This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.
The South Pacific Commission (SPC) aids the 22 member countries in rural development by providing: advisory and information services; occasional small grants to rural projects; assistance to develop integrated rural development programmes and strategies; assistance to governments. SPC's Regional Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP), concerns itself amongst others with women, fisheries, agriculture, rural credit and income-generating capacities, health and nutrition, rural energy and technology, community development and communications.
The Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Africa (CIRDAFRICA) assists national action and stimulates and promotes regional cooperation relating to integrated rural development in Africa through a network of designated national institutions in member states, called National Integrated Rural Development Centre (NIRDCs), with the aim, in particular, of integrating all the rural people in the development process, of improving the production, income and living conditions of small-scale farmers and other rural groups and of encouraging their participation in social and economic life; act as servicing institution for its member states with respect to integrated rural development, by providing them with technical support, by fostering the exchange of ideas and experience and by encouraging such joint or collaborative activities as may benefit those states individually or collectively; serve as a clearing house and data bank for information on integrated rural development in Africa. Conducts and, where appropriate through the National Integrated Rural Development Centres (NIRDCs), promotes or assists research on various aspects of integrated rural development in Africa, with emphasis on alternative approaches leading to more effective field-action programmes. Holds consultative conferences and other meetings. Organizes training courses in the planning, implementation and evaluation of programmes for integrated rural development, and assists NIRDCs in organizing their own training courses and workshops. Provides other technical support to NIRDCs. Promotes the dissemination of information and prepares documentation, including translation and research, on integrated rural development in Africa and elsewhere. CIRDAFRICA undertakes cooperative programmes concerned with rural development issues with other regional and international organizations.
The European Commission has proposed an EUR 2.2 billion budget for the LEADER+ rural development initiative from 2000 to 2006. Help will go to local action groups (LAGs) outside government or local authority control. Pilot strategies, inter-area co-operation and networking will be supported. The pilot territorial strategies for integrated rural development will support communities not exceeding 100,000 inhabitants in the most densely populated areas (100 inhabitants/km2) and generally no smaller than 20,000 inhabitants. Exceptions are possible for more sparsely populated Nordic regions. Without prejudging regional specificities, the Commission has highlighted the following key areas of interest: use of new know-how and new technologies guaranteeing the competitiveness of products and services; improving the quality of life in rural areas; valorising local products; valorising natural and cultural resources.