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Round Table of GDPRD’s Strategic Initiative Agenda 2030– New Momentum for Rural Transformation

On the 13-14 October 2016, the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, upon invitation of the Italian Agency for International Development, organised an event titled “Round Table-The Future Donor Programmes in Rural Development”. On this occasion, key messages of the Background Paper for the Round Table of Platform’s Strategic Initiative Agenda 2030– New Momentum for Rural Transformation, were presented and the participants moved on to identify cross cutting issues that will help guide them in their activities and will contribute to forming a new vision of rural areas.

As stated in the paper, although the share of agricultural sector to overall GDP is declining, this fact does not mean reduction in the importance of agriculture. Rather, the sector remains the main driver of rural economy and has value added to different other sectors of the economy. According to the platform, “addressing the opportunities and challenges of rural development through the prism of Agenda 2030 can contribute to a more successful sustainable development of rural spaces in most if not all the dimensions captured by the SDGs, since the development of rural areas will be the key to achieving targets under goals 1 “no poverty” and 2 “no hunger”. But strategies for sustainable and inclusive transformation can also serve as a catalyst to contributing to many other targets, including targets of goal 5 “gender equality”, goal 8 “decent work and economic growth”, goal 10 “reduced inequalities, goal 11 “sustainable cities and communities” and goal 15 “life on land” and others. Each of the SDGs and the Agenda 2030 as a whole create a pathway to a better, more sustainable and inclusive world and the donor community has already committed to the implementation of this agenda. Yet in practice, Agenda 2030’s universality translates into highly complex implementation processes that require focused and coordinated application by development countries’ governments and within the agriculture and rural development community. This complexity of Agenda 2030 and the interlinkages of the goals reflect the complexity of many of the dynamics that drive rural transformation processes”.

The paper helps to better understand this complexity by firstly summarizing the international debate on rural transformation and related initiatives and providing definitions, trends and drivers. Secondly, it offers an overview of cross-sectoral policy priorities, programming and governance issues to promote rural transformation interventions and some considerations on how donors could be better and more engaged in this process. 

During the event, the IFAD Rural Development Report 2016: fostering inclusive rural transformation was equally discussed as well as the FAO-OECD-UNCDF publication Adopting a Territorial Approach to Food Security and Nutrition Policy.

For further information on this debate, visit also the FAO webpage containing presentations and documentation of the recent event (September 2016) “Rural transformation, agricultural and food system transition: Building the evidence base for policies that promote sustainable development, food and nutrition security and poverty reduction”.

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Giorgia MEI
30 November 2016

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