After two weeks of learning, lectures, and field trips, nearly a dozen faculty listened to graduate students presenting their comparative research proposals. Their short summaries helped reveal how students apply what they experienced across rural Ireland. Key take-aways featured place-making strategies for putting people first; policy packages are often more successful then single policies; duty ethics asks rural policy and initiatives to address social justice and human rights, and the growing importance of assessing social acceptability before, during, and after policy making.
Student research topics were constructed with comparatives and included wellness in northern communities, sense making activities, different payment schemes for ecological goods and services from rural areas; music in rural areas for inclusion and retaining youth; sanitation and innovation in Nordic locations; security of jobs and food; and succession in farming and fishing businesses. Rural areas are complicated and this demands responsive public policies drawing on local strengths during implementation. Student presentations reinforced the importance of looking to the USA, Mexico, and EU countries, for examples of policies, investments, and practices for many different rural areas.
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Rural Development Institute