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Cluster

Rural Futures

The big development issues of the coming decades, including inequality, sustainability, exclusion and security, all have specific and critically important rural dimensions.

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 environmental shocks and stresses. At the same time, many possible rural futures can be envisaged, which will have major implications for local livelihoods, poverty and social relations, conflict, migration, production and distribution systems, food security, natural resource management and environmental change.

Through our research, policy engagement, teaching and training, the Rural Futures Cluster seeks to support the emergence of pathways that deliver both greater social justice and sustainability for rural people and places, while recognising their important interconnections with urban areas.

We assume 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 and women to take greater control over their productive assets.

Further, we take it as self-evident that the aspirations, agency, voices and assets of rural people must be a central to these dynamic processes at different scales. Thus, a key focus of the Rural Futures Cluster is to understand how local change processes articulate with those at national and global levels.

People

Image of Amber Huff
Amber Huff

Research Fellow

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

Projects

Project

Pathway to Sustainable Development and Human Dignity and Choice

The PKSF is implementing the ENRICH through 116 POs in 200 unions of 164 upazilas under 64 districts. The prime objective of this programme is to ensure overall development for all those living in its working areas. To ensure total development, it undertakes initiatives related to human dignity...

Project

Pathways to Stronger Futures in Haiti

It is widely understood that poverty undermines early childhood development (ECD). In turn, poor ECD reinforces intergenerational transmission of poverty. Economic strengthening through comprehensive social protection may offer a 'double boon': it can improve ECD in the short-term and reduce...

Recent work

Publication

Assessing the Relative Importance of Causal Factors

CDI Practice Paper;21

While contribution analysis provides a basis for making causal claims and understanding how and why change occurs, it does not on its own estimate the relative importance, much less the size, of the causal factors at work. In this CDI Practice Paper written by John Mayne, we discuss ways of...

14 August 2019

Opinion

Food certification schemes, impact and existential questions

Certification systems, like Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and organic agriculture are crucial social capital in the food system. They need to show that they are credible. Therefore, a large part of published research on sustainability in food production concerns the impact of certification. The...

31 July 2019

Journal Article

Rethinking Technological Change in Smallholder Agriculture

The concept of technology adoption (along with its companions, diffusion and scaling) is commonly used to design development interventions, to frame impact evaluations and to inform decision-making about new investments in development-oriented agricultural research. However, adoption simplifies...

Image of Dominic Glover
Dominic Glover & 4 others

22 July 2019