Power to the people

ABCD Innovation Center

Duration: October-December 2020


The rural areas in the Eastern Partnership Region face a range of economic, social and environmental challenges. Rural areas have a significantly lower income than the average, higher unemployment, an ageing working population, and a greater dependency on the primary sector. Low population density and depopulation in some areas increase the risk of problems such as poor access to services, social exclusion, and a narrow range of employment options. Whilst persistent challenges such as depopulation and poor quality public services continue to put many rural communities under pressure, there are also new and exciting opportunities for rural residents and rural businesses arising from the key drivers of rural change in the 21st century, including the impact of existing and emerging digital technologies, the low-carbon and circular economies, the bio economy, new value chains, new patterns of mobility, closer links with cities and so on. In this context, Smart Villages can be understood simply as rural communities that refuse to wait for change to happen to them. Such communities are made up of rural people who take the initiative to mobilise themselves and explore practical solutions to the day-to-day challenges they face, as well as seize new opportunities for improving their quality of life and standard of living

The overall goal of the project is to enhance the institutional capacity of Civil Society Organizations from Eastern Partnership Countries to plan and implement inclusive and sustainable local economic development.

The project is financed by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Regional Office "Dialogue Eastern Europe"

Smart Eco-Social Villages For Rural Transformation