Despite their demographic and economic importance, rural regions lag behind in a number of socio-economic indicators. Inhabitants are often at higher risk of poverty, face difficulties in accessing infrastructure and public services, and display lower levels of employment, income, educational attainment. Rural isolation refers not only to social, labour and educational exclusion, but also to the mechanisms that perpetuate these trends over time.

TSI stakeholder and collaborater Volonteurope has been engaged in a compaign to explore the challenges facing rural communities and identify possible solutions to these challenges, while advocating for stronger political and financial support for voluntary sector organisations engaged in rural development initiatives. The final conference marking the end of the campaign will take place in Amsterdam, 17-18 March 2016. Volonteurope will present the key findings and recommendations, and receive reactions from researchers, decision makers and civil society actors working in rural development.

TSI’s Signe Bock Segaard will attend the conference and a prior seminar with the working group “Measuring the social impact of volunteering”. This collaborative effort aims at raising the standards of measuring the impact of volunteering in terms of social value. Signe will deliver a presentation on “Impacts in a research perspective”, building on TSIs work on impact.