Empowering poor rural people in Peru

Photo credit: Rural Poverty Portal

Rural development in Peru (IFAD)

Empowering communities to innovate for rural development

Over the last 15 years, IFAD-funded development projects in the Southern Highlands of Peru have generated considerable knowledge, experience and good practices on empowering poor rural people and their associations. They have raised the interest of other IFAD and external practitioners and a high demand for knowledge sharing. Yet, the processes and methods that made these results possible remain poorly understood.

Peru as a Learning Territory aimed to fill this knowledge gap by creating a space for learning and capacity-building for both national and international rural development practitioners. The project focused on local experiences and knowledge, and gave local leaders and authorities, technicians, and development professionals from the region and beyond the opportunity to learn about IFAD’s most relevant innovations directly from the actors who were instrumental in developing them.

Areas of focus included approaches, mechanisms, strategies, and successes and failures in the implementation of rural development projects in the areas of civic and financial inclusion, territorial development based on cultural identity, and local knowledge management.

The project’s targets were to identify the most successful elements and processes to obtain sustainable results in these areas; disseminate best practices using the Learning Territories approach, where rural development practitioners can learn from the local talents; and form a network of local talents and rural development practitioners to share knowledge and replicate best practices.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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