Advancing Sustainable Rural Development

Project description

Title: Sector Project Rural Development
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Cofinanced by: Combined financing of the partner organisation Organizzazione internationale italo-latino americana (IILA) on the topic of ‘Alternative development in drug crop cultivation areas’ as part of the EU-funded ‘Cooperation Programme between Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union on Drugs Policies’ (COPOLAD III)
Country: Global
Political carrier: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2021 to 2024

Photo: © GIZ/Binh Dang Vietnamese landscape with forested mountains, fields and a small village


Despite progress in recent decades, 80 per cent of people affected by extreme poverty worldwide live in rural regions. Especially the growing young population in rural areas lacks prospects: Shortage of jobs, lack of access to land, capital and education, inadequate opportunities for political and societal participation, weak institutional structures and poor infrastructure are major constraints for a sustainable development.

On top of the social challenges, the overexploitation of natural resources and the impacts of climate change are further exacerbating the precarious situation. This is leading to conflicts over natural resources and land and increases rural poverty.

Coherent policies and programmes, cross-sectoral action and transformative approaches are needed so that people in rural areas can have viable prospects, generate income and obtain a healthy diet – without exceeding planetary boundaries.

Photo: © GIZ/Florian Kopp Two hands pointing to something on a map


Concepts for a sustainable transformation of rural areas are mainstreamed into international and national policy processes and programmes.

Photo: © GIZ/Ranak Martin Women in a field in Bangladesh


The project advises the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on issues of rural regional development, good rural governance and access to land, agroecological transformation, protection and sustainable use of natural resources and climate change adaptation and mitigation in rural regions. It works along three fields of action, with gender-transformative and digital approaches playing a key role throughout:

The project advises BMZ along the formulation of policies and strategies, development of its thematic portfolio and for positioning as a relevant stakeholder. It continuously observes the international policy debate, analyses and comments on academic and policy processes and provides evidence-based findings from international research.

In addition, it analyses practical implementation experiences, develops innovative methods and concepts, and actively contributes to design relevant knowledge platforms and networks. It develops knowledge products and uses them to mainstream relevant thematic content into the German development portfolio.

Via learning and exchange formats, the project supports international development organisations and their partner institutions to build capacities. It promotes the elaboration of new approaches and helps disseminating proven ones.

Co-financing from the partner organisation IILA supports the projects engagement in the topic ‘Alternative development in drug crop cultivation areas’ along the implementation of the EU-funded COPOLAD III project.

Last update: October 2023

Additional information