International Development Planning Review

Synergistic rural–urban development: The experience of the Rural–Urban Partnership Programme (RUPP) in Nepal

International Development Planning Review (2009), 31, (3), 281–300.

Abstract

The discovery and greater understanding of what have come to be known as 'rural–urban linkages' calls for a more radical change in development planning than policies inspired by the sustainable livelihoods approach or by the uncritical desire of 'strengthening' linkages allow. The rebirth of interest in rural development in the late 1990s offers an opportunity to bring to prominence more comprehensive frameworks for such planning. This article starts from the position that rural development needs to be regionalised, and that poverty alleviation is dependent on the retention of the multiplier effect in the local economy, and the redressing of exploitative socio-spatial relations. The overarching model and the experience of the Rural–Urban Partnership Programme in a Nepalese municipality are recounted here, with special focus on the micro-enterprise component. Major lessons include the importance of getting the nuts and bolts of practice right even when the underlying model appears coherent. RUPP experience also appears to highlight the importance of localising much of the value-added chain of local resource-based commodities in the rural region. The coordinated governance of villages and towns appears to be essential too.

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Momen, Md Saiful