Roadmap Toolbox

The Roadmap will provide key tools for each step of the ‘smart village journey’. Practical tools (including guidance, explanatory videos, questionnaires, templates, etc.) will aim to help villages to develop and implement smart village strategies. Practical tools will be soon uploaded to the toolbox.

1. Getting started

The smart village process can be initiated in many different ways. On this page, we showcase practical examples and inspiring stories of how smart processes have been initiated in different parts of Europe, by local mayors, local group of activists, or through animation support from LEADER Local Action Groups. On the ‘Getting started’ page you will find useful tools on how to initiate and start the smart village development process.

2. Mapping context & stakeholders

Understanding the specifics of an area and its community is the basis of smart village strategy development. There are many different ways of identifying challenges and assets of an area, starting from research-type baseline surveys to more participatory methods, such as consultations and participatory profiling of the locality. On the ‘Mapping Context & Stakeholders’ page, we will present examples of how to map the context and stakeholders of an area.

3. Engaging stakeholders

Stakeholder engagement is crucial at all stages of smart village strategy development and implementation. This– among others – will ensure that the needs of the local community are met, that people have ownership of the strategy, and – as a consequence – can be more effectively mobilised for implementation. 

The ‘Engaging stakeholders’ page will offer tools on ways of engaging members of the local community, both individuals and organisations, in developing a smart village strategy.

4. Designing a strategy

Smart village strategies have all the key components of local development strategies. Strategies are holistic approaches, integrating a comprehensive set of interventions in a coherent way. Strategies are structured according to a clear intervention logic, including overall, specific and operational objectives in response to challenges and needs and building on assets and opportunities, a set of planned activities and indicators to measure achievements. At the same time, smart village strategies aim to identify innovative solutions (digital, technological, social or other) in response to challenges and opportunities of the local community and area.

The page on ‘Designing a strategy’ will provide tools for designing a smart village strategy.

5. Smart Village strategy

Many rural communities have developed or are in the process of developing ‘smart’ local development strategies. The ‘Smart Village Strategy’ page will provide direct access to the strategies developed by the Smart Rural 21 project participant villages.

6. Planning actions

Action planning is usually a distinct step from that of strategy development. While strategies provide the overall vision and direction, action planning is a more detailed process, including setting out of expected costs and resources, possible resources to finance these, timing, identification of potential risks and barriers, planning community involvement. 

This page presents specific action planning tools.

7. Finding solutions

The ‘Finding Solutions’ step will take you directly to a database of smart solutions, where you can search for inspiring examples to match the needs, assets and thematic interests of your local community and area.

8. Generating actions

Generating actions essentially means the mobilisation of local human and financial resources, as well as external resources. This process might involve a range of activities from generating projects with the community, through creating public-private partnerships, to engaging volunteers.

The ‘Generating actions’ page will provide tools on ways of generating actions with the local community and planning specific projects.

9. Financing

Smart village strategies might be financed through a wide range of resources, including private, public, community funding or a combination of these. 

The ‘Financing’ page will bring together various ways of generating financing for smart solutions.

10. Monitoring

Monitoring is crucial for understanding the process of smart village development and implementation, as well as the outcomes and results. It can help identifying specific needs, barriers and enabling factors and can shed light on strengths and weaknesses of the stakeholder engagement process. It can also contribute to adapting the strategy (and its targets) as and when necessary. Monitoring needs to be based on a S.M.A.R.T. approach, continuously ensuring that the actions defined by the strategy are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. 

On the ‘Monitoring’ page, practical tools for the smart village strategy monitoring process will be displayed.

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