The EU initiative ADAPT

he objectives of the WWF’s ADAPT project: "Park Areas: the Environment from restriction to development opportunity" were the promotion of sustainable development interventions in park areas through the adaptation and strengthening of the competencies of those economical operators working in strategic sectors for the development of these areas. The project involved four national parks and was divided into two general stages: the first stage aimed at identifying sustainable development opportunities in the park areas; the purpose of the second stage was to put these ideas into practice through training activities and actions aimed at supporting local business activities.
The project was organized by a central team, whose function was to coordinate and give a methodological support to the project’s activities, and some local teams that had to be a link between the various areas and the coordinating team, as well as a structure dealing with direct interventions on the area during research, animation, didactic planning and training course management stages. Local teams have been the main partners for local stakeholders and economical operators.
Scheme 1 describes the structure of the various stages of the project. The aim of research-action activities was to verify development opportunities of an area through:
a) a desk research which enabled to outline and define, for each park area, the economical, social, institutional and legislative reference contexts and the existing development opportunities;
b) a field research, carried out by local animators in order to see which are the main orientations of social stakeholders about the kind of development initiatives to be taken in those areas, using the interview technique;
c) the comparison between the results of socio-economical analysis and the orientations that came out during field investigations. The results of this comparison showed a first grid of productive sectors, project ideas to be promoted and supported as well as a list of (institutional, social and economical) subjects that could be involved in sustainable development initiatives. Later on, a set of local animation and public awareness activities were implemented. These activities aimed at analysing local productive stakeholders who would benefit from the interventions and at finding out which users were interested in taking part in the training intervention. Local animators also carried out an analysis of the various stakeholders selected, trying to identify their needs in terms of development of the productive stakeholders involved and the need to strengthen single competencies.
These activities (research-intervention and local animation) have been propaedeutic to the second stage of the project which is mostly dedicated to training activities. In this way, it was possible to create the operational conditions to implement project ideas in practice, through training support, in a real development initiative. Moreover, some activities to support trainees and give assistance for the realization of project ideas at the end of the training process were planned.
Training activities were planned and designed according to the indications that came out from the analysis of the needs expressed by productive stakeholders involved in the intervention. The result of this process was a set of training programmes planned in a differentiated manner and characterized by a structure matching the trainees’ training needs as well as the specific objectives of training courses.
From the methodological point of view, it is worth mentioning the importance of work organization both for the central coordinating team and for the local teams. Local teams played a crucial role in the implementation of field activities. As a matter of fact, they took part directly into the local animation stage, didactic planning and into the management of training courses as tutors. Moreover, they were in charge of identifying competency needs of productive structures in every single park area that deserved to be enhanced. This enabled them to take an active part into didactic planning and the adjustment of training processes in agreement with the central team. Didactic planning followed one single structure for every training intervention:

  • orientation (balance of competencies, make training needs plain, possible training programmes, training agreement);
  • orientation towards the context (know the context, meet witnesses, attend guided visits, find out opportunities and project ideas);
  • practical sessions alternated with theory courses;
  • strengthen and adjust competencies (specific and technical/specialistic investigations with experts and teachers);
  • find out the ways to carry on with tutoring activities.






Therefore, didactic programmes were not previously defined, but they were adjusted step by step by local teams, in order to come up to the training needs of participants in relation with the specific training objectives which have been gradually defined during the training process.
Training initiatives ended up with an analysis of the needs in comparison with the kind of supporting and accompanying actions to be implemented in order to support project ideas that came out during theoretical sessions and, later on, for their own implementation. The results obtained (in terms of products and resources involved) have previously been presented.
Planning of training subjects - starting from field analysis -, flexible didactic structure - based on theoretical sessions alternated with practical activities - and the possibility to benefit from supporting/accompanying actions represent the innovatory elements that characterized training courses organized in the framework of ADAPT Initiative. As a matter of fact, they made the difference with traditional vocational training which can be implemented in the framework of the Objectives financed by the European Social Fund. The results are certainly positive from various points of view (creation of operator networks, overcoming of sectorial practices, experimentation of an innovatory approach, adjustment of a model of intervention, etc.).
Therefore, the experience acquired offers opportunities to think of the problems related to planning/managing training interventions and of the opportunities and limits to experiment innovatory training interventions.


Proposes in the ADAPT comunities initiatives

tourist offer
Aromatic and medicinal plants
Innovative and sustainable olive-growing
Green tourism operator

The historical centers in the park
Green tourism operators
Tourist operator in the widespread hospitality project
The WWF-CRAS training proposal
       The ADAPT project
       The limits of training
       Training project
       WWF-CRAS training proposal


The EU initiative ADAPT - The WWF-CRAS trining proposal Tourism operator in the widespread hospitality CRAS - the limits of training