Moving Results into Policy and Practice
To examine recent research in rural finance the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the Ford Foundation and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) teamed up and organized the "International Conference on Rural Finance Research: "Moving Results into Policies and Practice", in Rome from 19-21 March, 2007 and the post e-conference, from 16-29 May 2007.
Acknowledging many of the new opportunities and challenges facing small scale farmers and their households today, the participants began an important discussion on rural finance research and how it can more effectively influence the decision making of policy makers and managers of rural financial institutions. During these two events, nearly 300 participants (researchers, representatives of financial institutions, policy makers, donors, and other rural finance experts) from 60 countries achieved the following:
reviewed and debated recent research on key issues in rural finance;
identified important empirical issues and research topics in rural finance for future study;
discussed ways to improve communication and dissemination of research results to ensure use of research findings;
defined strategies for strengthening ties between research, policy and practices in rural finance;
explored ways for fostering dialogue and partnership amongst researchers around the world.
Rome Conference papers, posters and presentations
Through a competitive selection process 54 researchers were chosen to present their work during the Rome Conference organized around the following core rural finance themes:
Theme 1: Understanding demand for rural financial products and services
Theme 2: Expanding outreach of financial products and services in rural areas
Theme 3: Improvements in operational management of rural financial institutions
Theme 4: Advances in rural financial products and services
Theme 5: Enabling environment and policies for rural financial markets
The selected research was both academic and practitioner-led allowing for a rich exploration of the issues by a diverse set of conference participants. Conference papers, posters and plenary presentations can be downloaded from the RFLC at the following links:
Also, a copy of the conference proceedings, programme, list of participants, and photo album can be found below as well as a conference briefing note entitled: "How can researchers and the results of their work best influence government policy-making in rural finance?"