The aim of this project is to understand the nature, drivers and consequences of rural transformation in order to design changes in the institutions, policies and investments (IPIs) which support success.
All developing countries experience rural transformation, that is ‘a process of comprehensive societal change whereby rural societies diversify their economies and reduce their reliance on agriculture; become dependent on distant places to trade and to acquire goods, services, and ideas; move from dispersed villages to towns and small and medium cities; and become culturally more similar to large urban agglomerations’ (Berdegue, Rosada and Bebbington, 2014).
Half or more of the population remains in rural areas in developing countries, which account for much higher shares of people living in poverty than do urban areas. Yet the process is far less studied than it deserves and the origins of the differences in experiences by country and by region are not clear. There are also gaps in the literature. These include the need to find common and quantitative measures of transformation and to explore many factors as part of a system. Research has also failed to examine the impact of driving factors (e.g., IPIs) on the stage, speed and outcome of rural transformation.
Therefore, this project will investigate not only the underlying determinants of the stages, speeds and outcomes of rural transformation but also the impacts of IPIs on all three elements and the successful rural transformation in the four countries.
- Building greater capacity of research partners with respect to the ways of thinking about the process or rural transformation.
- Developing a better understanding of the differential impacts of rural transformation and hence the crucial support needed to promote inclusive, secure and sustainable development.
- Developing a better understanding of the institutions, policies and investments that support success in rural transformation.
- Creating some immediate impacts on the pace of transformation, particularly associated with policy reform.