Sustainable Development Banner


Communication for development



Research and technology





Site map




About SD

December 2003

Announcement of a new publication

Education for rural development: Towards new policy responses

A joint study conducted by FAO and UNESCO

The reduction of poverty, as well as food security and basic education form the core of the new discourse of development aid. However, the rural nature of these challenges is often overlooked. Poverty and illiteracy remain overwhelmingly rural phenomena. Poverty in rural areas is closely linked to illiteracy as well as to other forms of deprivation such as malnutrition, infant mortality, and poor access to water.

The vast majority of the rural poor depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Therefore rural development faces a key challenge to achieve both poverty reduction and Education for All. Accumulated evidence, as well as development theories, teach us that education is a powerful instrument of economic, social and cultural change.

In order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, specifically the first two goals, which focus on reducing hunger and poverty by half and ensuring universal primary education by 2015, we need to change the traditional working modalities of international aid agencies and address the needs of the world's biggest neglected majority - rural people. This can be achieved through new multisectoral and interdisciplinary alliances and partnerships among aid specialists working in education and those working in agriculture and rural development. By taking the initiative of launching the research leading to this publication, FAO and the International Institute for Educational Planning of UNESCO have tried to take a step in that direction.

Click here to see the publication (pdf format).

SD Home Back to top FAO Homepage