The complexity of the rural transformation process calls for multi-layered governance and new forms of technical and financial assistance. The international debate on the structural and political changes in rural areas is vivid and ongoing. There are many international working groups and forums, with different constituencies and mandates, that explore the central and unifying role rural transformation plays in the implementation of Agenda 2030.
Following these developments, the Platform’s Annual General Assembly in January 2017 convened upon invitation of the European Commission on the topic of the future role of donor agencies and international finance institutions in guiding the process of rural transformation. All Platform activities in the Strategic Initiative Agenda 2030 of the Platform constitute a longer-term exercise in close cooperation with a growing number of institutions and initiatives towards the better informed positioning of donor programmes within the new development framework.
Irrespective of the definitional nuances, there is consensus that rural transformation is a complex and on-going process in the rural space in all countries. The effects of this process extend beyond the transformation of the agricultural sector and even beyond economic transformation and with some quite negative effects in many low- and middle-income countries. However, the direction and effects of these rural transformation processes can be shaped and steered to prevent and mitigate negative effects and produce outcomes that are beneficial for rural populations on a national and subnational level. The process of rural transformation must thus be addressed by a policy agenda aimed at making rural transformation ecologically more sustainable and socially inclusive.