If you only read one thing this week…


Removing the Rural-Urban Divide by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
September 29, 2006, 4:57 pm
Filed under: Development theory, If you only have 15 mins

The International Food Policy Research Institute has put out an interesting briefing paper (3 pages) that challenges the conventional segregation of populations into ‘rural’ and ‘urban’. It argues that this is no longer an accurate separation given advances in roads, communications systems and the increasing fluidity of populations moving between cities and villages. Moreover such segregated thinking can actually cause damaging policies and programs to be developed.

The author argues that, “we should be careful that terminology doesn’t unintentionally reinforce separaeness or stereotypes and thus mislead analysis“. The paper is interesting as it draws from several examples of how there is an increasing blurring of the boundaries between rural villages and urban centers, and how, by taking this into consideration, communities have been better able to achieve their livelihood needs. It is a brief, document that challenges the labels and stereotypes that we have a tendency to use and a useful reference point as we start to look at how to have more impact with urban populations.

To download the full document as a pdf click here.

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