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.



Rural development lessons from the past and opportunities for the future

OECD Development Centre

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.


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