SYNERGY: Rural Collaboration Project

Working in conjunction with Irish Rural Link for enhanced cross border learning and development

SyneRgy is a collaborative project where Rural Action is partnering with Irish Rural Link to offer opportunity for enhanced cross border learning and development.

This joint initiative is funded under the initial round of the Irish Government’s Shared Island Civic Society Fund.


The project will bring the two organisations together to consider current issues facing rural communities and more importantly to collaborate and devise possible solutions to address the issues identified.

It is centered around 3 key pillars/objectives: –

  • To Analyse – provide the opportunity for 2 regional rural organisations (North/South) to better understand shared rural needs and to identify appropriate solutions to address those needs.
  • To Collaborate – further strengthen existing relationships and develop strategic links for sustained engagement at the regional level, enabling synergies through collaboration on a range of common themes
  • To Advance – facilitate the design and development of at least 2 rural focused concepts/interventions that will benefit all communities and traditions to build consensus around shared rural issues leading towards joint application(s).

The project will engage: –

  • Voluntary Board Members of both organisations building and strengthening relations at the strategic level.
  • Staff (CEO & Development teams) of both organisations building relations at the organisational/operational level with a focus on practical actions for active and inclusive North/South cooperation and engagement, sharing practice and learning from each other.
  • Rural communities – representatives of grassroots community-based organisations in Northern Ireland and Ireland to better understand shared rural issues and engage them in identification of rural focused solutions.
  • Other Stakeholders – Central & Local Government and funding organisations in sharing learning and needs.

The project will be delivered through consultative approaches (engaging in meetings, workshops & focus groups); carrying out a regional rural survey (online survey promoted through our collective networks of rural organisations); collation and analysis of data; study visits & sharing practice & thematic working groups.

For more information – email

For more information on Irish Rural Link visit Home | Irish Rural Link


Progress To Date

  • Official launch attended by Tánaiste Micheál Martin
  • A series of meetings with staff from Rural Action and Irish Rural Link
  • Meeting of Board representatives from Rural Action and Irish Rural Link
  • Study visits to Aghaloo Community Centre, Aughnacloy and Truagh Spirit, Emyvale
  • Design, issue and analysis of survey to 100 groups and organisations across rural NI and Ireland who own, manage, or lease a community hall or building
  • Follow ups to the survey including 2 focus group discussions
  • Consideration of shared issues, opportunities and thematic working areas.

The ideas, opinions and comments contained on this webpage are entirely the responsibility of its author – Rural Action/Irish Rural Link – and do not necessarily represent or reflect DFA policy.