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Rural Well-being: Geography of Opportunities

Nov 2, 2020 | Opinions

(02 November 2020) – OECD has just published the latest edition of its Rural Development Framework, which has for 40 years been helping guide the 28 member countries’ rural policies.


This update takes advantage of new analysis to reflect a greater degree of the diversity of rural places and the need for a more comprehensive rural development policy approach.

The Rural Well-being Framework introduces a rural-urban continuum, recognising three types of rural places, with different characteristics and policy needs: 1) rural inside functional urban areas; 2) Rural close to cities; and 3) remote rural areas.

Looking beyond the usual economic factors such as productivity and income, the framework firstly expands the frame of analysis to include the environmental and social dimensions of well-being, delivering a more holistic, people-centred understanding of regional inequalities and rural development.

Secondly, the framework recognizes that effective rural policies involve the engagement of a broad array of actors and multi-level governance mechanisms.

Lastly, the framework stresses the importance of designing rural policies through a place-based approach.

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