Rural regions in OECD countries are important economically and demographically. They account for about 75% of the land and almost a quarter of the population in OECD countries. Gains in agricultural productivity have led to a dramatic reduction in farm employment, rural regions across the OECD now depend on a wide range of economic activities for growth.
Increasing globalisation, improved communications and reduced transportation costs are also drivers of economic change in rural areas. However, traditional policies to subsidise farming have not been able to harness the potential of these economic engines.
Promoting rural development poses numerous policy and governance challenges because it requires co-ordination across sectors, across levels of government, and between public and private actors. Several countries are therefore shifting their approaches to a focus on places rather than sectors and an emphasis on investments rather than subsidies.
The OECD’s Working Party on Territorial Policy in Rural Areas discusses ways to develop a modern, rural development policy to account for these important economic changes and a new strategy for governance that these policy approaches require. OECD work on rural development has lead to a number of thematic publications, case studies and, from 2006, a series of national rural policy reviews to deepen international knowledge in this field. It has also lead to a yearly series of OECD Rural Development conferences and workshops where policy makers from around the world gather to discuss rural policy.
Rurban (Rural-Urban) Partnerships
The OECD, in collaboration with the European Commission, is using a new analytical framework to assess urban-rural linkages and to help identify the governance forms that will enhance urban-rural interactions. The Rurban project aims to identify and assess formal and informal urban-rural partnerships and assess the role these partnerships can and should play in regional development and in bridging co-ordination gaps in policies for urban and rural dwellers.
2nd European seminar on sustainable urban rural partnerships
24-25 April 2013, Warsaw, Poland
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|Understanding Growth in Different Types of Regions
26-27 March 2012, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Rural-Urban Partnerships: an integrated approach to economic development
23-25 2013 October, Bologna, Italy
Linking Renewable Energy to Rural Development Policy
14-15 June 2012, Paris, France
Innovation and Modernising the Rural Economy
3-5 October 2012, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
The complete list of past conferences on rural development can be found on our conferences on regional development web page.
Key messages from recent Rural Development Conferences
The full list of publications on rural development including forthcoming publications can be found on the regional development publications webpage.
For information and queries about OECD work on Rural Development Policy please contact Betty-Ann Bryce at OECD.RuralDevelopmentProgramme@oecd.org. Follow us on :
Agricultural Policies and Rural Development
Publications on Rural Development