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Articulating the rural voice: a case study from Northern Ireland

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Document begins: Articulating the rural 13 voice ­ a case study from Northern Ireland Gareth Harper Rural networking The feasibility study was undertaken in the context of the new political and institutional arrangements stemming The Rural Community Network (NI) ­ (RCN) is an from the Belfast Agreement (changing Regional independent, voluntary organisation for rural communities Government Structures, the development of a Civic Forum in Northern Ireland. As such, it has a unique and distinctive and changing local Government structures). In addition the role in rural development in Northern Ireland. It is feasibility study represented a practical response to the committed to a community development and networking increased emphasis on community development, civic approach to planning and development of local participation and social inclusion imbedded in recent policy communities in order to address poverty, social exclusion, documents ­ see for example `Shaping Our Future' equality and reconciliation issues. It promotes civic society (Department of the Environment Northern Ireland, Regional where citizens play an active part in the planning, decision- Strategic Planning Framework for NI, {December 1998}). making and implementation processes within their own communities and within wider society. It seeks to build linkages between participative and elected democracy Conflict resolution and policy ...

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