Analysing rural development in the Leader area Vlaamse Ardennen: developing a future development plan in a participatory style

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal
    What is the situation of Vlaamse Ardennen as a rural area? What are strengths and weaknesses of the region as a rural area? How is the regional development institutionalised and organised? Is the collaboration going smoothly? Which strengths does the region want to develop? These questions are being asked by the East Flanders LEADER group for the Vlamse Ardennen. To gain scientific insight into the development of a region, the local action group is asking for an analysis of the rural development within their region. They also request input on designing guidelines for a vision of the future.

    Research approach
    We initiate a participative research process in the Vlaamse Ardennen. Using in-depth interviews with stakeholders and document analysis, we first uncover the structural local characteristics and their underlying dynamics. We use the data from the in-depth interviews and document analysis to map the  rural web configuration (a tool to understand and analyze processes of change). We pay special attention to the relationships between the different dimensions and the underlying dynamics (initiator, changes, stimuli, limitations, consequences). Through analysis of the six dimensions and their underlying relations, we investigate present rural development processes. The results of this analysis is taken to workshops, in which regional actors reflect in a participative way on the future vision for rural development.

    Following the various intermediate reports on the research process, the end results are summarised in an accessible booklet. This booklet is presented for discussion to the relevant regional actors during the LEADER meetings. The booklet provides an overview of the most important challenges for future rural development in the Vlaamse Ardennen, as well as recommendations on how to deal with them. The booklet is used as input for future local development strategies and is easily accessible for all interested regional actors.
    Effective start/end date1/01/111/01/12