Innovation and Modernising the Rural Economy

image of Innovation and Modernising the Rural Economy

This publication is a result of the discussions from the OECD 8th Rural Development Policy Conference: "Innovation and modernising the rural economy" which took place in Krasnoyarsk, Russia on 3-5 October 2012. It provides an overview of the two themes of modernisation and innovation, focusing on identifying the attributes of the modern rural economy and showing how it differs from the traditional rural economy and from metropolitan economies. It also shows how rural innovation is a key driver of rural economic growth using patents as a measure.

The second part of the book consists of four chapters that offer evidence of rural regions’ potential to contribute to national economic growth. In addition, each provides useful context for Part I by outlining four different perspectives on the process of modernisation and innovation, and specifically, how they can take place in the rural territories of OECD countries. In each paper, the authors explore the opportunities and impediments to these twin processes and how government policy can help or hinder them.



Evaluation tools for integrated EU rural development initiatives

The case of LEADER+

The objective of this chapter is to study the utilisation of European Union resources and to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the assistance and its impact, which are becoming increasingly relevant as Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget constraints increase. Although the LEADER Initiative absorbs a relatively small percentage of EU Rural Development Policy funds, its innovative characteristics, combined with its Rural Development Policy (RDP) mainstreaming, are well-suited to a framework of formal evaluation procedures. Local action groups (LAGs), as the main actors in the design, monitoring and implementation of integrated local development plans, deserve special attention in this context. This chapter discusses the application of a model for evaluating the performance of the LAGs in designing and implementing the EU LEADER+ Community Initiative. The special characteristics of the initiative, such as the emphasis on territorial rural development, together with its “bottom-up” approach, lends itself to a Shift-Share Analysis (SSA) approach, a method that was initially applied in a regional analysis context. The degree of impact on the funds’ absorptive capacity by each LAG is parameterised in a regional analysis quantitative framework of the SSA, applied for the first time in the case of LEADER+, highlighting aspects relating to both internal (i.e. managerial ability) and external factors (i.e. the national planning framework of the LEADER programme). A classification of the LAGs into regional “LEADER types” is also developed, according to the estimated degree of impact of these factors.

The case of all 40 Greek LAGs operating under the third programming period was examined as soon as data became available from the national Integrated Data System, right after the completion of the LEADER+ Community Initiative implementation period (2009). Since the discussion of rural policy impacts and the fourth generation of evaluation methods are well under way, the suggested approach can also be combined with other qualitative and qualitative approaches in order to better understand the impact of the EU Rural Development Policy.


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