The observations and insights of PoliRural project – Stakeholders

PoliRural project is a Horizon2020 project that researches and innovates novel approaches to future-oriented collaborative policy development for rural areas. Project web-page is

Project has 12 pilots of which HÄME in Finland is one. The overall ambition of HÄME pilot is:

The Häme pilot will use PoliRural results to boost the region’s attractiveness by introducing business-friendly policies that can encourage new entrepreneurs to create products and services on circular-economy and well-being, which in the future may become a significant source of employment. 

One key element at the project is local stakeholder panels which engage diverse, multi-actor stakeholders that are attached to rural areas either by profession or otherwise.

HÄME pilot has engaged 50 panel members. The members have been mapped according to the PoliRural standard procedure. The overall aim of stakeholder mapping is to identify actors interested and involved in collaborative policy development for rural areas and people within the framework of PoliRural project. As a result of the mapping (Table 1), a list of potential stakeholders and the way they are involved in PoliRural project activities must be prepared. 

Stakeholder mapping process is divided in four consecutive phases: 1) Identification phase, 2) Analysis phase, 3) Mapping phase, 4) Prioritization phase.  The detailed explanation of the phases is in the document T.4.2. Stakeholder Mapping & Regional Panel Setup. 

Table 1: An example of stakeholder mapping

The analysis of HÄME stakeholder panel nature and characterization resulted in the following images. HÄME pilot has succeeded to engage a very diverse panel that has representatives from potential rural newcomers up to policymakers at different levels.

The role of members and their engagement level varies. It may be that some take the role to inform about the project to their own network, some advise and consult project staff based on their experiences and know-how, some are willing to involve in the project activities, and some contribute to the R&I process and formulation of the results of the project.

The role of stakeholder panel in Polirural is discussed in this article.

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