the rural power pack (more)

The Rural Power Pack is the central part of the Vital project, created from the delivery of ‘best practice’ project results from the partners. By exchanging and transferring experiences of  completed projects, we discovered opportunities, but also barriers to the implementation of successful solutions. But we also discovered a lot of common ground between projects, resulting in arranging them under one or more of seven main themes. The combination of scientific knowledge, experiences and exchange of information between partners resulted in case studies and a set of tools for each theme. This provides the reader with access to our knowledge and experience in real issues encountered in contemporary rural areas.

The Rural Power Pack has evolved into a complete working method that can be applied in many situations when commonly encountered problems or challenges are faced. It consists of three mutually dependent ‘approach lines’: the basis is formed by best practice project cases studies, from the participating regions (Local/Regional approach). Simultaneously, the Themes and content approach were formulated in work packages, that have evolved into the seven main themes. The Methodology underlying the participative way of working is based on a problem solving approach, consisting of four sequential steps that facilitate a general and focussed handling of the problems commonly encountered in rural areas. The Cooperative Agreement Approach is used throughout the case studies as a process instrument that ensures the common realisation of goals (organising power) by connecting people and organisations.


1. The definition of problems and challenges

We established that problems can be written as “lacks of…” to help focus on specific areas that function as the starting point for solving the problem. We found seven main topics that cover most of the problems encountered in rural areas:
        A    Lack of ambition
        B    Lack of education
        C    Lack of empowerment
        D    Lack of services
        E    Lack of infrastructure
        F    Lack of jobs
        G    Lack of young talent      

2. The solutions put forward by the Vital Rural Area project group

Based on the projects in partner regions we came up with seven main themes:
        A    Innovative approaches to education  
        B    Broadband and digital services
        C    SME Empowerment and Entrepreneurship
        D    Good governance
        E    Community building
        F    Welfare and Lifestyle
        G    Profiling and Branding of the region

3. Barriers encountered in implementing the proposed solution

The Vital Rural Area group listed eight of barriers often encountered and covering most of the obstacles, regularly impeding implementation.   
        A    Regulations   
        B    Demography  
        C    Money
        D    Time and timing  
        E    Politics  
        F    Ownership  
        G    Landscape  
        H    History, culture and customs    

4. The tools derived from the project cases studies are described in the project formats and grouped in a section under the themes

The tools derived from the project cases studies are described in the project formats and grouped in a section under the themes. The Rural Power Pack toolbox is not an instrument suitcase sensu stricto, but comprises case studies offering the reader access to our knowledge and experiences in the issues encountered in contemporary rural areas. We also described more general tools that may be helpful in guiding you to find creative solutions for problems encountered (like