Place-based approaches to rural development require the collaboration of public and private actors. Such collaboration may be stimulated through joint learning and innovation processes which are supported by various institutional arrangements. There is, however, reason to question the effectiveness of existing institutional arrangements. The learning rural area framework is introduced as a tool to map, analyse and evaluate the operational features of (institutional) arrangements supporting joint learning and innovation in rural areas. Its application is discussed with reference to the Westerkwartier in the Netherlands and other rural areas. It will be shown how the framework can serve as an interactive tool to enhance joint reflexivity, facilitate wider collaboration and help build collective agency. Its potential as a tool for designing and implementing more effective institutional arrangements, catalysing institutional reform and bringing about more collaborative modes of governance should be further explored.
- regional innovation