By John Burbidge

Approaches That Work In Rural Development



Emerging trends, participatory methods and local initiatives that transformed rural development, showcased by the International Exposition of Rural Development (IERD) 1982-86.

International Exposition
of Rural Development 

 (IERD) 1982-86

The IERD was a watershed. It highlighted that bottom-up, grassroots processes are an indispensable part of any serious long-term effort to improve the quality of rural life. The underlying culture of local people, their sense of identity, and their confidence to take initiatives related to their expressed needs are of paramount importance.

Sir James Lindsay, Former President, ICA International

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The IERD was unique as a broad-based rural development ‘movement’ where rural practitioners occupied center stage. It proved that a new people-oriented approach to rural development is not only a dream but increasingly a reality.




Approaches That Work In Rural Development

Following WW II, newly emerging nations called for restructuring  global society around a set of fundamental rights and universally felt needs. This ‘New International Economic Order’ or ‘Fairness Revolution’ was as profound in its implications as the concept of democratic government two centuries before. It involved:

— basic human needs (food, shelter, health care, education, employment, personal security)
— a sense of human dignity
— a sense of becoming, being able to attain a better life
— a sense of justice or equity
— a sense of achievement
— a sense of solidarity in belonging to a worthy group
— participation in decisions that affect the group’s and one’s own destiny

From “Development for What? Emerging Trends of Promise and Concern” — the opening chapter by Willis W. Harman.

My Writing Blog

Musings from a Writer’s Life

How I Almost Didn’t Become a Writer

How I Almost Didn’t Become a Writer

In the summer of 1987 I took a break from my NGO in Brussels to spend a week with an Australian friend in Exeter, England. A few months before, I had made contact with a young gay Gujarati guy who had grown up in East Africa and now lived in the UK, but had never been...

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A Writer by Default Rather Than Design

A Writer by Default Rather Than Design

When I was ten years old my father gave me a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary. It soon became my close friend and constant companion. I would look up a word, then get sidetracked by others, revealing words and worlds I never knew existed. I didn’t know it then...

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