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More than 75% of the world's poor live in rural areas. World Bank research on agriculture and rural development is multi-sectoral and focused on improving the well-being of rural people by building their productive, social, and environmental assets.


This program addresses the role of infrastructure in regional development—both to increase poor people’s access to crucial services and to provide an environment conducive to sustainable economic growth. One area of research examines how national and regional infrastructure investments can complement natural advantage and other agglomeration economies in promoting economic growth. This includes city level public services that benefit both households and firms as well as regional investments, in particular in the transport sector. Another focus area investigates options for infrastructure reforms—restructuring, privatizing, and establishing new approaches to regulation. This includes the assessment of the outcomes of infrastructure reform and its distributional consequences, especially for poor households and other disadvantaged groups.

Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

The LGAF is a diagnostic instrument to assess the state of land governance at the national or sub-national level. Local experts rate the quality of a country's land governance along a comprehensive set of dimensions. These ratings and an accompanying report serve as the basis for policy dialogue at the national or sub-national level.

Rural Development

The research program focuses on policies and public investments that affect the growth of, efficiency of resource allocation in, rural economies, as well as the well being and poverty of rural populations. Various studies focus on issues of land policy, community driven development, rural finance, the economics and institutions of water allocation, agricultural extension, and several aspects of rural investment climate (such as the impact of rural roads and rural energy infrastructure).

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