Sector Project Rural Development


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


Despite progress in recent decades, 80% 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.

The Sector Project Rural Development 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.


The project works along three fields of action, with gender-transformative and digital approaches playing a key role throughout:

Policy and Strategic Consulting:

  • Advising BMZ on formulating policies and strategies, developing its thematic portfolio and positioning itself as a relevant stakeholder
  • Observing, analysing, and commenting on academic and policy processes
  • Providing evidence-based findings from international research

Development of Methods and Concepts:

  • Analysing practical implementation experiences and developing innovative methods and concepts
  • Contributing to the design of knowledge platforms and networks
  • Developing knowledge products and using them to mainstream relevant content into the German development portfolio

Learning, Networking and Knowledge Management:

  • Supporting international development organisations and their partner institutions in building capacities via learning and exchange formats
  • Promoting the elaboration of new approaches and helping to disseminate proven ones


BMZ and partner organisations






Aug 2021 - Jul 2024

Commission Agency