About DGIS-WUR partnership

A partnership programme of the Netherlands’ Government and Wageningen UR.

Globalisation and Sustainable Rural Development

The Netherlands’ Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Wageningen UR are implementing the Partnership Programme ‘Globalisation and Sustainable Rural Development’. In the context of conflicting local, national and global interests and drivers of change processes, the programme aims, among other things, to generate options for the sustainable use of natural resources, pro-poor agro-supply chains and agro-biodiversity. These options need to result in improved rural livelihoods, poverty alleviation and economic development in the south. Farmers and other small-scale entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector form the primary target group. The program has a strong -but not exclusive- focus on countries in Sub-Sahara Africa.

A Call for Proposals for the theme Competing Claims on Natural Resources was launched in May 2007. Evaluation of the submitted proposals is scheduled for December 2007.

The partnership

We must learn, as a world, to resolve the competing claims on our planet’s natural resources. Their recent surge – fed by the process of globalization – is placing new demands on our systems of governance and our aspirations for justice. The core drivers of this change – trade liberalization, outsourcing, technological change, global conventions and the emergence of new economic powers – do offer opportunities for economic development. They may, however, also impact on food security, poverty, rural livelihoods and environmental quality.

Decision making at all levels is affected too – and may be stretched to breaking point. The greater the stakeholders’ interests, the sharper the claims. The sharper the claims, the more urgent the need for equitable decision making at local, national and global levels. The greater, too, the imperative of coherence between levels. And, above all, the more vital become the options for inclusive, pro-poor policies and practice.

In the framework of the partnership, Wageningen UR will provide research contributions in support of the design and implementation of development policies by the Netherlands’ Government and other policy makers, including those in our partner countries.

The partnership will generate options for the poor to exploit globalization processes by:

  • Developing scenarios and models for the sustainable management of natural resources
  • Showing how to advance markets for ecosystem products and services
  • Boosting enabling policies and institutions

With clients among small-scale agricultural producers and entrepreneurs, policy makers, knowledge institutes, local authorities and civil society, this partnership is between the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Directorate-General for International Cooperation/DGIS) and Wageningen University and Research Centre ( Wageningen UR). It has a strong focus on Sub-Sahara Africa and a keen interest in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. In the partnership, Wageningen UR provides scientific support to partners in the design and implementation of development policies as well as local interventions.


The partnership showcases three interrelated, demand-driven themes:

  1. Sustainable Agro-Supply Chains
  2. Competing claims on Natural Resources
  3. Sustainable Use of Agro-Biodiversity

Environmental governance, institutional change and capacity strengthening are issues which cut across all three the partnership’s themes.

The programme will contribute concretely to meeting the Millennium Development Goals: MDG 1 (eradicating extreme poverty and hunger), MDG 7 (achieving environmental sustainability) and MDG 8 (building capacity for global partnerships).

Our activities are being implemented through regular Calls for Proposals for research cum institutional development activities fitting in the three themes. These calls will be announced on this website.

Cross-cutting issue

The issues of capacity strengthening and institutional development are essential for pro-poor development efforts, sustainable economic growth and sound environmental governance.

Institutional change and capacity building are issues which cut across all three of the partnership’s themes. They are critical elements in fostering and sustaining pro-poor development efforts and sustainable economic growth, and take into account the effects of (inter-) national policy changes. Our focus on this set of issues is key to developing policies and putting them into practice. Within the DGIS-Wageningen UR partnership programme, this approach will build on, and nurture, the collaborative strategic partnerships that Wageningen UR has established in Africa and within the international community of donors, research and development organizations and the network of DGIS.