Document Type : Original Article
University of Pisa
Purpose- This study aimed at identifying the successful aspects of the LEADER Approach in European countries.
Design/methodology/approach- The methodology in this study is a systematic overview. The statistical population of the present research consisted of 30 scientific articles on the LEADER Approach published in different journals during 2000-2017.
Findings- The results showed the success cases (items) of the LEADER Approach in European countries can be defined in four general categories contains: economic, social, environmental, and management dimensions. Moreover, among the successes of the LEADER Approach, the economic dimension with a rate of 38.4% has the highest percentage relative to the other dimensions. One factor behind the success of the LEADER to European countries, which is an important guide for rural development programs in Asian countries including Iran, is a very important issue of networking in the rural development process, which has recently been intensely debated in the discussions of academic and executive development spheres in the EU countries. However, the effects of LEADER vary from region to region, so any generalizations between regions are likely to be unreliable. Therefore, it is still difficult to judge its true impact on rural development.
Originality/Value- The LEADER Program is one of the performed programs being implemented by European Union countries in the new vision of rural development planning. When the European Union started its new program with a completely new approach, there were a lot of skeptics against the initiative based on local development. LEADER has often been praised as a successful approach to rural development, although its implementation is not without scholarly critiques.