The specific aims of the Rural-eGov project are:
  • First, to study the needs of SMEs in rural areas about governmental and public services, as well as to examine which of these could be offered online. Moreover, to study the degree of awareness of rural SMEs regarding existing e-government services.
  • Second, to review the status of existing e-government services in the participating countries, as well as the degree in which they could cover the needs of rural SMEs.
  • Third, to design and develop a web-based observatory, which will include a collection and categorization of e-government services that can support SMEs from rural areas (termed as the Rural-eGov Observatory).
  • Fourth, to develop a set of proposed training scenarios (based on blended learning strategies for vocational training). These will promote the combination of ICT-based learning (such as digital learning repositories that support virtual communities) with traditional forms of learning (such as seminars and learning groups). Their aim will be to train SMEs from rural areas in understanding and reaping the benefits from e-government services.
  • Fifth, to develop innovative and relevant e-learning content that will support the proposed training scenarios, which will be described and stored (in the form of learning objects) in the Observatory’s repository of digital training objects.
  • Sixth, to carry out a set of pilot sessions with a number of representative user groups (SMEs from the participating rural areas) and to evaluate the proposed approach.
  • Finally, to produce a set of policy recommendations to EU agencies, National Governments and Rural Administration in order to stimulate the discussion about the development of e-government services for rural development and the education and training of citizens (with a particular emphasis on businesses) on how they can take advantage from such services.
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