Thesis Defense: Ayokunle Abosede Ojowa31/10/2019
Our 2nd year MEDfOR student defended his thesis on the University of Padova on Friday 25th of October.
PUBLIC ACTORS IN SOCIAL INNOVATION INITIATIVES IN RURAL AREAS: A PRELIMINARY OVERVIEW WITH A FOCUS ON MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES.
Advisor: Professor Laura Secco, University of Padova, Italy
Social innovation (SI) has been recognized as an important tool that helps tackle a myriad of societal problems and challenges, especially rural development. With respect to marginalized rural areas (MRA), SI can trigger the establishment of new relations, the emergence of new actors, markets, and new governance arrangements that eventually contributes to solving problems such as, depopulation of rural areas, unavailability of resources, land abandonment, unsustainable use of resources, et cetera. Even though, different actors are often involved in SI initiatives, supported by the pivotal engagement of civil societies, current research puts less effort in systematically exploring the roles and influence of public actors in social innovation initiatives in marginalized rural areas. A systematized approach to literature review was adapted, focussing on key issues like innovation; innovation initiatives in the rural areas as relating to Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Development; public or state actors’ capacities in supporting innovation in the MRA; the kind of relationship that exists between the state agents and the rural people, and combining them with case study analysis. Using Mann-Whitney U Test, which is a non-parametric test, the influence of public actors on SI initiatives will be analysed. Other variables that will be analysed are; the level of communication; types/scales of involvement; levels of trust, and whether there has been change in trust in the last 5 years.
Keywords: Innovation, Social innovation, Public actors, Transformative change