FAO Learning event: Smart and Digital Villages: a digitally-enabled rural transformation

FAO Learning event. Smart and Digital Villages: a digitally-enabled rural transformation

27 September 2022

Smart Villages is a new development approach that has been emerging in Europe in the last few years and shares many commonalities with the FAO Digital Village Initiative (DVI). It strives to stimulate innovative action in rural communities, including digital innovation.

Smart Villages are rural communities that use innovative solutions, building on local strengths and opportunities to improve their resilience. They rely on a participatory approach to develop and implement their initiatives in order to improve their economic, social and/or environmental conditions, implementing digital solutions.

Smart Villages benefit from cooperation and alliances with other communities and actors in rural and urban areas. The initiation and implementation of Smart Villages initiatives may build on existing experiences and projects and can be funded by a variety of public and private sources. The FAO Digital Village Initiative (DVI) aims at revitalising rural areas and empowering rural communities through the uptake of ICTs and access to digital services, and shares many commonalities with Smart Villages.


In the framework of FAO and AEIDL collaboration to capitalize on the good practices and lessons learned from the European Smart Villages Initiatives, a webinar was organised to:

  • Raise awareness among FAO Country Officers on the benefits and opportunities of Smart and Digital Villages and their importance to support the digital transformation of rural communities;
  • Present inspiring (lighthouse) examples of Smart Villages initiatives in Europe, which focus on the digitalization of rural communities;
  • Inspire FAO Country Officers to engage with the FAO DVI and engage with Smart Villages in a knowledge exchange process.


  • Status of DVI implementation in Europe and Central Asia, Daniela DiGianantonio (FAO) PPT
  • What are Smart Villages in Europe?, Enrique Nieto (AEIDL). PPT
  • The Smart Agri Hub in Almeria (Spain). Dr Cynthia Giagnocavo (University of Almeria, Spain). PPT
  • Lormes, the small village of the future in France, Clive Peckham (La Nièvre Numérique). PPT
  • Digital Villages in Germany, Adeline Schaefer (Fraunhofer IESE Institute). PPT


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