Communicating Rural Development
ENRD Main Stories Archives
STORY OF THE MONTH: RE-VAMPED ENRD WEBSITE!
The ENRD website has been re-launched and now features a number of new and exciting additional elements.
The new design was undertaken in response to a growing demand for rural development based information from stakeholders. With over 18,000 visits a month, use of the ENRD website has increased by 204%, since December 2010. ‘The website re-launch was really a response to the growing use of the website and to the very useful feedback we have received from visitors, mainly requesting more information on certain themes, better scope for interaction with other users, and additional features, such as increased use of audio-visual material,’ says Angelo Strano, of the ENRD Contact Point.
The most obvious visible change for users is the addition of an interactive EU map on the homepage. This ensures users can directly access ‘country specific’ information, relating to an array of different organisations at Member State level, including National Rural Networks (NRNs), Managing Authorities (MAs)and Local Action Groups (LAGs). It also provides access to information on candidate countries. In addition, given the ongoing expansion of the content on the site (over 550 pages per language), one of the simplest but most important new features is the addition of a new ‘search’ function, which allows users to quickly locate specific information.
The content on the site itself has also been streamlined into different sections. This will allow rural development stakeholders - and hopefully a wider audience - to find the information they need more easily. In particular, the new ‘themes’ section acknowledges the main rural development-related topics, and boasts a wealth of resources linked to each one. Old favourites on the site, including sections such as “Events and Meetings”, the “Audiovisual gallery” and “Networking” have been revamped for easier access and navigation.
The ever popular ‘RDP Projects database’ – one of the top visited pages on the website - has now grown to feature some 350 rural development project examples - The database, which is updated by NRNs themselves, provides invaluable and inspiring information on projects, across all axes and covering a diverse range of themes, in all EU Member States. The database allows users to search for projects by Rural Development Programme, country, measure, keyword plus a free-text facility. AThe ‘at a glance’ page provides for a short and quick overview of each project included in the database. And look out for the ‘RDP Video Postcards` – available here which take you behind the scenes of different projects, ranging from a disability bus project in Germany to a very successful bakery project in Romania. And more of these ‘postcards’ are on the way! All project examples featured, including many examples of transnational cooperation (TNC) projects under Leader, have been funded by the EAFRD under the period 2007-2013. To go to the RDP Projects Database, click here.
The information “gateways” are stand-alone mini-websites providing visitors with targeted information on specific areas of interest. These include the ‘Rural Entrepreneurship Gateway’, the ‘NRN Self-assessment Toolkit’ and the ‘Leader Gateway’. An ‘EAFRD Information and Publicity Gateway’ to feature the vast array of communications initiatives and products used to promote the EAFRD in the different Member States is also in the pipeline.
And there’s more! Further developments include the upgrade of the MyENRD online community platform, which is now more open to non-institutional stakeholders. It is also now better aligned with other popular social media networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. The new interface called ‘OpENRD’ is much easier to access and so we hope will attract even more users, to engage in important debates on issues affecting all rural communities.
Finally, plans are also underway to expand the current 6-language site to 23 official EU languages, through the possibility of accessing a ‘lighter’ version of the main site (containing all key information but in a reduced form). This development will be a major step towards ensuring that the ENRD website is a tool which allows all stakeholders to engage in the exciting process of shaping and implementing rural development policy for the new programming period of 2014-2020.
The overall aim of the six-language ENRD website is to inform rural development stakeholders about the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and rural development programmes (RDPs), with the ultimate objective of improving the efficient and effective implementation of RDPs, across Europe. Furthermore, the ENRD website is also a valuable resource for all of those interested in learning more about EU rural development policy and its practical implementation at local level.