Publications, Presentations, and Resources

NILF Report 2011-2

This report is the result of a project undertaken for Sogn og Fjordane County in Norway during the Summer Institute of the International Comparative Rural Policy Program. It has been written by students and faculty attending the Institute.

The seven key themes which were agreed with the County were:

  • Social structure and change
  • Government and governance
  • New directions for farming and food in a challenging environment
  • Mitigation of climate emissions, and new policy initatives
  • Renewable energy and local development
  • Local Tourism development
  • Can information and communications technologies be used to reduce or remove the disadvantages of remoteness and small settlement sizes

Some of the key points to note are

  1. That most of the countries referred to in the report face a set of similar economic, social and environmental challenges as well as opportunities in their rural regions, but
  2. that there are very different ways in which national and local policies address these issues in different contexts, reflecting differences in political values, political systems, and resource availabilities, among other things.
  3. While Norway is notable for some very strong underlying policy instruments that help to keep .living rural regions. . especially strong and decentralized democratic local government, fiscal equalization scheme, equality of education provision and access to that, agricultural and districts policy, land access rights to all, and relative equality of property ownership . the cases show that other countries have developed stronger policies in some other fields which are also local priorities in Norway . for example, for the attraction and retention of immigrants, and the welcoming of, and services to, tourists. There is therefore considerable scope for mutual learning.

This project was the first commissioned project undertaken during the summer institute, and those of us involved in it believe that it represents a useful addition to the learning experience, as well as providing comparative insights on relevant policy issues to the authorities involved. Such insights are often very costly to identify and codify in ways which relate to local onditions, and the Summer Institute project provides a cost effective means of obtaining them.

The details are
Bryden, JM., Refsgaard, K., Nordskog, K., Baardsen, S., cappelen, KS., Lie, H., Soltani, A (Eds) (2011) Comparative Perspectives on Rural Development and Policy Challenges in Sogn og Fjordane. NILF Report 2011-2. Oslo, NILF. [ISBN: 978-82-7077-808-9] (108pages)