Past Program

Feb 07 - Feb 14, 1998

Sustainable Rural Community Development


Rural populations around the globe face enormous challenges as they strive to sustain the well-being of their communities. The foundation of any nation, rural communities need purposeful and deliberate social and economic investments in order to develop and survive in the face of problems such as out-migration, urban influences, poverty, limited educational and employment opportunities, poor social and physical infrastructure, weak political influence, and geographic isolation. Some communities have begun pursuing more inclusive development philosophies and approaches, which are based on mutual cooperation, and are focusing on projects and programs conceived, organized, and implemented from within rather than from outside the community. Those with the most at stake—the people who live and work in rural communities—are coming forward with ideas, knowledge, and expertise.


Drawing on examples from Latin America, Africa, the United States, and Central and Eastern Europe, this session will seek to understand how vibrant and sustainable rural communities in these regions have learned to encourage and value greater participation by their citizens, including women and youth, while at the same time respecting different social, cultural, and economic perspectives, values, traditions, and aspirations.