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ENRD Main Stories Archives

Story of the month: Towards good practices 2.0

Reflecting on past experiences

The conference ‘Towards Good Practices 2.0’ was held in Finland from the 8-10 October 2013. The main objective was to examine and reflect upon the experiences of the different National Rural Networks (NRNs) and the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) in the identification, collection and dissemination of good and transferable practices in the rural development sector. The participants drew lessons from the experiences of the 2007-2013 programming period that could be instructive and encourage a more effective approach in the next programming period.

Everything looks good, but…

Identifying and collecting good practices is not an easy task. Several NRNs tried to identify common criteria from effective projects, but without any success. The dilemma? Good practices are context specific and it is challenging to extract learnings that are transferable to other situations.  

Influencing future choices

The focus should be on the identification of needs in rural areas and themes of specific interest. The importance of embedding the good examples already collected into the planning and implementation process for the future RDPs was also underlined. Furthermore, in the identification and collection of good practices a distinction between projects and processes needs to be addressed. “On this matter, the description of success stories the ENRD is undertaking was seen as a positive step to help the implementation of future programmes,” explains Mara Lai, ENRD CP.

Likewise, ‘worst practices’ were considered important to improve the implementation of future RDPs. Understanding why and how they came about allows such mistakes to be avoided in the future.

Participants also emphasised the need to put in place a wide range of rural development dissemination channels, from publications to events and social media, tailored to the range of identified target groups.