Rural service provision through citizen initiatives: what is the recipe for success?

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Against the backdrop of depopulation and Big Society, citizen initiatives in rural areas are expected to contribute to community liveability, for example by maintaining public services. These citizens initiatives are believed to be able to mitigate service-provision inequalities between urban and peripheral regions. Factors influencing the success and failure of such citizen initiatives have thus far hardly been explored. Our work into aspects of success and failure from a professional and policymaker perspective indicates that achieving the goals of the initiative does not necessarily define their success.
This paper aims to conceptualize factors influencing the success or failure of citizen initiatives from the perspective of the initiators. We made an inventory of citizen initiatives in depopulating rural areas in the North Netherlands. Questionnaires were sent to around 600 initiatives, focusing on how the initiatives think about success of an initiative in general and on factors influencing success or failure. The results will add to future research on citizen initiatives, but also provide insights that may be useful for citizen initiatives and ways local governments try to facilitate them.
Period24 May 2016
Event titleNordic Conference for Rural Research: Nordic Ruralities: Crisis and Resilience
Event typeConference
LocationAkureyri, IcelandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • citizens' initiatives
  • rural areas
  • service provision