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Participation of citizens in rural regional development - preliminary results presented and discussed in workshop with experts

In the DigiBeL project, we are working on generalisable conclusions and recommendations for action until the research project is completed in spring 2023.  On 1 February 2023, we presented and discussed the current status of these project results in an online workshop with experts from the fields of rural development, digitalisation and democratic participation in digital space. We were pleased to receive a lot of confirmation and very exciting thoughts and questions, which we can take into account in the final work of the project and continue to inspire us.

In association with the Institute for Communication and Media Studies (IfKMW) at the University of Leipzig, we have been jointly investigating "Perspectives and Possible Applications of Digital Participation Procedures in Rural Regional Development" (DigiBeL) since April 2020. Currently, we are finalising the synthesis of the results from the literature review, online survey and the six regional case studies. The resulting recommendations for action will be elaborated and made available in target group-specific formats, a policy brief as well as a guide for action for those responsible in politics, municipalities, civil society, business and education.

The DigiBeL website, where reports on the results can be accessed, keeps the public informed about the progress of the project work. Via the website as well as via the usual podcast providers, you can find the project-accompanying podcast DigitaLand, the 6th and last episode of which will be published shortly.

DigiBeL is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) through the Federal Programme Rural Development and Regional Value Creation (BULE+).

Contact persons at IfLS: Simone Sterly (sterly[at] and Sarah Peter (peter[at]