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New OECD study sheds light on social innovation in rural areas 

Jul 9, 2024 | European news, News

The OECD has released a comprehensive paper on “Assessing the Framework Conditions for Social Innovation in Rural Areas,” highlighting the distinct characteristics and potential of social innovation in rural contexts compared to urban settings. 

Social innovation is defined as the process of developing new solutions to address social and environmental issues, improving the quality of life for individuals and communities. Often, these innovations are driven by crises or specific events rather than commercial needs. While both urban and rural areas benefit from social innovation, the study emphasises that rural areas face unique challenges and opportunities. 

The OECD study stresses the importance of measuring social innovation to understand and optimise efforts in addressing social challenges. To this end, the report proposes a comprehensive approach, including a dashboard with five dimensions and 17 subdimensions, transforming qualitative inputs into quantitative indices for comparison over time and across regions. 

By acknowledging and supporting the unique nature of rural social innovation, policymakers can create environments where these innovations can thrive, leading to more resilient and sustainable rural communities. 

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