Institute of Rural Studies

Deputy Director


Anja Herkner

Bundesallee 64
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5501
Fax: +49 531 596 5599

Institute of Rural Economics

Deputy Director

  • NN

Evaluation 'Land(auf)Schwung'


Pilot regions in the program "Land(auf)Schwung" (c) Thünen-Institut/Patrick Küpper. Verwaltungsgrenzen: Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie (2013)
Map: Pilot regions in the program "Land(auf)Schwung" (© Thünen-Institut/Patrick Küpper. Verwaltungsgrenzen: Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie (2013))

Ongoing evaluation of the pilot program 'Land(auf)Schwung' from the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Many peripheral rural regions are affected by unemployment, low wages, sparse infrastructure, out-migration and population ageing. The federal ministry of agriculture searches for new approaches for developing such regions. We research these new pilot programs concerning their feasibility and transferability.

Background and Objective

The federal ministry of food and agriculture has launched the pilot program ‚Land(auf)Schwung‘ in order to support 13 rural regions. The scope of the program is wide and the regions should use the funding for their special needs. The innovative elements of the pilot program are:

  • a topical focus on basic services under the context of regional shrinking processes as well as on the building of value chains,
  • a plan of resources to build capacities needed for rural development in the region, and
  • an inter-regional network of pilot regions in order to initiate innovations by the combination of local with expert knowledge

In our ongoing research, we analyze how the funding instruments are implemented and whether regional developments and innovations actually emerge. We would like to understand the impacts of the innovative elements and to learn about factors decisive for success or failure of new ideas. Thus, not only effective and efficient actions are identified, we also want to detect the relevant conditions needed for the transfer of innovations into similar regions. Based on our findings, we would like to develop policy recommendations how to improve existing funding schemes for rural development. The collected experiences will be finally summed up for rural actors in order that they can learn from our research.


The pilot regions focus on very different topics and their actual activities will develop fundamentally over the program period. Therefore, we have task to observe the regions permanently and to adapt our research design continually. This process includes the search for theoretical models feasible to describe and explain the regional activities. In addition, we have to develop empirical instruments further. What we need is a balance between a broad overview of all participating regions on the one hand, and deep case studies about particularly interesting projects and themes.

Based on the requirements of the ministry for the regions, our thematic focus is on steering processes and capacity building, basic services under shrinking conditions, construction of value chains as well as inter-municipal and interregional cooperation. The last point is a cross cutting theme which is analyzed in the other focuses.

Data and Methods

We use the following methods in our ongoing research and combine thereby quantiative and qualitative approaches:

  • (group) interviews with key stakeholders and project managers,
  • phone, online or mail questionnaires for participants and relevant target groups
  • open not-participating observations of meetings of the decision making body, working groups etc. and of network meeting and audioconferences of the pilot regions.
  • document analysis of strategies, minutes, funding bids, annual reports etc.


Links and Downloads


Involved Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE)
    (national, öffentlich)


7.2015 - 3.2021

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: 2815LE007
Funding program: Bundesprogramm Ländliche Entwicklung
Project status: finished

Publications to the project

Results 1 - 5 of 14

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  1. Tuitjer G (2021) Entrepreneurial knowledge strategies in specialty food innovations. In: Leick B, Gretzinger S, Makkonen T (eds) The rural enterprise economy. London; New York: Routledge, pp 206-218, DOI:10.4324/9781003034001-17
  2. Mettenberger T, Küpper P (2021) Innovative Versorgungslösungen in ländlichen Regionen: Ergebnisse der Begleitforschung zum Modellvorhaben Land(auf)Schwung im Handlungsfeld "Daseinsvorsorge" . Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 258 p, Thünen Rep 90, Band 1, DOI:10.3220/REP1634815865000
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 2706 kb
  3. Tuitjer G (2021) Kurze Ketten im Lebensmittelbereich : Herausforderungen und Potenziale von verschiedenen Typen von Short Food Supply Chains. Standort Z Angew Geogr 45:181-186, DOI:10.1007/s00548-021-00704-y
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 1164 kb
  4. Küpper P, Brensing J, Bergholz C, Mettenberger T, Pollermann K, Tuitjer G (2021) Ländliche Regionen entwickeln: Erkenntnisse der Begleitforschung zum Modellvorhaben Land(auf)Schwung für die Praxis. Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut für Ländliche Räume, 127 p
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 9893 kb
  5. Mettenberger T, Zscherneck J, Küpper P (2021) Wenn Neues aufs Land kommt. Entwicklung, Umsetzung und Verbreitung innovativer Lösungen zur digitalen Daseinsvorsorge. Raumforsch Raumordn Spat Res Plann 79(6):543-556, DOI:10.14512/rur.90
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 236 kb

Results 1 - 5 of 14

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