Is the Partnership Governance Able to Promote Endogenous Rural Development? A Preliminary Assessment Under the Adaptive Co-Management Approach

Open access


Ever increasingly more, all the actors directly or indirectly involved in the planning processes express the need to know the effects deriving from the implementation of rural development policy. In this direction, evaluation can make an important contribution, fostering the development of a ‘good policy’ as underlined by EU regulations. Among the specific evaluation questions developed by the Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, one of them relates to the improvement of governance. Considering the Adaptive Co-Management (ACM) approach’s capacity as a proxy of the quality of network governance, the study aims to propose the ACM theoretical framework as a suitable model with which to study the social interactions between actors in the smallest unit of the LEADER process (i.e., the local action group’s (LAG’s) partnership governance). The proposed methodology is subsequently tested on a specific case study through the evaluation of the partnership governance of two case studies in the South of Italy. The empirical evidence supports the idea that ACM approach may represent a new model to assess the quality of the implementation process of the LEADER Programme. In addition, the ACM approach can lead to a new organizational and self-evaluation model of LAGs which places an emphasis on the importance of the relational process among its members.

[1] Armitage, D., Berkes, F. & Doubleday, N., eds. (2007). Adaptive Co-Management: Collaboration, Learning and Multi-Level Governance. Vancouver: UBC Press.

[2] Berkes, F. (2009). Evolution of co-management: Role of knowledge generation, bridging organizations and social learning. Journal of Environmental Management 90(5), 1692-1702. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2008.12.001.

[3] Böcher, M. (2008). Regional Governance and Rural Development in Germany: the Implementation of LEADER+. Sociologia Ruralis 48 (4), 372-388. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2008.00468.x.

[4] Bock, B. (2012). Concepts of social innovation, Agricultural knowledge and innovation systems in transition - a reflection paper, Brussel: EU SCAR.

[5] Bodin, Ö. & Crona, I. (2009). The Role of Social Networks in Natural Resource Governance: What Relational Patterns Make a Difference? Global Environmental Change 19(3), 366-74.

[6] Borgatti, S. P., Everett, M. G. & Freeman, L. C. (2002). UCINET Software for Windows: Software for Social Network Analysis. Connections 15(1-2), 1-15.

[7] Carlsson, L. & Berkes, F. (2005). Co-Management: Concepts and Methodological Implications. Journal of Environmental Management 75(1), 65-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2004.11.008.

[8] Cash, D. W., Adger, W., Berkes, F., Garden, P., Lebel, L., Olsson, P., Pritchard, L. & Young, O. (2006). Scale and cross-scale dynamics: governance and information in a multilevel world. Ecology and Society 11(2), art. 8.

[9] Chevalier, P., Mačiulyté, J., Razafimahefa, L. & Dedeire, M. (2017). The Leader Programme as a Model of Institutional Transfer: Learning from Its Local Implementation in France and Lithuania. European Countryside,9(2), 317-341. DOI: 10.1515/euco-2017-0020.

[10] Derkzen, P. & Bock, B. (2009). Partnership and role perception, three case studies on the meaning of being a representative in rural partnerships. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 27(1), 75-89. DOI: 10.1068/c0791b.

[11] Doria, L., Reho, M. & Vettoretto, L. (2003). Opportunities and tensions of endogenous rural development indications from the implementation of LEADER in Italy [unpublished conference paper]. Falmer Brighton: Regional Studies Association.

[12] Douglas, D. J. A. (2018). Governance in Rural Contexts: Toward the Formulation of a Conceptual Framework. EchoGéo 43, 1-16. DOI: 10.4000/echogeo.15265.

[13] Duff, G., Garnett, D., Jacklyn, P., Landsberg, J., Ludwig, J., Morrison, J., Novelly, P., Walker, D. & Whitehead, P. (2008). A Collaborative Design to Adaptively Manage for Landscape Sustainability in North Australia: Lessons From a Decade of Cooperative Research. Landscape Ecology 24(8), 1135-1143. DOI: 10.1007/s10980-008-9236-5.

[14] Falkowski, J. (2013). Political accountability and governance in rural areas: Some evidence from the Pilot Programme LEADER in Poland. Journal of Rural Studies 32, 70-79. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2013.04.008.

[15] Folke, C., Hahn, T., Olsson, P. & Norberg, J. (2005). Adaptive governance of social- ecological systems. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 30, 441-473. DOI: 10.1146/

[16] Freeman, L. C. (1979). Centrality in Social Networks: conceptual clarification. Social Networks 1(3), 215-239. DOI: 10.1016/0378-8733(78)90021-7.

[17] Friedkin, N. E. (1981). The development of structure in random networks: an analysis of the effects of increasing network density on five measures of structure. Social Networks 3(1), 41-52. DOI: 10.1016/0378-8733(81)90004-6.

[18] Furmankiewicz, M., Thompson, N. & Zielinska, M. (2010). Area-based partnerships in rural Poland: The post-accession experience, Journal of Rural Studies 26(1), 52-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2009.05.001.

[19] Goodwin, M. (1998). The Governance of Rural Areas: Some Emerging Research Issues and Agendas. Journal of Rural Studies 14 (1), 5-12. DOI: 10.1016/S0743-0167(97)00043-0.

[20] Granovetter, M. (1973). The Strenght of the Weak Ties. American Journal of Sociology 78(6), 1360-1380.

[21] High, C. & Nemes, G. (2007). Social learning in LEADER: Exogenous, endogenous and hybrid evaluation in rural development. Sociologia Ruralis, 47(2), 103-119. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2007.00430.x.

[22] Janssen, M. A., Bodin, Ö., Anderies, J. M., Elmqvist, T., Ernstson, H., McAllister, R. R. J., Olsson, P. &. Ryan, P. (2006). A network perspective on the resilience of social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society 11(1), 15-26.

[23] Kovách, I. (2000). LEADER, a new social order, and the Central- and East-European countries. Sociologia Ruralis 40 (2), 181-189. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9523.00140.

[24] Laursen, B. K. (2013). Sustaining multifunctional landscapes through expertise networks: a case study from Southwest Wisconsin, USA [master thesis]. Madison: University of Wisconsin.

[25] Leavitt, H. (1951). Some effects of certain communication patterns on group performance. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 46(1), 38-50. DOI: 10.1037/h0057189.

[26] Lopolito, A., Nardone, G. & Sisto, R. (2011). Towards a Comprehensive Evaluation of LAGs in LEADER programmes, New Medit 10(1), 43-49.

[27] Macken-Walsh, A. & Curtin, C. (2012). Governance and Rural Development: The Case of the Rural Partnership Programme (RPP) in Post-Socialist Lithuania. Sociologia Ruralis 53 (2), 246-264. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2012.00578.x.

[28] MacKinnon, D. (2002). Rural governance and local involvement: assessing state communityrelations in the Scottish Highlands. Journal of Rural Studies 18(3), 307-324. DOI: 10.1016/S0743-0167(01)00048-1.

[29] Mantino, F. (2008). Typologies of Governance Models. Assessing the impact of rural development policies (incl. LEADER) [Deliverable D3.2], Rome: National Institute of Agricultural Economics (INEA).

[30] Marquardt, D., Möllers, J. & Buchenrieder, G. (2012). Social Networks and Rural Development: LEADER in Romania. Sociologia Ruralis 52(4), 398-431. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2012.00571.x.

[31] Marsden, T. & Murdoch, J. (1998). Editorial: the shifting nature of rural governance and community participation. Journal of Rural Studies 14 (1), 1-4. DOI: 10.1016/S0743-0167(97)00042-9.

[32] McManus, P., Walmsley, J., Argent, N., Baum, S., Bourke, L. Martin, J., Pritchard, B. & Sorensen, B. (2012). Rural Community and Rural Resilience: What is important to farmers in keeping their country towns alive? Journal of Rural Studies 28(1), 20-29. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2011.09.003.

[33] McNie, E. C. (2007). Reconciling the supply of scientific information with user demands: an analysis of the problem and review of the literature. Environmental Science & Policy 10(1), 17-38. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2006.10.004.

[34] Miller, C. (2001). Hybrid management: boundary organizations, science policy, and environmental governance in the climate regime. Science, Technology, & Human Values 26(4), 478-500. DOI: 10.1177/016224390102600405.

[35] Muñoz-Erickson, T. A., Aguilar-González, B. &. Sisk, T. D. (2007). Linking Ecosystem Health Indicators and Collaborative Management: a Systematic Framework to Evaluate Ecological and Social Outcomes. Ecology and Society 12(2), 6-18.

[36] Murdoch, J. (2000). Networks - a new paradigm of rural development? Journal of Rural Studies 16(4), 407-419. DOI: 10.1016/S0743-0167(00)00022-X.

[37] Nardone, G., Sisto, R. & Lopolito, A. (2010). Social Capital in the LEADER Initiative: a methodological approach. Journal of Rural Studies 26(1), 63-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2009.09.001.

[38] Natcher, D. C., Davi, S. &. Hickey, C. G. (2005). Co-management: managing relationships, not resources. Human Organization 64(3), 240-250.

[39] Oh, H., Chung, M. H. & Labianca, G. (2004). Group social capital and group effectiveness: the role of informal socializing ties. Academy of Management Journal 47(6), 860-875. DOI: 10.2307/20159627.

[40] Olsson, P., Folke, C. & Berkes, F. (2004). Adaptive co-management for building resilience in social ecological systems. Environmental Management 34(1), 75-90. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-003-0101-7.

[41] Osti, G. (2006). Il significato politico ed economico dell’esperienza LEADER: quattro casi di studio nell’Italia settentrionale. In: Cavazzani, A., Gaudio, G., Sivini, S., eds., Politiche, governance e innovazione per le aree rurali (pp. 541-569). Napoli: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane.

[42] Ostrom, E. (2010). Analysing collective action. Agricultural Economics, 41(s1), 155-166. DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-0862.2010.00497.x.

[43] Ostrom, E. & Ahn, T. K. (2008). The Meaning of Social Capital and its Link to Collective Action. In Svendsen, G. T. & Svendsen, G. L., eds., Handbook on Social Capital. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.

[44] Petrick, M. (2013). Reversing the rural race to the bottom: an evolutionary model of neoendogenous rural development. European Review of Agricultural Economics 40(4), 707-735. DOI: 10.1093/erae/jbt019.

[45] Plummer, R. (2009). The Adaptive Co-Management Process: an Initial Synthesis of Representative Models and Influential Variables. Ecology and Society 14(2), 24.

[46] Pollermann, K., Raue, P. & Schnaut, G. (2014). Multi-level Governance in rural development: Analysing experiences from LEADER for a Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) [unpublished conference paper]. Regional Science Association.

[47] Ratner, B. D. R., Meinzen-Dick, C., May and E. Haglund (2013). Resource conflict, collective action, and resilience: an analytical framework. International Journal of the Commons 7(1), 183-208. DOI: 10.18352/ijc.276.

[48] Ray, C. (2000). Editorial. The EU LEADER Programme: Rural Development Laboratory. Sociologia Ruralis 40(2), 163-171. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9523.00138.

[49] Ray, C. (2001). Transnational co-operation between rural areas: elements of a political economy of EU rural development. Sociologia Ruralis 41(3), 279-295. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9523.00183.

[50] Sabatier, P. A., ed. (2005). Swimming upstream: collaborative approaches to watershed management. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

[51] Sandström, A. & Rova, C. (2010). Adaptive co-management networks: a comparative analysis of two fishery conservation areas in Sweden. Ecology and Society 15, 14-25.

[52] Sandström, A. & Carlsson, L. (2008). The Performance of Policy Networks: The Relation between Network Structure and Network Performance. The Policy Studies Journal 36(4), 497-524. DOI: 10.1111/j.1541-0072.2008.00281.x.

[53] Schouten, M., van der Heide, M. & Heijman, W. (2009). Resilience of Social-Ecological Systems in European Rural Areas: Theory and Prospects [unpublished conference paper].

[54] Scott, M. (2004). Building institutional capacity in rural Northern Ireland: the role of partnership governance in the LEADER II programme. Journal of Rural Studies 20(1), 49-59. DOI: 10.1016/S0743-0167(03)00042-1.

[55] Shortall, S. (2008). Are rural development programmes socially inclusive? Social inclusion, civic engagement, participation, and social capital: Exploring the differences. Journal of Rural Studies 24 (4), 450-457. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2008.01.001.

[56] Shucksmith, M. (2000). Endogenous development, social capital and social inclusion: perspectives from LEADER in the UK. Sociologia Ruralis 40(2), 208-218. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9523.00143.

[57] Sisto, R., Lopolito, A. & van Vliet, M. (2018). Stakeholder participation in planning rural development strategies: Using backcasting to support Local Action Groups in complying with CLLD requirements. Land Use Policy 70, 442-450. DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.11.022.

[58] Swartling, Å. G., Lundholm, C., Plummer, R. & Armitage D., eds. (2011). Social Learning and Sustainability: Exploring Critical Issues in Relation to Environmental Change and Governance, Workshop proceedings [research report], Stockholm Environment Institute.

[59] Teilmann, K. A. & Thuesen, A. (2014). Important Types of LAG-Municipality Interaction When Collaborating on Rural Development Lessons from Danish LEADER LAGs. International Journal of Rural Management 10(1), 21-45. DOI: 10.1177/0973005214526501.

[60] Terluin, I. J. & Roza, P. (2010). Evaluation methods for rural development policy. The Hague: Wageningen UR.

[61] Thuesen, A. A. (2009). Is LEADER Elitist or Inclusive? Composition of Danish LAG Boards in the 2007-2013 Rural Development and Fisheries Programmes. Sociologia Ruralis 50(1), 31-45. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2009.00500.x.

[62] Wasserman, S. & Faust, K. (1994). Social Network Analysis: methods and applications, Cambridge University Press.

[63] Zago, R., Block, T., Dessein, J., Brunori, G. & Messely, L. (2015). Citizen participation neo-endogenous rural development: the case of LEADER programme, In International

[64] European Commission (2006). Rural Development 2007-2013 Handbook on Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework; Guidance document. Brussels: DG for Agriculture and Rural Development.

[65] European Commission (2008). Communication from the Commission of 25 July 2001 European governance - A white paper [COM (2001) 428 final - Official Journal C 287 of12.10.2001].

[66] European Commission (2011). Guide for the application of the LEADER Axis of the Rural Development Programmes 2007-2013 funded by the EAFRD,

[67] European Commission (2013). Guidance note B - Evaluation guidelines,

[68] European Commission (2016). European Evaluation Helpdesk for Rural Development,

[69] European Evaluation Network for Rural Development (2010). Capturing impacts of Leader and of measures to improve Quality of Life in rural areas, working paper, European Communities, Brussels.

[70] Metis GmbH (2010) Ex-post evaluation of LEADER+, Vienna.

[71] UNDP (2009). A users' guide to measuring local governance. United Nations Development Programme Oslo Governance Center (Available on-line at URL: nace/a-users-guide-to-measuring-local-governance-.html).

[72] World Bank (2009). Root for good forest outcomes: an analytical framework for governance reforms, Report nr.49572-GLB, The World Bank Agriculture and Rural Development Department, Washington D.C.

European Countryside

The Journal of Mendel University in Brno

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.78

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.265
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.607


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 37 37 37
PDF Downloads 41 41 41