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PoliRural Yleinen

The observations and insights of PoliRural project – Policy Value Chain

PoliRural project is a Horizon2020 funded project that researches, innovates, and delivers novel solutions to future-oriented collaborative policy development for rural areas.

What is then the policy value chain?

The image on right represents my subjective interpretation of the policy value chain. It is shaped based on my experiences and learnings at PoliRural. It is rather ideal and optimistic. I trust that in real life the value chain is far more complicated and fuzzy. I have also doubts about policymakers’ interest and ability to include into the process the diverse change factors (drivers, mega-trends, trends, weak signals), and multiple voices of the customers i.e. citizens and civil society.

However, this image includes the following components of PoliRural Pre-Foresight studies:

  • PoliRural partners have identified and described 64 Change Factors that are grouped in STEEPV-groups, that are Social-, Technological-, Economic-, Environmental-, Political-, and Value weighted change factors.
  • PoliRural 12 pilots have listened to rural inhabitants and rural development professionals on needs and requirements that echo diverse rural realities.
  • PoliRural 12 pilots have mapped policies that aim to impact on rural future and compared the policies to needs.
  • PoliRural has investigated, through local stakeholder panels, the SWOT situation in pilot areas. What are Häme region’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats from the stakeholders’ perspective?
  • PoliRural pilots have explored rural-related Key Performance Indicators (KPI) through System Dynamics Modelling and later we will define a locally adapted set of KPIs that are addressed to direct the rural policy value chain transformation. Imagine, we will monitor and assess policymakers’ performance and impact on rural areas.

There are though a bunch of parameters and components that I have brought into the image but which are excluded from the PoliRural research e.g. the values and principles of politicians. They are out of the box, in this research.

As a result of Pre-Foresight studies, the HÄME pilot, just like the 11 other pilots, has acquired a better understanding of rural reality from the policy value chain and policy-making performance point of view. The Pre-Foresight phase purpose is to make observations and seek evidence on the environment. To understand what is the situation today, in order to be able to define a future vision for 2040.

The next phases of PoliRural research are firstly the actual Foresight phase and then to define the Post-Foresight.

Stay in tune, follow PoliRural web-page.

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PoliRural Yleinen

Visualizations about Häme-region and Finland. Median wage in post code areas

As part of Polirural, Häme-region was chosen to be one of the pilot areas. Polirural is European Union project, which aims to increase well being and sustainability of the country side. One of the main goals of Polirural project is to tackle problems what rural regions are facing throughout Europe. As part of Polirural project, Smart & Lean Hub Oy aims to increase awareness of these problems and other demographic data trends by utilizing open data of Häme-region, to create interactive visualizations.

Last visualization in our series is map depicting median wage in choropleth map, created with Mapbox studio. Visualization shows median wage of everyone over age of 18 in Finland, by utilizing text and color coding. Besides median wage, visualization also shows name of postal area.

Picture above is screenshot of visualization taken from Otaniemi, Helsinki. Otaniemi has multiple student facilities, which explains why median wage is so much lower than in postal areas surrounding it. To see full map, you can click image below. To see names and median wages of postal areas, you need to zoom closer to region what you want to inspect.

Link to interactive visualization

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PoliRural Yleinen

Visualizations about Häme-region and Finland. Level of education in Häme region by county and gender

As part of Polirural, Häme-region was chosen to be one of the pilot areas. Polirural is European Union project, which aims to increase well being and sustainability of the country side. One of the main goals of Polirural project is to tackle problems what rural regions are facing throughout Europe. As part of Polirural project, Smart & Lean Hub Oy aims to increase awareness of these problems and other demographic data trends by utilizing open data of Häme-region, to create interactive visualizations.

Fourth visualization in our series is line chart about level of education in Häme region by gender and county. Visualization showcases yearly change in level of education in population, by drawing line for amount of people on each level of education.

  • Orange line = Upper secondary education or post-secondary non-tertiary education
  • Light blue = Short-cycle tertiary education or bachelor’s or equivalent level
  • Purple = Master’s or equivalent level or doctoral or equivalent level
  • Dark blue = Basic education or level of education unknown

Visualization highlights change in level of education in timeline of 20 years. Visualization shows how people have got more educated and its increasingly rare to have person without education beyond basic level.

Link to interactive visualization

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PoliRural Yleinen

Visualizations about Häme-region and Finland population visualization with animation

As part of Polirural, Häme-region was chosen to be one of the pilot areas. Polirural is European Union project, which aims to increase well being and sustainability of the country side. One of the main goals of Polirural project is to tackle problems what rural regions are facing throughout Europe. As part of Polirural project, Smart & Lean Hub Oy aims to increase awareness of these problems and other demographic data trends by utilizing open data of Häme-region, to create interactive visualizations.

Third visualization in our series is animated line chart of total population in Häme region municipalities

Point of this visualization is to highlight declining population by utilizing line chart and animation. Visualization shows stark decline in population in many smaller rural municipalities , but increasing population in big cities in region.

Visualization highlights how in certain municipalities population has been experiencing either stagnation or decline for decade.

Link to interactive visualization

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PoliRural Yleinen

Visualizations about Häme-region and Finland Treemap

As part of Polirural, Häme-region was chosen to be one of the pilot areas. Polirural is European Union project, which aims to increase well being and sustainability of the country side. One of the main goals of Polirural project is to tackle problems what rural regions are facing throughout Europe. As part of Polirural project, Smart & Lean Hub Oy aims to increase awareness of these problems and other demographic data trends by utilizing open data of Häme-region, to create interactive visualizations.

Second visualization in our series is tree map regarding indurusty revenue and employment-

Purpose of this visualization is to highlight difference between two Häme-region counties, Päijät – and Kanta-Häme. Treemap visualizes certain key values regarding industry operating in these counties. Utilizing selector in top right, you can choose between key value. By clicking selector under it at “Valitse vuosi” you can select year.

Visualization shows that agricultural and traditional industries are still major employees and generators of revenue. Visualization also shows positive trend in employment and positive growth in certain industry sectors between years 2013 and 2019.

Link to interactive visualization

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PoliRural Yleinen

Visualizations about Häme-region and Finland

As part of Polirural, Häme-region was chosen to be one of the pilot areas. Polirural is European Union project, which aims to increase well being and sustainability of the country side. One of the main goals of Polirural project is to tackle problems what rural regions are facing throughout Europe. As part of Polirural project, Smart & Lean Hub Oy aims to increase awareness of these problems and other demographic data trends by utilizing open data of Häme-region, to create interactive visualizations.

First visualization what we are looking at is about elderly population

In Finland, rural municipalities face demographic problem. Aging population is serious issue in rural areas. Young people move away due lack of opportunity and low birthrate of people who stay is not enough to keep municipality from having continuously expanding elderly population. I created visualization to highlight increasing number of elderly in more rural municipalities and compare change in amount of elderly and in population between different municipalities.

Visualization highlights trend very accurately and it also showcases difference between largest city in the region (Lahti) and other municipalities.

In the image color depicts municipality and every dot is one year in this scatter plot. By clicking this link , you can see interactive version of the image. By double clicking one of the municipalities you can more accurately inspect data and by hovering your mouse over dots you can see year and accurate values.

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Inspire Hackathons PoliRural Yleinen

OpenSpring INSPIRE Hackathon 2021 – #2

Challenge #2: Regional Attractiveness

This challenge’s primary goals are to explore and develop different forms of simple, understandable, and tempting attractive communication of regional attractiveness assessment. The challenge results will help identify and visualise similarities and differences between various regions based on statistical data. The team should consider, test and experiment with multiple approaches that include but are not limited to index calculation, clustering or machine learning methods.

The work in the challenge will be divided into three tasks: dataapplication and testing.

The data group will focus on optimising existing input data sets, adding new data, and dealing with data semantics, including classification of input data according to various classification systems (e.g. UN SDG, GEMET, RRI pillars etc.). Also, calculation methods and assessment of the attractiveness will be moved on, including testing machine learning approaches.

The application group will develop and improve existing interactive web application(s) showing attractiveness maps (index and clusters). The goal of the application’s development is to provide more opportunities for adjusting the perspective of attractiveness assessment to concrete user requirements.

The challenge will be tested in different scales including parcel level


The application is available at https://hub.polirural.eu/hsl-ng/rural-attractiveness-cz/

The testing group will guarantee communication with stakeholders, including providing feedback for developers and data experts and initial development of business models.. 

The results will be presented on cases focused on the Polirural project (NUTS 3 regions in Europe), Czech municipalities, African countries and other areas.

***The registration for this challenge opens on 1st April***
Registration link will be available at https://www.plan4all.eu/open-spring-inspire-hackathon-2021/

The mentors for this challenge are:

OTAKAR CERBA Assoc. prof. Otakar Čerba, PhD works at the Department of Geomatics (Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of West Bohemia, Plzeň, Czech Republic) and cooperates with Plan4all. He is focused on cartographic visualization of spatial data, Linked Data on the geographic domain and semantic issues of geographic data. He has been involved in many international projects such as Polivisu, Humboldt, SDI4Apps, SmartOpenData, Plan4all or ROSIE. Otakar Čerba is the member of the board of Czech Association of GeoInformation and the chair of the Commission on Maps and the Internet of International Cartographic Association

KAREL CHARVAT graduated in theoretical cybernetics. He is a member of International Society for Precision Agriculture, Research Data Alliance, vice chair of Club of Ossiach, CAGI, and CSITA. He was in period 2005 – 2007 President of European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture Food and Environment (EFITA). Now is chair of OGC Agriculture DWG. He was organiser on many hackathons, where as most important were series of INSPIRE Hacks and MEDHackathon. He work on implementation on national INSPIRE Geoportal. Now he is also active in Plan4all association. He has long time experience in ICT for Environment, transport, Agriculture and Precision Farming. Now he is one from promoters of Open and Big Data in Agriculture in Europe. Participation in projects: Wirelessinfo, Premathmod, EMIRES, REGEO, RuralWins, Armonia, aBard, EPRI Start, Ami@netfood, AMI4For, Voice, Naturnet Redime, Mobildat, SpravaDat, Navlog, c@r, Humboldt, WINSOC, Plan4all, Habitats, Plan4business, SmartOpenData, FOODIE, SDI4Apps, AgriXchange, FOODIE, SDI4Apps, OTN, DataBio, EO4AGRO, EUXDAT, SmartAgriHub, SKIN and other projects.

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Horizon2020-CITIES2030 Inspire Hackathons Yleinen

OpenSpring INSPIRE Hackathon 2021 – #5

Challenge #5: SmartAfriHub III – African Agricultural Water Security

The goal is to continue building the African Community to support SmartFarming in Africa.

The challenge combines three concepts:  

  • Educathon – we support further development of African SmartFarming capacity development by providing rich content at SmartAfriHub 
  • Datathon – we support building an Open Repository of Data in Africa and
  • Ideathlon – we collect ideas and needs to enhance Food, and particularly Agricultural Water Security by enhancing the local Food Nutrition Surveillance System (FNSS).

We embrace transversally, over all three concepts, the COVID-19 era experiences,  observations, best practices and innovations. The ultimate goal is to build local food and specially Agricultural Water Security that is resilient in any circumstances.    

In addition,  the goal is also to support publishing of new scientific papers and building of potential consortia for research projects.   

During the previous two years Plan4All has organized 3 INSPIRE Hackathons (Nairobi, Kampala and COVID-19) that have reached out to hundreds of African smart agriculture experts, practitioners and stakeholders.  As a result of these hackathons we have a African community of practice which is active in Digital Innovation Hub –  SmartAfriHub, Whatsapp and Facebook.   Our goal is to continue and extend these activities by leveraging  OpenSpring INSPIRE Hackathon.

Educathon

Digital Innovation Hub – SmartAfriHub platform connects people to the information and facilitates capacity development. Firstly, leveraging social media type of features like Blog, Forum, Science Shop and connecting users with developers and researchers. And secondly,  by sharing demo applications, where farmers, developers and researchers have a chance to cooperate, test different API for new solutions and also provide common experiments. 

Digital Innovation Hub is based on the use of Liferay Portal and as a backend, it uses SQL and non-SQL database and integrates tools like SensLog, HSlayers NG etc.

Our development goals are to improve SmartAfriHub based on user’s feedback and suggestions, to integrate new functions on the platform,  and to engage new organizations and individuals to share their own content through the platform. 

Datathon

In the area of  open data we see following pathways:

  • using QGIS Layman to collect data from different countries and regions in Africa
  • promote utilisation of COPERNICUS data with focus also on Sentinel 1
  • collecting a database of best practices by using Best Practices Atlas.
Ideathon

According to FAO, Food Security is “a situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” .  The four pillars for Food Security are (Figure 1): 

  • Availability 
  • Access 
  • Use and Utilization 
  • Food System stability 

Figure 1: Food Security  

ref. https://wocatpedia.net/wiki/Definition_and_Dimensions_of_Food_Security

The starting point is the first pillar of Food Security, which is “Availability” which refers to the physical existence of food and water. 

  • Globally: Irrigated agriculture represents 20 % of the total cultivated land and contributes 40% of the total food produced worldwide. Currently, agriculture accounts for 70 % of all freshwater withdrawals globally. However, there is pressure for water re-allocation which means that 25-40% of agricultural water will be reduced. 
  • Africa: Agriculture is the largest user of water in Africa, accounting for about 85-88 % of total water use. Yet only 185 million ha or 6 % of the total area of the region is under cultivation. Of this, some 12 million or 6% of the total cultivated area is under irrigation. (Source)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) published in 1984 a description of a Food Nutrition Surveillance System (FNSS).The national and local nutrition surveillance systems focus on identifying trends in key nutrition-related health indicators for their populations, with particular attention on vulnerable groups. The objectives are: 

  • Monitor population health and nutritional status
  • Deliver trustworthy data on the people nutritional status
  • Show trends and comparisons
  • Raise awareness about nutritional problems
  • Provide guidance to health-related intervention programs 

The national and local authorities’ responsibility is to establish a pragmatic and reliable surveillance system to alarm and prevent water availability and water quality-related food security problems and risk.

This hackathon challenge is addressed to African communities’ Agricultural Water Security. The aim is to grasp local current situations, identify needs and ideate solutions to improve the water monitoring system.  

The water monitoring system encompasses e.g. collecting data, analyzing data and sharing data with feasible and robust digital tools to enhance decision making, risk management and development.

The registration for this challenge opens on 1st April. Registration link will be available at https://www.plan4all.eu/open-spring-inspire-hackathon-2021/

The mentors of this challenge are:

TUULA LÖYTTY earned her MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology. She has worked for 18 years at the private sector corporations such as dairy-, sugar- and metal industry and for 18 years at the higher education in three different universities contributing research and innovation action. Digital solutions and ICT technology have been part of her work since 80′ and she prefers to act as a bridge between IT – developers and end-users.  She launched the new phase in 2018 when she jumped into an entrepreneur career.  She is a member of Plan4all (www.plan4all.eu) committee. Co-operation with Plan4all has encompassed mentoring in Nairobi, Kampala and COVID-19 Inspire Hackathons in 2019-2020.

MARKETA KOLLEROVA studied Linguistics at University of South Bohemia. In the Plan4all team, she is responsible for international cooperation and communication, where she uses her experience from her past life as a foreign mission clerk. Enjoys the comparison of living in different countries and regions.

KAREL CHARVAT graduated in theoretical cybernetics. He is a member of International Society for Precision Agriculture, Research Data Alliance, vice chair of Club of Ossiach, CAGI, and CSITA. He was in period 2005 – 2007 President of European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture Food and Environment (EFITA). Now is chair of OGC Agriculture DWG. He was organiser on many hackathons, where as most important were series of INSPIRE Hacks and MEDHackathon. He work on implementation on national INSPIRE Geoportal. Now he is also active in Plan4all association. He has long time experience in ICT for Environment, transport, Agriculture and Precision Farming. Now he is one from promoters of Open and Big Data in Agriculture in Europe. Participation in projects: Wirelessinfo, Premathmod, EMIRES, REGEO, RuralWins, Armonia, aBard, EPRI Start, Ami@netfood, AMI4For, Voice, Naturnet Redime, Mobildat, SpravaDat, Navlog, c@r, Humboldt, WINSOC, Plan4all, Habitats, Plan4business, SmartOpenData, FOODIE, SDI4Apps, AgriXchange, FOODIE, SDI4Apps, OTN, DataBio, EO4AGRO, EUXDAT, SmartAgriHub, SKIN and other projects.

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CITIES2030 PoliRural Yleinen

PoliRural meets CITIES2030

H2020 PoliRural project develops an innovative text mining application called SemEx – Semantic Explorer. SemEx pilot is addressed to analyse unstructured data which is related to rural development and rural attractiveness.

CITIES2030 implements System Thinking on City/Region Food System transformation.

CITIES2030 conducts a “literature review” on System Thinking, but not in a traditional manner, but using a text mining application which is developed at PoliRural project.

One example of the SemEx visualizations

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Blue Wings Composting PoliRural Yleinen

Blue Wings Composting

The STEM-center in Päijät-Häme region organized a StarT-festival 16.3.2021. The festival was part of the Start-program which introduces STEM project and good practices which are carried out at Päijät-Häme schools. The link to the StarT-programme is this one https://start.luma.fi/


The Blue Wings Composting – Toukkakompostori in Finnish – was one of the candidates in the group of “good practices”.

Look the video about Blue Wings Composting.