Rural Institutions, Services and Empowerment


RISE’s Work Area on Inclusive Rural Finance helps to address the micro-, meso- and macrolevel constraints to the efficient, inclusive and sustainable functioning of the rural financial market. It favours an “ecosystem level” approach that emphasizes a holistic rural and agricultural financial system development perspective.

This requires:

• addressing the policy and regulatory issues and other enabling environment factors that promote the intermediation of financial services and mobilization of investment capital for rural actors;

• systematic de-risking of agrifood value chains from the financial service providers’ and investors’ perspective;

• strengthening of stakeholder capacities and their linkages to achieve greater inclusion;

• addressing knowledge gaps and promoting the introduction of innovative financial sector solutions and digital technologies that are appropriate for rural and agricultural actors.


The purpose of the Work Area on Inclusive Rural Finance is to strengthen the livelihoods and resilience of rural actors and promote inclusive, efficient and sustainable food value chains through improved access to financial services and investments.  


The Work Area contributes to the creation of enabling conditions for unlocking finance and investment through knowledge sharing and development, increased stakeholder capacities, conducive and effective policies, and stronger partnerships.
Target Group/Stakeholders 

The target group/stakeholders include smallholder farmers, agribusiness micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), producer organizations, policymakers, rural women, youth, rural communities, service providers of all types, financial institutions, investors and regional organizations.

Support Provided 

Knowledge generation: Generating and disseminating knowledge, including on innovations, lessons learned, and good practices to promote rural and agricultural finance and investment in developing countries. This includes technical publications, monthly newsletters in three languages, blogs and technical workshops;

Advocacy: Advocating and communicating at national, regional and global levels;

Partnerships: Facilitating partnerships and coalitions for more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, including with governments, development partners and the private sector;

Capacity development: Supporting institutions at all levels to prepare, implement, monitor and evaluate evidence-based policies and programmes, and leverage investments (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Caribbean, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Nepal, Togo, Zimbabwe);

Access to data and information: Assembling, analyzing, monitoring and improving access to data and information (The Caribbean, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Kenya, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe);

Policy dialogue: Facilitating, promoting and supporting policy dialogue to promote investments in agrifood systems at global, regional and country levels (The Caribbean, Ethiopia, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Zimbabwe), and on role of finance for development on agrifood systems transformation and addressing vulnerability to food crises in the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development and its related processes;

Instruments: Supporting the establishment of matching grants schemes and other instruments for rural financial inclusion (Albania, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Jamaica, Nigeria, the Sahel, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine).