This publication is part of the OECD workstream on Preparing Regions for Demographic Change. It elaborates a case study for the Portuguese region of Alentejo and focuses on improving the delivery of educational services taking into account the multi-level governance context. The study highlights the need to better articulate and co-ordinate the delivery of educational services among levels of government to improve access and quality. It also sheds light on the decisive role that geography plays and the importance of adopting a spatial lens to mitigate the rising inequality present in Portugal in access to education services. Alentejo is a rural region that expects to lose 30% of its population between 2020 and 2080, hence it needs to put in place forward-looking and effective policy levers to delivery sustainable education services to citizens living in rural communities.
Rural regions are places of opportunity with diverse economies but require a place-based approach beyond agricultural policy to thrive. OECD Rural Studies explores how to promote the competitiveness of firms and the wellbeing of residents in rural areas. Rural policy reviews assess the performance of rural areas and make recommendations to address challenges and seize opportunities through rural development policies and other policies with significant impacts on rural places. Thematic studies cover topics such as service delivery, rural-urban linkages, innovation, land use, economic sectors (such as natural resource extraction, renewable energy and ecosystem services) or particular types of rural residents (such as Indigenous communities).