Leader is ‘the engine’ for local development

According to the Leader-assessment, the greatest added value of Leader lies in social capital and local knowledge. In the future, the Leader approach should however be both reformed and strengthened.

Leader is a community-based rural development programme, based on the principles of area-based, bottom-up, local partnership. It is multidisciplinary, innovative, interregional and involves international cooperation and networking. The Leader principles are widely accepted, but their implementation varies. In Finland, 54 regional Leader groups are responsible for implementing Leader activities.

The main findings and conclusions of the evaluation are as follows:

1) Leader activity has become a well-established practice in Finnish rural development.
2) The Leader governance model works relatively well but it takes courage to reform.
3) Leader principles are widely accepted but implementation varies.
4) The governance model supports the principles, but there are tensions between them.
5) The greatest added value of Leader lies in social capital and local knowledge.
6) In the future, the Leader approach must be strengthened.

The evaluation was carried out for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry by the Regional Development Consultancy MDI and the University of Helsinki’s Ruralia Institute and is part of the evaluation of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 for mainland Finland.

Report: http://julkaisut.valtioneuvosto.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/162003/MMM_2020_1.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Information for municipalities and new national policy instruments for steering climate change mitigation and circular economy in municipalities

National goals in respect of preventing climate change and boosting the circular economy require strengthening. This entails the creation of viable solutions and indeed the adoption of a new approach in the municipalities. Based on the National Urban Strategy, a preliminary study has been produced which considered a number of potential policy instruments for climate and circular economy work. For the municipal level, the publication provides information on what kinds of instruments already exist, while for the state level, it suggests a number of new ideas for prospective policy instruments.

Read more Information for municipalities and new national policy instruments for steering climate change mitigation and circular economy in municipalities

PhD thesis defence: Urbanisation lacks vision

Ilppo Soininvaara (M.Sc.), MDI’s specialist in urban development and politics, researched for his PhD thesis the policy of urbanisation in Finland. The PhD thesis illustrates the development of urbanisation, the related political debate and various strategic interests. Soininvaara defended his thesis on May 25, 2022 at 12 noon at the faculty of science of the University of Helsinki. The thesis’ subject is “The politics of urbanisation – From a global imperative to national struggles”.

Read more PhD thesis defence: Urbanisation lacks vision