The projects funded by the Rural Development Programme have had positive effects in terms of the everyday lives, wellbeing and comfort of people in Lapland

The ELY Centre and local action groups of Lapland have supported the development of rural regions in Lapland with projects and business support. MDI conducted a study of the impacts of the Rural Development Programme in Lapland 2014-2020. The study focused on issues of everyday life, well-being and comfort.

In the joint programme periods it is important to examine the projects, specifically their effectiveness and impacts. The study helped to verify the impacts, improve actions and create material for communicating the results of the programme.

The study was based on documents, financing and indicator data and surveys for the project workers, inhabitants and shareholders. In addition, MDI interviewed rural development experts in Lapland. The study focused on both the Lapland region and the Leader groups.

Project profiles differ between the ELY Centre and Leader groups

The study shows that these projects do have an impact on everyday life, wellbeing and comfort. The everyday life impact consists of improvements in services and structures. Wellbeing has been improved by supporting the notion of community spirit and promoting better hobby and exercise opportunities, while the notion of comfort highlights the importance of infrastructure and the development of the structures supporting tourism. It is important to note here that some of the projects have manifold impacts. For example investments that improve wellbeing and health (camping facilities, beaches) also affect the comfort of the local inhabitants. Another example here would be the local meeting facilities that have a great impact on local inhabitants’ quality of life. 

The project profiles differ between the ELY Centre and Leader groups. The ELY Centre finances projects relating to the broadband infrastructure and the spread of information. The Leader groups work on a more local level. Both of the instruments do however complement each other. 

The study recommends investing in the activation of local communities and the spreading of good practices.

Read more (in Finnish): 

The study (in Finnish):