Rural Opinions, Advocacy and Development (ROAD) is a project run by Suomen kylätoiminta ry (Finland), where Civitas Foundation for Civil Society is one of the partners. The initiative is funded by the European Commission through the Europe for Citizens Program, through the „Democratic engagement and civic participation line, 2.3 Society Projects”.
The aim of the project is to involve the inhabitants of rural areas in expressing their opinion on the economic development problems of their communities. We are therefore proposing to help find solutions at the local level that are directly linked to the public policy-making process of the European Rural Parliament. The stake is the activation of rural residents to function as a civil society capable of advocacy to defend their rights and interests. The project also aims to inform citizens about the European Union, in particular about rural policies and actions of European citizens in rural development. Project activities will include social media campaigns, political debates, questionnaires, and thematic events to be concluded with the European Rural Parliament meeting.
The budget we have at our disposal is 4,000 euros, and the total budget of the project, which will be spent by our partners, amounts to about 150,000 euros. In the first instance, Civitas Foundation has undertaken to contribute to this project by organizing debates, focus groups and small informative events on the subject of local rural and community policies and will develop a questionnaire aiming to identify solutions and suggestions of local actors for the creation of new rural policy instruments. The questionnaire aims to determine the level of cooperation in rural areas, the forms and difficulties of involving civil society in the construction of the local economy.
In the ROAD project altogether 63 events 10 webinars and 5 surveys involving 3903 citizens have been carried
out. Over 1800 indirect participants were reached through national Rural Parliaments and rural women´s days. For more details about the results obtained in this project please access our detailed report.
Find more useful resources about cooperation in rural economies here.