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.
The smart village process can be initiated in many different ways. On this page, we showcase a video with inspiring stories of how smart processes have been initiated in different parts of Europe, by local mayors and local group of activists.
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 presents examples of how to map the context and stakeholders of an area.
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 offers tools on methods of engaging members of the local community, both individuals and organisations, in developing and implementing a smart village strategy.
Smart village strategies have all the key components of local development strategies. 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.
Many rural communities have developed or are in the process of developing ‘smart’ local development strategies. The ‘Smart Village Strategy’ page provides direct access to the strategies developed by the Smart Rural 21 project’s selected villages.
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 expected costs and resources, timing, identification of potential risks and barriers, planning community involvement.
This page presents specific action planning tools.
The ‘Finding Solutions’ step takes you directly to the Smart Rural 21 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.
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 youth and volunteers.
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 brings together various ways of generating financing for smart solutions.
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.