculture) of the European Commission. The international project consortium consists of, besides IRPUD, Cheltenham and Gloucester College (UK), the Dalarna Research Institute (Sweden), the University of Helsinki (Finland), the Universidad de Valencia (Spain) and the Università di Calabria (Italy). IRPUD is in charge of the scientific coordination of the project. Cheltenham and Glouster College is the organisational coordinator.