Field trip in Olt County, Southern Romania

In May 2024, researchers from the Romanian team conducted a field visit in one of the areas selected as a (potential) case study in the project.

The area is located in the Southern part of Romania (usually associated with low levels of resources in common/public discourses), in Olt County, and its localities are characterized by low levels of Local Human Development Index (LHDI – please see our previous newsletters for more information on the index) both at national and regional level.

The main purpose of the visit was to strengthen the connections with local authorities and complement email, telephone and WhatsApp communication with face-to-face interactions, in preparation of the upcoming fieldwork. The Re-Place team had a meeting with mayors and other town hall staff from three neighboring rural communities and presented the project, with an emphasis on the empirical research to be conducted in that area. This visit was useful for gathering some preliminary, brief information that was convergent with what was found out through desk research. The topics covered included local economy and employment, mobility trends and population characteristics. Agriculture is the most important economic activity in the area, but there are also people working in factories in the nearby city; outmigration dominates, with only few cases of people moving into the area. The population of the area is ethnically and religiously homogeneous, following the aging trend to be seen at the national level as well. The research team was well received by the local authorities, who were interested and open to collaborate in the Re-Place activities.