The central idea behind Agenda 2030 of developing an integrated framework that is universal and addresses the “world as a whole” has resulted in a very comprehensive but complex agenda. While not mentioned specifically, the cross-cutting nature of many SDGs calls for approaches which are appropriate to deliver on such complex targets and go beyond sectorial thinking. The agricultural sector and rural development will therefore remain central for the implementation of Agenda 2030, but they will need to nevertheless be leveraged within a broader approach that addresses sustainable and inclusive rural transformation process using the framework provided by the SDGs.
Donors engagement in rural transformation
One of the objectives of the newly established working group on Agenda 2030 is the coordination and exchange between donors in support of inclusive and sustainable rural transformation process.
SDGs a path towards inclusive and sustainable rural transformation
The Agenda 2030 is seen as a strategic opportunity and a new momentum to discuss sustainability in rural transformation and the role of donor agencies and international finance institutions. At the Rural transformation round table in October, in Rome, Italy, the Platform members and partners will examine the changing conditions in and for development countries and through closer and informal exchange agree on what future donor support should look like.
While definitions vary, rural transformation is recognised as a process impacting on development with or without interventions. In other words, it constitutes the dynamics in the rural space and does not by itself provide directions for sustainable development. 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 transformation of the agricultural sector and even beyond economic transformation and with some quite negative effects in many low- and middle-income countries.
Rural transformation processes are hence more than just a new agenda item. Rather, the causes and effects of rural transformation processes provide a new intervention context for donors and other development actors and have far-reaching consequences for the development of rural areas and alike.