All problems within agri-environmental projects are communication problems, even those that don't seem to be. Practical problems can be resolved by having:

> the correct information
> the right contacts to get advice
> open communication with an agro technology company

These are all kinds of communication.

What is communication?
Communication is a two-way exchange of information between participants, where all participants are able to interact, share and give feedback.

Different professional backgrounds:

Agri-environmental projects involve collaboration between stakeholders who come from different professions such as farmers, farmers-advisors, policy-makers, governmental officials and scientists.

Stakeholders from different professions have different professional backgrounds and professional cultures. Every profession has their own:

> Mind-set and attitude
> Priorities
> Ways of approaching a problem
> Professional working language

A professional working language is adapted specifically for use within that profession, to communicate with colleagues regarding work related topics.

Differences in the way we all work and communicate, often cause small problems between different professional groups, such as:

> Misconceptions about a stakeholder group
> General misunderstandings
> Lack of respect and trust

Small problems add up and can result in the following major communication challenges:

> Language barriers between different professions
> Poor relationships between stakeholders and other professions
> Language barriers and poor relationships between scientists and other stakeholders

Professional cultural differences plus an ingrained top-down mind-set can lead to:

> Traditional top-down roles that don’t suit bottom-up projects
> Problems relating to policy and legislation

What kind of structural organisation does your project have, or do you want your project to have?

Every organisation has a different definition for the terms bottom-up and top-down. The term bottom-up is a popular buzzword, and is often used incorrectly.

We looked at all the definitions, and the ways these structures are implemented, and came up with the optimal definitions.

Top-down project structure:
There is a management hierarchy in place in all projects, companies, organisations and professions. In any position there are usually several of these at play at once.

Here are some simplified examples of the 'chain-of-command' in top-down systems.

The Boss -> Management --> Employees
The EU --> Policy-makers --> Farmers
The Funding Committees --> The Scientific Community --> Researcher

Traditionally these are non-flexible hierarchies used for organising and managing a business, organisation or project and follow these steps:

1. Decisions are made at the top
2. Commands are sent down the hierarchy to those at operational level at the "bottom"
3. Operational level (bottom) implements commands

Top-down organisation is efficient, standardized and the traditional way to structure a project, but there are major downsides to having a rigid top-down system. Often individuals at the "top" do not understand:

1. how the operational level functions
2. the processes carried out by the operational level
3. the practical implications of the decisions they make

This leads to poor or ill-informed decisions which are inefficient and make the jobs of those working at the operational level harder.

Top-down systems are flawed by one-way communication, an order sent down the hierarchy with no opportunity for feedback.

Communication should always be a two-way cycle, all parties should participate.

The operational level have crucial knowledge which should be used when making decisions, in top-down systems this knowledge is wasted.

Bottom-up project structure:
Those working at the operational level have unique knowledge on:

> local conditions
> local and implementation challenges
> practical applications

This knowledge is crucial to making good decisions.

In bottom-up systems this knowledge is used define project aims and to make important decisions. In this way the most regionally, locally and practically suitable solutions are reached.

The same participants are involved, but different roles of each stakeholder are required.

The people best qualified to design an agri-environmental project are those who would end up implementing it.

1. You know your region, your neighbours and the local issues being faced on your farm best.
2. Agri-environmental projects designed and initiated by you will be more suitable to your specific situation.
3. An agri-environmental project designed by you is more likely to be successful, and both environmentally and economically beneficial.
4. An agri-environmental project initiated and driven by you is more likely to be accepted by the local community.

Remember top-down structure is the standard practise, this means everyone is used their traditional top-down roles and to flawed one-way communication. Thus it can be hard to set up healthy two-way communication, and for project partners to take on a new role.

More information on top-down and bottom-up structured projects can be found in the attached pdf 'Communication_in_bottom-up_Agri-environmental_projects'.
More information on Two-way Communication can be found below


Tourism is a vital growth industry for rural areas. There is a large untapped growth potential in the smaller destinations outside the major cities and here the microturism companies are crucial. The micro-tourism can help boost tourism outside the major destinations and make the area more attractive to tourists for longer or recurring stays.
Experience from the project shows that microturism lacks an overall framework for development. The following 10 recommendations are therefore an attempt to simplify a great deal of microturism to some concrete frameworks and steps for the development of microturism. In practice, the work must be organized to suit the individual micro-destination. The 10 steps must therefore be read as a checklist that can be used to plan future initiatives.


Micro-tourism is supported by smaller tourism companies in smaller destinations outside the major cities. In the project Benefit4Regions, there is a focus on microturism outside the major cities based on experiences and services from networks of small, local companies and / or associations.
So in short: Micro-tourism is borne by micro-businesses at micro-rural destinations.

Raumstrukturanalyse Kreis Plön

Kurzfassung - Strategische Handlungsfelder Kreis Plön
Kurzfassung - Regionaler Nahverkehrsplan Kreis Plön
Kurzfassung - Integrierte Entwicklungsstrategie LAG AktivRegion Ostseeküste
Kurzfassung - Integrierte Entwicklungsstrategie LAG AktivRegion Schwentine-Holsteinische Schweiz
Kurzfassung - Landesentwicklungsplan Schleswig-Holstein

Throughout the project development process, the important project related terms can be documented, which forms the glossary of the project. The glossary can be revisited when and where misunderstanding or miscommunication occurs, in order to make sure everyone is on the same page, especially during project meetings or case study meetings.

You can use various methods to develop the glossary together with the project partners, for example, during one of the project partner meetings, we tried interactive games to make the words familiar for everyone and to add new words to it in order to avoid miscommunication. These methods turned out to be very effective in reaching the main aim of the glossary, which is knowledge transfer. Here are some of the methods we used:

I samarbejde med case study partnerne i case study gruppen rekruttering i landdistrikter og SDU fik vi udarbejdet et spørgeskema om manglen på faglært arbejdskraft, både i Danmark og Tyskland. Det blev et meget omfattende spørgeskema og vi var meget bekymrede for, om vi ville få håndværkerne til at svare på det.

Derfor arrangerede vi en Håndværkerdag, hvor vi inviterede alle håndværksmestre i Kalundborg kommune til en dag med hotdogs og underholdning. Underholdningen bestod i et foredrag ved murer Lindy Aldahl, som blev landskendt, da han deltog i et TV-program, som handlede om mænd, der skulle leve sundere. Vi havde medbragt PC'er, hvor deltagerne kunne besvare spørgeskemaet og få hjælp til det, hvis der var noget, de var i tvivl om. Vi fik kun 6 svar denne dag, flere bad om et link til spørgeskemaet for så at besvare det, når de kom hjem. Trods flere påmindelser fik vi kun 35 besvarelser ud af de 200 virksomheder, vi havde sendt det til.

Udover en pølsevogn havde vi inviteret forskellige leverandører til håndværkere: biler, arbejdstøj, uddannelsesmuligheder og udlejning af maskiner.

Der var ca. 65 håndværkere til arrangementet og der var gode dialoger om mangel på arbejdskraft.

This is the report of the case study "accessibility". It contains of two parts: 1.) Development report of the case study work on "accessibility" Part 1 describes the way how we defined the "rural development model" with all components as a base to structure and plan development processes with this components. 2.) Dialog with the local municipalities in Kreis Plön Part 2 shows one of many different cases, how rural developer can use these general model to get in contact with local stakeholder. In the case "Kreis Plön" it was used to "pick up" local as well as central stakeholder in Kreis Plön in the beginning of a new development process. It helps to get an idea of the local situation in general as well as the mindset of the stakeholder when it comes to future challenges and needs as well as to define the potencial for interlocal collaboration or cooperation.