Development Centre Studies

OECD Development Centre

English
ISSN: 
1990-0295 (online)
ISSN: 
1563-4302 (print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/19900295
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This series of monographs from the OECD Development Centre covers development issues generally and in some cases issues in specific countries. It  includes Angus Maddison’s books containing long-term historical estimates of GDP for various areas of the world.

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A New Rural Development Paradigm for the 21st Century

A New Rural Development Paradigm for the 21st Century

A Toolkit for Developing Countries You do not have access to this content

OECD Development Centre

English
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Author(s):
OECD
01 Apr 2016
Pages:
280
ISBN:
9789264252271 (PDF) ;9789264252264(print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264252271-en

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Three billion people live in rural areas in developing countries. Conditions for them are worse than for their urban counterparts when measured by almost any development indicator, from extreme poverty, to child mortality and access to electricity and sanitation. And the gulf is widening, contributing to large-scale migration to urban areas. This situation exists despite half a century of rural development theories and approaches, and despite the global momentum built around the Millennium Development Goals between 2000 and 2015. Without greater progress on rural development, it is unlikely that the new Sustainable Development Goals will be met. This book calls for a new paradigm for rural development that is equipped to meet the challenges and harness the opportunities of the 21st century – including climate change, demographic shifts, international competition and fast-moving technological change.

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements

    Three billion people in developing countries live in rural areas, and they include the majority of the world’s poor. They are constrained by a lack of productive employment opportunities, poor education and infrastructure, and limited access to markets and services. Although building on the experience of early developers is key, rural regions in less developed parts of the world today face new challenges and opportunities that developed countries did not face before. Challenges include a more demanding competitive international environment, rapidly growing rural populations, increased pressure on limited environmental resources and climate change. Opportunities include advances in information and communications, agricultural, energy, and health technologies that can help address some of these challenges.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    Three billion people live in rural areas in developing countries. Conditions for them are worse than for their urban counterparts when measured by almost any development indicator, from extreme poverty, to child mortality and access to electricity and sanitation. And the gulf is widening, contributing to large-scale migration to urban areas. This situation exists despite half a century of rural development theories and approaches, and despite the global momentum built around the Millennium Development Goals between 2000 and 2015. Without a new framework for rural development in developing countries, it is unlikely that the new Sustainable Development Goals will be met.

  • Overview: A New Rural Development Paradigm

    There is need for a new rural development paradigm for developing countries. Three billion people live in rural areas in developing countries and the number is expected to increase further over the next couple of decades. Rural areas in developing countries are characterised by high poverty rates, limited access to basic public services, and an overall lack of opportunities. Actions aiming to improve rural livelihoods are not new, but the overwhelming reality facing many rural populations today suggests that the results of previous efforts have been limited. Achieving the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals will not be possible without the implementation of effective rural development strategies. This chapter provides an overview of the book. It outlines the situation of rural areas in developing countries today. It revisits previous approaches and theories for rural development, summarising the rural policy experience across OECD countries – with a particular focus on the Korean experience – and five developing countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Building on these experiences, the chapter summarises a series of policy lessons, which help to frame a New Rural Development Paradigm for developing countries in the 21st century.

  • The rural world today

    Most of the population of developing countries resides in rural areas, which are characterised by high levels of poverty and a lack of opportunities. The absolute number of rural people is expected to continue to grow in South Asia and especially in sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, the gulf between rural and urban areas in terms of development is widening within developing countries. Some developing regions have managed to tackle rural development much more successfully than others, however. This chapter analyses these patterns on a global level, and then with particular reference to Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Differences across developing countries call for context-specific approaches to tackle their problems and to exploit their opportunities. Changes in both demography and the environment, along with weak governance systems, are among the most important challenges to be faced by rural areas of developing countries in the coming decades.

  • Why is a new rural development paradigm needed?

    Despite six decades of attention to rural development, culminating in the Millennium Development Goals process of the 21st century, rural people in the developing world still struggle compared to their urban counterparts. This chapter reviews the shifting theories and approaches to the subject over the years, from rural areas being treated as "backwaters" in need of modernisation, to more nuanced approaches valuing rural knowledge and promoting local participation in policy making. The limited success of the old approaches, and changing international development contexts, call for a new rural development paradigm that takes advantage of the diverse and innovative roles rural areas can play while integrating specific economic, social and ecological concerns. A new paradigm for rural development will be crucial for achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals, which will strongly influence development practices in the 21st century.

  • Lessons from rural development in OECD countries

    Despite the different challenges facing rural areas in developing countries, the experience of rural development in OECD countries has some relevant lessons to impart. This chapter outlines the evolution of rural areas in OECD countries. The transformation of OECD economies over the last few decades has resulted in a declining and ageing rural population and lower share of agriculture in gross domestic product (GDP). While cities are the main source of economic growth in OECD countries, however, a large rural population can coincide with a high GDP per capita. A new paradigm for rural development in OECD countries, in existence since 2006, sees rural areas in a new, more positive light: rather than being treated as lagging regions that need propping up with subsidies, it views them as sources of untapped potential that can contribute to national growth, with the right policies and investment. This requires local-level governance autonomy and capacity, and cohesion and co-ordination across multiple levels of government.

  • The rural development experience of the Republic of Korea

    The Republic of Korea’s rapid rise from a mainly agricultural nation and food-aid recipient to one of the fastest-growing OECD economies is inspirational. This chapter explores the factors behind this transition, focusing in on the role of rural development policy from the 1950s onwards. Of particular interest is the national programme for rural development known as Saemaul Undong, or new village movement, which used incentives and competition to encourage villagers to improve their communities. Korea’s fast and successful industrialisation process involved large-scale migration from rural to urban areas, as well as an increasing rural-urban income gap. Saemaul Undong acted as a buffer during this transformation, redistributing wealth through subsidies for agriculture, increasing agricultural productivity, and providing infrastructure in rural areas. While Korea’s set up is unique, there are specific components of its rural development approach that could offer inspiration to policy makers in developing countries. These include: (1) early establishment of the preconditions required for rural development and rapid industrialisation (low socio-economic disparities, strong human and social capital and effective rural institutions); (2) multi-sectoral approaches and effective governance; and (3) sequential policy implementation enhanced through incentives and monitoring.

  • Experiences on rural development from Southeast Asia and China

    Viet Nam, Thailand and the People’s Republic of China have all made remarkable progress in reducing poverty and diversifying their rural economies. Viet Nam has achieved impressive economic development through its structural transformation from a closed, socially-planned and collective economy towards a market-based and open economy. Thailand’s proactive policies have transformed it into an agricultural powerhouse and it has managed to narrow the urban-rural gap in infrastructure, education and health provision. China’s economic development over the last 65 years has seen it evolve from a closed socially-planned economy to a modern industrial nation. This chapter reviews the national and rural development strategies of these three countries, drawing out valuable lessons on what works for rural development.

  • Experiences on rural development from Sub-Saharan Africa: Côte d'Ivoire and Tanzania

    Sub-Saharan Africa faces many rural development challenges. Its demographic transition has come late, and the sub-continent has the highest fertility rates in the world. The process of structural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa is also still in the early stages, with agriculture being the predominant livelihood activity. This chapter explores the challenges and opportunities of two sub-Saharan African countries – Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania – and draws out some wider lessons. The two countries have taken different approaches to rural development. Côte d’Ivoire has prioritised agricultural development and diversification as the engine of the economy, rather than implementing an explicit rural development strategy. However, despite strong agricultural performance, extreme poverty is entrenched and the country has seen human development levels decline since the 1990s. Tanzania has adopted different approaches to rural development over time but, even if the country has recorded sustained economic growth since the mid-2000s and levels of extreme poverty have fallen substantially, this has not translated into a substantial increase in the living standards of the rural population. Inadequate implementation and governance are some of the main factors holding the country back from making significant advances in rural livelihoods.

  • Rural development lessons from the past and opportunities for the future

    Rural development has taken many different routes, as shown in the case studies and comparisons of Asian and sub-Saharan African countries in the preceding chapters. This chapter compares and contrasts their experiences and also draws on the analysis in Chapters 2-4 to synthesise ten key lessons and insights for rural development. It also highlights some key opportunities in the area of information and communication technologies (ICTs), biofuels, and agricultural technology that offer great potential for rural development in developing countries in the 21st century.

  • A new rural development paradigm for developing countries in the 21st century

    The lessons from the history of rural development and the real experiences of developing countries help shape a new paradigm for rural development (NRDP). This chapter presents the framework for the new paradigm, which is context-specific, multi-level and multi-agent. It contains eight key components, and includes a menu of 25 policy tools which offer opportunities for rural development in the 21st century. The chapter also outlines seven steps needed to implement the paradigm through a prioritised, well-sequenced and realistic strategy in individual developing countries.

  • Policy tools for the New Rural Development Paradigm

    Together, a new rural development paradigm founded on eight components – governance, multi-sector policies, infrastructure, urban-rural linkages, inclusiveness, gender equality, demography and environmental sustainability – can contribute to balanced and sustained rural development in developing countries. This final chapter highlights some key policy tools to help implement these components, illustrated by examples from across the developing world. The choice of policies will depend on the context, however. The assessment and prioritisation process outlined in Chapter 9 will help determine the most suitable tools for each country.

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