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3 Ongoing Projects

Young Nordic Food Producers – Growing Food(ies)

This project focuses on addressing the declining interest among young people in pursuing careers in the whole food value chain, including agriculture, livestock farming, fisheries, and forestry from farm and sea to fork, including related fields like processing, foraging, and hunting across the Nordic Region. Food production constitutes a significant value chain in all Nordic countries, with favourable conditions for agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, and further processing. Despite relatively high self-sufficiency influenced by climate conditions, access to marine areas, and suitable agricultural land, the sector faces challenges. There is a noticeable decline in youth interest in pursuing a career in those sectors, leading to fewer producers and an increased average age of 55.3 years in a predominantly male workforce. The project aims to identify innovative solutions to generate interest in careers within food production, covering agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, forestry, and other relevant parts of the value chain, from land and sea to table, including veterinary studies, butchery, and fish processing. The research questions focus on the challenges faced when choosing food production as a career path, how to best support existing and upcoming food producers, and what support mechanisms are necessary for fostering innovation and new thinking among new food producers, as well as improving existing support mechanisms. The project will involve a comprehensive approach, including forming a reference group of young people from relevant organisations to ensure youth involvement and validate the project’s findings. The results will be relevant for educational institutions, interest organisations, and policymakers within food production in the Nordic countries, contributing to understanding and addressing the challenges faced by the food production sector, thereby paving the way for new opportunities and inspiring the next generation of food producers.

Laks og ligestilling/Salmon and equality

For most of the Nordic countries fisheries and aquaculture are important economic sectors. The blue fields of the seas in the Nordic Region are however a sector traditionally male-dominated and statistics on gender ratio and female presence reveal gender-segregated labour market. The Nordic partners observe this gender imbalance in the sector as problematic on many levels. This motivates the project Laks og ligestilling, in identifying the need to uncover reasons for what contributes to the gender imbalance. This project analyses what hinders or promotes improved gender balance in fisheries and aquaculture in the Nordic Region. The project aims to contribute to improved knowledge basis on equality questions in fisheries and aquaculture, and other new emerging blue economies across the Nordic countries. Parallelly it is to raise increased awareness of the need for more equal gender balance in the business and the recruitment of female skills. More specifically the project research output shall improve knowledge of which measures have proved effective in increasing gender equality within the sector. On the basis of the comparative analysis, we aim to build a knowledge basis for useful competence and exchange of experience. Lastly, the result from the comparative research will be presented in policy recommendations on measures likely to increase recruitment of women both as owners and practitioners in the sector. The project’s focus is to uncover active actions and measures that contribute to increased gender equality and more balanced representation of both males and females. Also to generate an overview of existing statistics on gender ration among employees and employers in the fisheries and aquaculture sector and to identify gaps across division of labour and strata within the sector. Project MilestonesM1: Statistical collection and harmonization of data to make comparative – Value Chain analysis for Blue Bioeconomy from gender perspective – and stakeholder…

Not Just a Green Transition (NJUST) – Examining the path towards a socially just green transition in the Nordic Region

Not Just a Green Transition – Examining the path towards a socially just green transition in the Nordic Region (short name: NJUST) contributes to a just transition towards a climate neutral Nordic Region. The researchers explore perceptions among those experiencing the change first-hand and focus on how to best support the Nordic people and especially potentially vulnerable groups, primarily unemployed and those at risk of unemployment as well as older adults, children and persons with disabilities. Towards a strong knowledge base and policy relevanceThe starting point will be to create a knowledge base where a literature review, policy review and analyses of spatial and socio-economic effects of green transition policies will be conducted. The project will send out surveys and perform sentiment analyses to explore how people experience the ongoing green transition on an individual level. Based on the knowledge base, a policy proposal toolbox will be created and disseminated to the relevant policymakers across the Nordic countries and self-governing regions. The toolbox shall contain policies and measures to reduce the potentially negative spatial and social impacts of the green transition. All publications will be openly available on Nordregio’s website. A big collaboration effort: focus groups and dialogue meetings to validate the resultsThe project interacts with labour market representatives, unions and civil society actors, invites vulnerable group representatives to join focus groups and dialogue meetings and reaches out to citizens via surveys. Nordic and national policymakers are the main target group for the project results and special communication efforts will be channelled to these groups. NJUST invites all stakeholders annually to join an open event to share and build knowledge. The first event takes place in August 2022 and more information will be available here during the spring. The NJUST project works closely and reports to several Committees of Senior…

Integrating immigrants into the Nordic labour market – The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic

Nordic countries have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has taken a substantial toll on economic growth and employment level. Immigrants may have been disproportionately affected, even though Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden already face serious challenges in integrating immigrants into their labour markets for several years. This project aims to make a contribution to further research into the consequences of the pandemic. Current data and statistics on unemployment trends in the Nordic countries shall be presented in order to obtain a comprehensive overview of the current labour market situation of immigrants. The project shall revisit and update the main findings, conclusions and policy recommendations of the 2019 report ‘Integrating immigrants into the Nordic labour markets’ in the light of the pandemic. Target groups The target group of the project includes national, regional and municipal authorities who are involved in integrating immigrants into the Nordic labour market. The recommendations on how to support labour market integration during the pandemic and going forward may also be relevant for civil society organisations, employers’ organisations, chambers of commerce and other actors in the Nordic region and beyond who are working with refugees and other immigrant groups.

Update of the VASAB-LTP for the Territorial Development of BSR

This project aims to update the strategy VASAB Long Term Perspective (LTP) for the territorial development of the Baltic Sea Region – BSR. The revision of this transnational strategic spatial planning document on territorial integration builds on relevant topics of existing VASAB LTP (1994, 2009) and will incorporate a future-oriented perspective. The revision will consider current and future trends that are likely to influence the territorial development of the macro-region. The update of the long-term vision is envisaged as an iterative and participatory process involving a wide range of relevant stakeholders. Together with Spatial Foresight, Nordregio will develop a background synthesis report that will cover the experience and lessons learned from the current VASAB long-term perspective; important trends shaping future developments in the Baltic Sea Region and key relevant policy documents to which the long-term perspective need to relate to. This report will be fundamental to guide the new spatial vision that will endeavour for a sustainable, inclusive and digital Baltic Sea Region in 2040.

Share the Care

Share the Care project will provide new knowledge towards a less gender-segregated health care sector, a heavily female-dominated sector. The study will focus on the educational path of male professionals. It will provide recommendations on how to recruit and retain men in the nursing sector. The project aims to increase the number of men who enrol and successfully graduate from nursing and licensed practical nursing (LPN) educational programmes. To meet this overall objective, measures will be implemented in: the University of Akureyri in Iceland, Østfold University College in Norway and LAB University of Applied Sciences in Finland. Secondary schools in geographical proximity to the universities involved, offering licensed practical nursing programmes, are also targeted in the project. Actions are largely based on recommendations from previous research “Men in Nursing Education: Mapping Educational Practices, and Student Experiences in Iceland, Denmark, and Norway”. The project will implement a system to follow cohorts in nursing education and document reasons behind drop-outs and delays during the study, which will produce important knowledge to counteract the problem. Communication and recruitment material will be scrutinized in the effort to address gendered and ethnicity imbalance. Reference groups of study and career counsellors will be formed to create knowledge and stimulate more men to engage in care work. These actions will be an important input for educational institutions and authorities on how to recruit and retain men in nursing education. Project deliverables include a handbook and other educational and communication material, as well as special platforms for male students to minimize the risk of exclusion and alienation. Nordregio will co-ordinate the research activities as well as communication and outreach, together with partners and the client, NIKK.

Accessibility to Health Services in Iceland

The pilot study would entail the following objective: to objectively and quantitatively measure the accessibility of all Icelandic residents to health services, which would be distinguished between (for instance) regional hospitals, clinics, Doctor’s offices and other medical facilities. The results would then be visualised on a series of maps that will profile accessibility for the country as a whole as well as at the regional scale. Accessibility will be measured in a dynamic way, including a distinction between accessibility of residents to health services within multiple commuting distance, as well as accessibility of health services to inhabitants of different age groups and, if time permits, gender. The final delivery will be short working paper with a series of maps and quantitative results profiled in tables and charts. A brief overview and analytical text will also be provided, including a feasibility analysis for a continued study covering all of the aforementioned sectors.

Female Arctic: Empowering young women in the industrialized Russian North (FEMARC)

This project has been halted based on the Nordic Council of Ministers’ decision to discontinue collaboration with Russia and Belarus, announced on the 4th of May. FEMARC aims to empower women in the industrialized Russian Arctic through discussions of gender inequalities and art/cultural exchange. The industrialized cities in the region rely more on male workers than females, entailing a masculine culture, making young women especially vulnerable. The specialization in the economy (mining industries) has led to women living in the area experience difficulties getting recognition and lack of employment opportunities. This situation has resulted in a high female outflow, and the gender asymmetry is rarely problematized, not even by the creative youth. The project will encourage the development of feminist art by providing knowledge and skills to the participants. Cultural exchange with Sweden will help to create a broader perspective, new contacts, and a network of mutual support.

Sami Youth Involvement in Regional Development

The purpose of the analysis is to provide insight into the priorities and initiatives of Sami youth and Sami education institutions regarding economic development. The findings will be discussed in a comparative perspective, considering the differences and similarities between Sami youth perspectives and education institutions in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The analysis will address the following questions: 1. What are the perspectives and initiatives of Sami youth associations regarding regional economic development? 2. How do Sami education institutions consider and design education programmes to support the linkages between the Sami indigenous culture and regional and rural economic development? The analysis will conclude with recommendations for policymakers and practitioners working with regional and rural development in Sapmi, including opportunities for cross-border collaboration. Recommendations will centre on opportunities for promoting the link between Sami youth and regional and rural development regarding the main Sami business development areas. Sustainable development perspectives concerning the environment (e.g. land use), gender (e.g. the challenge that especially women are moving), and the balance between culture and economic development are integrated into the research.

Linking innovation and resilience: Synergy effects for regional development

This project aims to find commonalities and synergy effects of the in-depth studies on regional economic and social resilience, smart specialisation, digitalisation, as well as the so called “skills project”, all part of the activities under the ongoing Nordic Cooperation Programme for Regional Development. The synergy project will focus on these interlinkages as well as the horizontal perspectives, such as gender, green transition, youth and arctic aspects, as highlighted by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The project is part of The Nordic thematic group for innovative and resilient regions 2017-2020. The final report of the Synergy project will be published by April 2020.

Demographic challenges in the Nordic region from a gender perspective (DEMOS)

The Nordic countries face many demographic challenges affecting both the welfare system and people´s labour market opportunities. Salaries and conditions on the labour market varies and maintain an unequal and gender-segregated labour market – in addition to often gendered welfare solutions. Therefore it is essential to understand the most urgent demographic challenges from a gender perspective. How should the need for skills and competencies be met? Who or whom will get employment in the future and in what kind of a job? How will the employment opportunities look like in the local and regional context? We intend to highlight these issues to prepare for demographic challenges with particular focus on gender equality in the labour market. Nordregio works on two knowledge reviews with a Nordic gender perspective — one on skills supply and competence matching on the labour market and another on Care responsibility. The project outputs will be two knowledge reviews (30 pages per overview). We also participated in an expert interview on February 26 about urbanisation/regionality, and 28 August on gender and care and gender and future of work, at the Gender Secretariat in Gothenburg. Furthermore, we participated and co-organized expert interviews in the spring of 2019, and participated in the international conference on Future of Work (with NMR and ILO) in Iceland in April 2019.

Demographic vulnerability for Swedish-Norwegian border municipalities

In order to emphasize the diversity and variety of Nordic regions and municipalities, Nordregio has been utilising the concept of “demographic vulnerabilities”, which is based on demographic data. This approach has been used since 2011 to analyse Nordic and Baltic municipalities and regions. In this project, it will be brought up to date, relying on statistical data from 2018, with a focus on the Swedish – Norwegian border. The demographic vulnerabilities index is a summary of ten demographic components on municipal level in all Nordic countries, such as age structure, gender balance, population natural change and net migration. These indicators help identify municipalities that share common demographic dynamics and challenges. The analysis for the “Demographic vulnerabilities for the Swedish – Norwegian border municipalities” project will be carried on at three levels: The Nordic region in general Sweden and Norway as countries The Swedish – Norwegian border municipalities In addition, the index will be combined with the supplementary statistics from the State of the Nordic Region 2018 with a focus on the border municipalities. Visit the publication: Demografisk sårbarhet 2019 The map “Nordic demographic vulnerability index 2019” The map shows the demographic vulnerability index in Nordic municipalities in 2019.

Empowering Young Women in Industrial Cities in the Russian Arctic

The project stimulates young women empowerment in industrial cities in the Russian Arctic through developing cultural and artistic exchange between Russia and Sweden. Mining cities require more men labour than female and are permeated with masculine culture. Gender inequality is rarely problematized and there are only few initiatives supporting women. Nordregio aims to establish network between Swedish and Russian artists who have worked with gender-sensitive art or other creative initiatives. The project’s target group is agents of change and opinion-makers who, through culture or the media, work with creative processes to strengthen democratization and human rights. These can be institutions and groups of cultural actors and journalists, other actors within media organisation as well as human rights defenders and political activists, women´s rights groups, youth organisations or other relevant actors who work to increase democratisation and freedom of expression.

Rural realities in the Nordic countries

The aim of the project is to highlight the living conditions that women and men face in Nordic rural communities, and how they affect the migration patterns in the Nordic countries. Both women and men in the Nordic countries are moving to the cities. Limited opportunities for education, jobs and political influence are some of the reasons women choose to leave rural communities. Today there are more men than women living in Nordic rural areas. This rings especially true in the Faroe Islands and in Greenland, where the depopulation trend is most critical. Over time this will make it difficult to maintain levels of welfare and social security in rural areas. By increasing the knowledge about living conditions in Nordic rural areas, this project contributes to meet these challenges and to get young people to stay in or move to rural areas. The project´s results are presented in an animated film produced by NIKK (Nordic information on gender). The film introduced this issue at a seminar hosted by the Nordic council of ministers, during the summit of UN Women in New York, March 2018. Nordregio produced 15 maps related to gender equality for the Nordic gender institution NIKK and the Swedish ministry Socialdepartmentet. The work from Nordregio’s side includes data collection, data harmonisation, data editing, production of maps using GIS (Geographic Information System), and map layout.

From Migrants to Workers

From Migrants to Workers: Immigrants’ role in local labour markets in the Nordic region Over the past few decades the scale of international migration into the Nordic countries has increased considerably. The percent foreign-born of the total population in several of the Nordic countries exceeds that of traditional migration destination states such as the United States and Australia. While many of these recent arrivals migrate to the capital cities and other large urban areas of the Nordic countries, there has been increased migration to rural and sparsely populated areas of the Nordic region and the role of these new arrivals into these areas is not well known. The quantitative analysis of this project examines the scale of immigration into the Nordic countries by country of origin, gender, level of education, and other characteristics. It looks at the scale of immigration by region with a focus on the more sparsely-populated areas of the Nordic region. Case studies from six rather remote, rural regions across the Nordics provide a more qualitative assessment of the role of these new immigrants in local labour markets with labour shortages and population decline. A central aim is to compare the measures taken to improve the long-term integration of labour migrants and their families, and refugees, into social networks and labour markets – and to identify and spread good practices.

Mainstreaming Human Rights in Urban Studies at the Belarusian National Technical University

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) has started an academic cooperation with Belarusian Universities; namely, the Faculty of International Relations at Belarusian State University (BSU), Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU) and Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU) on strengthening knowledge of human rights perspectives and humanitarian law among University teachers as well as developing academic literature resources, teaching curricula and scientific research. Locating the study of gender and the planning system with an understanding of the links between the planning process and the human rights has been recognized as important by the BNTU. In this connection, RWI in cooperation with BNTU has tasked Nordregio (Nordic Center for Spatial Development) with providing guidance on how to include human rights and gender perspectives in urban planning in their specified courses. Based on the brief discussion with BNTU teachers, Nordregio elaborated on the most relevant issues with regards to mainstreaming human rights and gender perspectives in urban planning within the courses on Architectural and Urban Design, Social Foundations of Architecture and Theory of Architecture. The purpose of these recommendations is to assist teachers at the BNTU with a theoretical background, teaching methods and reference material on the interactions between human rights, gender and urban planning by emphasizing their relevance and importance in achieving more inclusive and accessible cities.

Compiling, processing, analysing and visualising statistical data of 32 of the goals of the Värmland Strategy

The project aims at visualising and analysing 32 regional development goals of Region Värmland, a county organisation located in mid-Western Sweden. In Sweden, each county organisation needs a development strategy for the region’s development. In November 2013, Region Värmland passed the Värmland Strategy (Värmlandsstrategin), a programme with the aim of measuring the current developments of the county. The strategy consists of 33 quantitative, measurable goals within the spheres of culture, climate, environment, transport, infrastructure, gender balances, public health, education and economic development with 2020 as target year. Nordregio will compile, process, analyse statistical data of 32 of the 33 goals of the Värmland Strategy and produce maps, charts, tables and written analyses. The current situation for Region Värmland is to be visualised and compared to the developments in other Swedish regions (län) as well as to the national average. The historical development, in the form of time series from year 2000 up to today, will also be included in the visualisation. The study will thus present Region Värmland’s current state of its regional development, as well as how the region is proceeding towards the 2020 targets. Nordregio has a long tradition of measuring and visualising regional development trends, both within a Nordic regional context, like in this case, or regional territorial monitoring within a broader European framework, such as the current projects of ESPON BSR-TeMo, ESPON ITAN and ESPON ETMS.