The Design of Rural Development: Lessons from Africa

The African Rural Development Study (ARDS) was conducted to investigate the reasons for the limited impact of past rural development programs on low-income populations in Africa and to generate a theoretical framework and operational guidelines for the design of future rural development programs. Specific topicsanalyzed include labor flow, migration, mechanization in smallholder agriculture, regional equity, livestock development, incentives, the role of women, and Africanization of management. Rural development programs must be viewed as part of a continiuous, dynamic process. Analysis revealed that the lack of long-term improvement of living standards among low-income subsistance farmers could be attributed to limited objectives; lack of knowledge about the impacts of policy on performance, the suitability of technological applications, and the effects of sociopolitical influence; and the scarcity of trained local manpower.A planned, sequential approach is recommended as the means of maximizing scarce resources and serving the greatest number of farmers in the lowest income sector of the agricultural economy. A glossary, project reviews, a bibliography, and maps and tables are provided.





Lele, Uma. 1975. The design of rural development : lessons from Africa. Baltimore, MD : The Johns Hopkins University Press.