Positive thinking: an innovative strategy of Local Development in the “Inner Areas"

Veronica Lo Presti


This paper is a methodological reflection on the use of the "positive thinking approaches" for the promotion of capacity building of the projects in the local and inner areas. Recently, international policies have focused on the need to identify local development strategies to promote the capacity building in the local administrations, for the development of human and social capital.

In the inner areas, it is necessary to experiment innovative approaches that are "place based" and “tailor made” for the projects to achieve the objectives of the National Strategy of the Inner Areas”

The paper presents the “positive thinking approaches” as an innovative strategy of local development in the inner areas. The positive thinking approaches start from the analysis of "what has worked well", with a focus on the co-construction of the "successes", because “you learn more from successes than  failures”.

In particular, the article presents three positive thinking approaches (EI, evaluation of innovation; DE - developmental evaluation, and MSC - Most Significant Change). The aim is to explore what these approaches share in the Inner Areas. The advantage of positive thinking approaches is their ability to capitalize on unexpected positive effects. EI, DE and MSC recognise that the good practice that has been detected needs to be adapted to other situations by thoughtful agents. In both cases, a detected success will need responsible actors to produce further success.


positive thinking, developmental evaluation, local development, capacity building

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ISSN: 2239-267X

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