Scientific evidence and local knowledge are invaluable resources for supporting policy-makers in the development of modern policies for rural areas for the programming period 2021-2027 and beyond. The EU-funded SHERPA project aims to create long-lasting science-society-policy interfaces that engage in developing policy recommendations at European, national and regional levels, and in designing concrete proposals for future research agendas that fill knowledge gaps and meet the needs of rural actors. SHERPA will gather relevant knowledge and use the results of past and present research projects to engage stakeholders in discussions in 40 Multi-Actor Platforms (MAPs) of around 20 EU countries, and at EU level. SHERPA’s implementation approach will follow four guiding principles: flexible programming of activities to enable timely and responsive contributions to policy making, impartiality and transparency; recognition of the diversity of EU rural territories and multi-level interactions; and co-construction.
The overall objective of SHERPA is to gather relevant knowledge and opinions that contribute to the formulation of recommendations for future policies relevant to EU rural areas. It will use the results of ongoing and past research projects to engage citizens, stakeholders, policy-makers and scientists in the development of strategic thinking and practical recommendations for the formulation of modern rural policies. SHERPA aims to develop a science-society-policy interface that will continue after the end of the project. It will use a suite of approaches to science-society-policy interactions in 40 Multi-Actor Platforms covering 20 EU countries and at EU level, and state-of-the-art multimedia tools for two-way communication with citizens and policy audiences. SHERPA’s implementation approach will follow four guiding principles of flexible programming of activities to enable timely and responsive contributions to policy-making, impartiality and transparency; recognition of the diversity of EU rural territories and multi-level interactions; and co-construction. SHERPA will contribute to policy development provision of inputs for the design of future research policies, with a focus on the preparation of work programmes under Horizon Europe, support for the implementation of policies relevant to rural areas in the programming period 2021-2027 and support for setting the direction of rural policy in the next programming period (after 2027).