Fostering Growth: Strategies for Rural Empowerment

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Four professionals working for international agencies conceived of this organization. It became evident to them that saving street children required education, empowerment and holistic care – particularly important for women so that they may regain their rights, leadership and opportunities while contributing to economic productivity.

Basic Needs

Rural communities require basic infrastructure, such as electricity, to thrive. Unfortunately, accessing this power may be challenging given their distance from urban centers; luckily there are ways of providing this resource more directly. Listen to what local people need. Trust must first be built between government agencies and rural residents before organizations or governments can start to make an impactful difference in lives of rural citizens.

At its core, rural revitalization lies in providing people in rural areas with the tools they need to enhance their own lives and create high-quality jobs for themselves. To do this effectively requires education and training that helps rural families take advantage of emerging economic trends; additionally providing access to health care is crucial given that rural hospitals are increasingly closing and doctors becoming scarcer; in some instances it may take hours just to reach one and back home again; this lifestyle often drives young people out of rural areas altogether.

Next steps in rural revitalization should include access to affordable housing and quality health care. Finally, economic diversification needs to occur through commodity linkages, additional processing industries, non-agricultural employment opportunities and increasing rural technology investment – improving agriculture while encouraging technological convergence while creating income opportunities and encouraging people to remain living in rural areas.

Congress must reduce barriers to grant and loan programs and provide communities with guaranteed funding streams that they can use to form their own initiatives, instead of depending on top-down approaches from above. This will build capacity among citizens within local communities so they can implement programs most beneficial to them.

Education

Rural communities can become self-reliant through holistic education strategies. This may simply involve exposing children to nature and encouraging them to explore the world, or it could include providing access to higher education and training opportunities that allow people to find jobs that support the lifestyle they prefer.

Urban children in education often continue their studies through secondary levels while rural counterparts often struggle just to complete primary school. Girls are especially affected, often prevented from attending school by traditional practices that restrict them from continuing their studies after primary school has ended. To address this issue, the team created an organization to educate and empower youths in their community – an approach which has since been replicated by other organizations nationwide.

Education and empowerment of the next generation is one of the key roles rural communities should fulfill to secure economic and social wellbeing. Unfortunately, however, without sufficient infrastructure or support services available local governments may struggle to meet this obligation; but things may change with technological innovations in rural communities.

In this book, the authors explore concepts and strategies for rural empowerment through community-driven knowledge management (SKM) frameworks aided by social technologies. Such SKM frameworks can mobilize local knowledge resources to bridge rural-urban knowledge divides and thereby increase rural autonomy through digital connections and social collaborations based on strategies of self-sustenance and development. Key empirical findings are supported by relevant theoretical structures, case studies and illustrative figures found within its pages.

RURACTIVE’s purpose is to support an equitable and sustainable transition of rural areas by creating intelligent community-led solutions within Multi-Actor Rural Innovation Ecosystems (RIEs) located within 12 pilot areas (Dynamos-Ds) located across seven European Union (EU), two Associated Country countries and Switzerland. These solutions focus on multimodal mobility, energy transition, agrifood/agroecology/culture innovation/nature based tourism/biodiversity conservation/health and wellbeing as well as climate mitigation/adaptation strategies/adaptations strategies/adaptations strategies/adaptations strategies/adaptations strategies/adaptations strategies/adaptations measures/adaptations actions/adaptations strategies/measurements/adaptations strategies/adaptations strategies/adaptations strategies/adaptations strategies/adaptations strategies/adaptations strategies/adaptations measures/climate change adaptation/m/v/Vsv/

Employment

The goal of the Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (REACH) is to ensure that all members of the community can meet their basic needs by providing education, employment, housing, and youth programs. It also offers support for business development and leadership training. Funding is provided through grants to community organizations and projects in rural areas, particularly those that have a significant concentration of residents living below the poverty level or in persistently poor communities.

The book introduces a community-driven Social Knowledge Management (SKM) framework based on strategies of self-sustenance and self-development, to build a knowledge society for rural empowerment. This framework combines the advantages of digital technology and social development. It aims to mobilize knowledge resources and bridge the rural-urban information and knowledge divide. It also provides a knowledge-theoretic perspective of rural empowerment, and explores ways to secure community resilience, freedom of choice and wellbeing.

In the round III designations, HUD will award grants to communities that have developed and implemented a strategic plan for economic opportunity in their Empowerment Zone or Renewal Community, including the following: (1) projects and programs; (2) a comprehensive tax incentive utilization plan; (3) the process that the community used to select the boundaries of its area for inclusion in the program; (4) documentation of commitments — letters of commitment, resolutions committing public and private resources, or similar documents that demonstrate the level of public and private investment inside and outside the designated area – necessary to implement the strategic plan. HUD will also require periodic reports from the community, local government and state to identify community, local, and State actions which have been taken in accordance with the strategic plan.

Health

Rural communities face unique health issues, including limited healthcare access and shortage of providers. Incentivization programs, loan forgiveness plans and other inducements can attract more healthcare providers into rural practice to ensure residents get the care they need while lessening the load on hospitals.

Expand non-physician provider roles: Nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other trained support personnel can serve rural communities by providing essential healthcare services. They can diagnose, treat and refer patients directly without long distance travel to see doctors reducing both travel time and costs associated with healthcare delivery.

Promote rural wellbeing: Rural people can strengthen their social capital and enhance their sense of well-being through community activities such as youth programs, employment opportunities, entrepreneurship support programs, educational initiatives and housing projects. By equipping themselves with resources such as employment skills training courses or housing schemes they can empower themselves to meet their own basic needs more easily.

This book presents and examines concepts and strategies for rural empowerment with an emphasis on social knowledge management using digital technologies. An interdisciplinary approach, comprising knowledge-theoretic perspectives, key empirical findings, case studies and illustrative figures is used to present a novel social knowledge management (SKM) framework which can address rural-urban knowledge divide and foster rural empowerment by building digital connections, as well as supporting strategies for self-sustainability and self-development.

RURACTIVE will unleash rural communities’ innovation potential by developing smart solutions within Multi-Actor Rural Innovation Ecosystems (RIEs) located within 12 Dynamos pilot areas (Ds). This project will establish RIEs as models of change through locally driven, tailored place-based approaches focusing on multimodal mobility, energy transition, agrifood/agroecology/culture/heritage/health and wellness development drivers – plus cross-cutting issues like climate change mitigation/adaption/biodiversity/social justice/inclusion issues.

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