Research results on peoples, civil societies and networks involvement in local development and advocacy activities are discussed. The participants will, for example, ask themselves are the local actors seen/accepted as partners and how to best include local actors in the development activities and in the policy-making processes.
Kim Smedslund, Master of company law and teacher of French and Swedish languages, started with local and regional rural development activities in 1997 as project responsible in a municipality and a business development center. He has published a book on EU institutions development from a politico-legal perspective in 1993. Since 2001, Kim Smedslund has been in different managing positions in a LEADER-group. International coordinating activities in the Finnish Village Movement from 2007 led to participation in European community/villages networks of rural development (ERCA/PREPARE) and finally to a joint coordination role in the European Rural Parliament (ERP) partnership/network in October 2016.
Dr. Breandán Ó Caoimh is an independent consultant working in the fields of social research, local development, community planning, evaluations, project management and organisational change. A Human Geographer, he was a Senior Lecturer and Director of Quality in Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, and retains close linkages with the College. He is a research affiliate of the International Centre for Local and Regional Development. His research areas include local development, governance, cross-border collaboration, demographics and linguistics. Brendan has considerable practitioner experience in rural and community development, having worked with LEADER organisations and those delivering various area-based and social inclusion programmes. Breandán has also worked, in an advisory capacity, with authorities and civil society organisations in several countries.