Rural Futures

Through our research, policy engagement, teaching and training, we support the emergence of development pathways that deliver both greater social justice and sustainability for rural people and places, while recognising their important interconnections with urban areas and the links between local change processes and those at national and global levels.

Rural societies, economies and areas face challenges and opportunities that can be qualitatively different from their urban analogues, including limited access to infrastructure, services and political decision-making and greater exposure to some kinds of environmental shocks and stresses.

Many possible rural futures can be envisaged, each carrying implications for local livelihoods, poverty and social relations, conflict, migration, production and distribution systems, food security, natural resource management and environmental change.

We believe that improvements in social justice and sustainability can be achieved by opening up a diversity of economic, environmental and technological pathways, practices, models and institutional arrangements that create new democratic spaces, strengthen social movements, enhance innovation and empower rural men, women and young people to take greater control over their productive assets.

The aspirations, agency, voices and assets of rural people must be central to these dynamic processes. The empowerment of people in rural areas who are poor and vulnerable are central to our concerns.


Adinda Van Hemelrijck

Postgraduate Researcher

Image of Amber Huff

Amber Huff

Research Fellow

Image of Amy Warmington

Amy Warmington

Project Manager (ICTD)

Image of Carolina Szyp

Carolina Szyp

Research Officer

Image of Dirk Willenbockel

Dirk Willenbockel

Research Fellow

Image of Dominic Glover

Dominic Glover

Research Fellow

Image of Elise Wach

Elise Wach

Research Advisor

Image of Gabriele Köhler

Gabriele Köhler

Honorary Associate



Conceptualisation of Earmarked Taxes to Support Food Fortification

Food fortification is one of the most rapid, cost-effective, scalable and evidence-based impactful strategies to reach hundreds of millions to combat micronutrient malnutrition, when delivered as intended (Horton, 2006, Keats et al., 2019; Mbuya et al., 2020; Saha et al, 2021). However, the...

Recent work


Evaluating Capacity-Strengthening Impact: A Funder Perspective

CDI Practice Paper 23

This CDI Practice paper by Peter Taylor describes the evolution of the Think Tank Initiative (TTI) evaluation approach as it engaged progressively with the complexity of the programme. It reflects critically on key lessons learned through process and outcomes. It also offers some takeaways for...

25 August 2022