A New Rural Development Paradigm for the 21st Century

A Toolkit for Developing Countries

image of A New Rural Development Paradigm for the 21st Century

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.



Experiences on rural development from Southeast Asia and China

OECD Development Centre

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.


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