PoliRural - The importance of stakeholder group work in rural development work

In the PoliRural project, stakeholder participation was an important part of the activities to innovate new tools for rural policy development. The project provided an opportunity to look more closely at the dynamics of stakeholder work and to consider it as part of the activities of higher education institutions.

This article presents insights into stakeholder work from the perspective of actors, with a focus on rural development networks. Experiences are drawn from the PoliRural project, which has now come to an end, and from the stakeholder survey in the Kanta- and Päijät-Häme regions.

It is important to identify the right people for stakeholder work. The group can be well defined or, for example, based on recommendations, which according to the survey was one of the good ways to involve the right people in stakeholder groups. A multi-actor stakeholder group that understands the needs of the target group is essential for development work.

Commitment to stakeholder group work is influenced by many factors, such as the person's motivational factors, position, participation in the activity, role, assigned tasks and the meaningfulness of the activity. Experienced stakeholder group members were slightly more motivated than inexperienced members. The stakeholder group itself is a motivating factor in itself, because you learn something new and get a new perspective on your own work. The internal motivation of the group includes, for example, openness, equality, working together and an immediate atmosphere. Development projects are expected to produce concrete and impressive results.

The research publication "The importance of stakeholder group work in rural development work on" is shared on the HAMK Unlimited platform in Finnish language.

Lento, S., Löytty, T., Pölönen, I., Anttila, M., Friman, M., Korkiakoski, P. & Salminen, J. (2024). Sidosryhmätyöskentelyn merkitys maaseudun kehittämistyössä. HAMK Unlimited Journal, 26.3.2024, https://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2024030810559

PoliRuralPlus - Multi-Actor Approach

The findings of the study are to be considered in the PoliRuralPlus Mallusjoki, Finland pilot.

In Finland, PoliRuralPlus is implemented in Mallusjoki village which locates in Orimattila city region, in Päijät-Häme. The Finnish consortium partners are Mallusjoki Youth Association and Smart & Lean Hub Oy.

mya Smart & Lean Hub Oy