ICRPS 2013: Where is rural development done?

by Kelsey Lang ICRPS 2013 20/06/2013 on day 3 of the 2013 Summer Insitute

The third day of ICRPS brought the end of policy research theory and analysis methods, and the beginning of getting to know different policy applications! The day started with discussion on quasi-experimental design and evaluation, driving home the importance of knowing the context you’re working in. After a quick coffee break out on the terrace, we arrived back in the classroom to find a large sheet of paper and a marker at each of our seats, and were then asked to draw the levels of government in our home country. Through this exercise about institutional context we learned more about our own governmental structures, and learned about the way different governments are set up, including learning about: Italy, Norway, Serbia, Kosovo, Mexico, Russia, Nepal, Uganda, Canada, and the US. This participatory exercise generated some great discussion about “what is government?”, “what is rural development?” and “where is rural development done?” which could be heard continuing to be discussed in groups over lunch.

The afternoon brought presentations about the EU’s LEADER program, Canada’s Community Futures program and a visit from the president of a Local Area Group (LAG) from Po River Delta Park. This visit provided a preview of one of the sites, Po River Delta Park, that we will be visiting on Saturday as part of the 10 year conference. Meeting with this LAG representative also provided the group with a point of comparison as we will visit a different LAG group, LAG L’Altra Romagna, tomorrow. The day ended off with preparing for our first field trip, working on our group projects, and going out for dinner on a terrace in small faculty-student groups. It’s a hard job comparing rural policy in Italy, but someone has to do it!

Photos: Kelsey Lang