PoliRural H2020 project

PoliRural is a Horizon 2020 project which aims to make rural places and professions more attractive for people who already live there and for potential newcomers. PoliRural was created in response to the need for a more strategic approach to rural development, one that captures the diversity of rural life, places and professions.

Below, two main topics are presented regarding recent results from the project: PoliRural Pilots and Semantic Explorer.

PoliRural Pilots

PoliRural participatory foresight for rural policy making is being applied to 12 pilot areas, covering Europe plus Israel. During the first project year, about 350 stakeholders – comprising policy actors, rural populations, newcomers and experts – have taken part to the work of the Regional stakeholder panels.

In needs gathering assignment the goal was to recognize regional needs related to rural attractiveness. An online survey was conducted in all pilot regions (n=1296). Needs gathering in pilot regions included four phases: literature study about rural attractiveness, mass survey to stakeholder groups and general population, SWOT analyses to summaries the findings of literature study and survey.

More than 80 needs where identified in this process, including themes such as digitalization, employment, public services and environmental aspects. Based on the results, the 12 pilot regions were clustered into 4 different categories: Quality of life; Social capital; Cultural appeal; and Natural capital. Once the needs were recognized, each pilot selected 5-10 most relevant needs for policy mapping exercise.  During the process, 115 regional needs were matched against about 180 policy measures.

Figure 1. PoliRural Pilots

The use of Semantic Explorer in PoliRural

Semantic Explorer (Semex.io) is a text mining tool (TM) based on cutting edge technology capable of extracting information from unstructured data and display the results on clear graphical and textual outputs. It has been designed with the objective of providing support to researchers involved in Foresight, System Dynamics Modelling and Policy Evaluation by reducing the cognitive load related to tasks that are essential to policy processes.

The developed portal is the gateway to a large library of more than 2700 documents related to European rural areas. Sources have been gathered by PoliRural Pilots organizations ensuring a high level of expertise in rural related topics and wide geographical representation. The scientific articles, technical reports and policy related documents collected relate to the needs of PoliRural areas as well as to the local, regional, national and European policies.

All the functionalities have been developed following intense communication with researchers involved in the PoliRural project. The next months will be dedicated to test the tool and collect feedback with the objective of further tailoring solutions, replicable also for users outside of the PoliRural consortium.

Figure 2. PoliRural Semex.io (Design by KAJO R.O.)

You can also find out PoliRural latest News here.

Sofia Cunha

PoliRural Communication Team

Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação