The European Network for Rural Development (ENRD), which oversees LEADER funding has determined that all future grant funding must align with the concepts of “Smart Villages.”
Ireland, recognised across the EU for its effectiveness in delivering the LEADER program which is 30 years old this year, is also leading the way in “Smart Villages.”
Sixteen local development companies, including NEWKD have commissioned the creation of the “Smart Village Curriculum” by eTownz, which is now being rolled out across Ireland.
The curriculum consists of six 90 minute modules which guide participants through the process of creating a “Smart Village Plan,” which is compiled using a workbook that is completed during the course.
The curriculum compiled by eTownz is a modular and pragmatic approach to local development where the town creates an interactive register for is local
● Stakeholders (Businesses, Clubs & Public services)
● Projects (Past, Present, Future, Potential)
Once the plan is prepared it is reviewed annually in an inclusive manner by all local stakeholders. Each record and goal is maintained, moving projects through their lifecycle using metrics and community feedback to update the plan.
CEO of eTownz, Pat Kennedy said:
“The Smart Village approach seeks to bring together local knowledge and digital tools to empower local communities.”
The programme also seeks to
● Promote greater collaboration between local organisations
● Develop symbiotic relationships between communities
● Encourage onboarding of new volunteers by building teams of people with similar interests and complementary skills
● Support community champions in handing over responsibility to the next generation
● Reduce, the administration workload
● Build a more fluid supporting relationship between communities, Local Development Companies and Councils
NEWKD will be identifying communities that wish to participate in the programme and then seeking four people from each community to participate in the interactive course. These participants will then be the Smart Village champions in their communities trained in how to bring various stakeholders together and coordinate the programme annually.
For more Information visit https://training.etownz.ie/new-kerry/ or contact Sean Linnane at firstname.lastname@example.org /066 7180190.