Office 365 Security Series Primer

Collaborative technology has a unique way of exposing security flaws owing to the sheer everyday enterprise user consumption and the potential value of sensitive or propriety business information to an attacker. The security strategy that a SharePoint architect implements has to remain fluid, graceful and expressive in order to compensate for continuous technology changes. SharePoint as a distributed system combines various resources, progressively growing by provisioning on-demand solutions for the enterprise. In order to maintain uninterrupted and secure operations, proper security services must be implemented since SharePoint is subject to the same threats as other software that operates in the open Internet and networking environment. To increase the overall enterprise SharePoint security posture it is necessary that better security properties ranging from strong authentication and to adaptive content governance be implemented.

This threat landscape is also shifting as SharePoint offers entry for different types of devices and technology, such as mobile devices. Every environment that becomes SharePoint supported introduces new security needs, requirements, and difficulties.  Collaborative organizations and technologies indeed face numerous challenges in the field of security.

As can be evidenced with the new features added to the most recent version of SharePoint the collaborative technology industry is leaning to an IT concept known as consumerization. More enterprise users are experiencing technology innovations in areas such as social media before the technology, and even its baseline concepts, are available and supported by an enterprise. As a result, technology requirements within an organization are becoming more driven by employees, rather than strategic infrastructure decisions made by characteristic IT stakeholders.

The most evident example of this is enterprise users are increasingly demanding a collaborative infrastructure where both a personal and work life can be managed from one point. Utilizing social networking technology skills gained outside the organization this is considered excellent from an organization perspective, since it leads to better business information sharing, more effectual decision-making, and enriched business relationships. However, with the good comes some bad. While there are well-defined benefits of some of these innovation integrations, several security risks such as unauthorized, unmonitored, and uncontrolled use can increase the IT and business risks in areas such as confidentiality of intellectual property and business information.

Exploring the explosion of enterprise in interest in collaboration and social shared tools provide an attacker different avenues than previously available to harvest valuable business information due to the enhanced social features. There were several social tools built into the 2010 revision of SharePoint, but they have been increasingly refined in the recent release. Even lacking technical ability, often times finding valuable information can simply be time and patience since it might be casually and carelessly distributed. This type of data varies, however can tamper with company operations and expose or steal sensitive information. Collaboration and social sharing tools open up new avenues for an attacker to steal propriety or confidential business information or disrupt business operations. Social messages surfaced in SharePoint can be inadvertently used in order to spread malware more effectively and additionally through more multiple devices. Sensitive business information can be accidently disclosed between businesses connections since due to the tight restrictions generally placed on internal data being loosened in favor of the openness of the social media world. Controlling the security mechanisms that drive social sharing tooling is also an issue. A majority of these services are provisioned outside of an enterprises control, therefore compensation to govern these has to be adapted within the enterprise.

The concept of consumerization has also pushed the boundaries of normal collaboration to a readily increasing concept known as borderless collaboration. SharePoint is especially common in this arena as the mechanisms to quickly stand up externally facing environments that respects various security integration are relatively well-known. While extending collaboration can procure additional benefits, such as something as simple as increasing communication levels with business partners and customers, it also introduces new challenges. Various security tasks exist, ranging from simple tasks like whom should have access to what within SharePoint to how should user business information be kept confidential.  The most important benefit of a borderless collaboration initiative is to solve the challenges of an increasingly mobile, collaborative and virtual workforce.

SharePoint security threats come in many forms. However it is important to remember that SharePoint is merely an ASP.NET application, and thus subject to all if not most of the same core vulnerabilities that affect its baseline components. All of the layers that make SharePoint a functional software product, such as SQL server and IIS are subject to distinct vulnerabilities. This leads to a fair amount of threats being considered practical against a SharePoint environment, the platform technology volume is so large. As a result, one of the greatest skills that can be mastered is differentiating between what is a practical threat, what is considered to be a threat, and what should actually be ignored. Each SharePoint environment is in general unique, and used for a different purposes. Security strategies to secure this data have to be adaptive as well to properly achieve organizational security goals. When considering SharePoint security it is important to not get fastened to strictly considering the technology security. While there are several layers that build up SharePoint security it is equally important to secure the tools and content that interact and run on the SharePoint platform. For example, there are many avenues for a SharePoint architect to surface information in SharePoint, either through WebParts or perhaps third party enterprise application integration components. However simply surfacing this data creates a potential security vulnerability since the information could be confidential data or describe sensitive business functions. Supporting restrictions that grant the only the level and types of content is as important as technology stack vulnerabilities.

Every standard SharePoint web request begins the same way. A user, or subject, issues a request to access a SharePoint system. Before SharePoint provides access, a challenge is issued requesting the user to provide a public declaration of who they are. While there are multiple avenues a user can leverage to make this public declaration, such as manually keying values in to client based digital certificates, every approach translates to a user’s identity. An identity in the context of SharePoint is simply stating an assertion about the user. SharePoint issues the question “Who are you”, the user is responding with “I am this”.

Establishing the identity of the requesting user is only a small portion of the process. Following, the determination of whether the credentials being presented can be verified, or Authentication (AuthN in shorthand notation) occurs. After responding to the “Who are you” question from SharePoint, SharePoint issues the question “OK, prove it?” in order to verify that the requesting user is valid and not a malicious party forging an attack. AuthN can incorporate multiple authenticators such as passwords or certificate private keys. AuthN allows SharePoint to not directly possess the required secret, however the mechanisms to verify it’s authenticity.

Following authentication, Authorization (AuthZ in shorthand notation), controls the resources that the user is allowed to access. Whereas authentication is the verification of the identity assertion, authorization is the verification of permission. Authorization always precedes authentication.

Anonymous authentication means that a user has already authorized but not authenticated, bypassing the authentication step.

A real world example of an authentication and authorization relationship can be found when considering a bank. A bank customer may visit to withdraw funds from an account. Upon the member issuing the withdrawal request, the teller will ask the member for identification in order to verify the member is whom they say they are, such as a driver’s license. Following approval and verification of the identity, the authentication request funnels to the credit accounts that are valid for the member. Importantly, accounts that are not part of the member accounts are kept separate. If a non-member attempts to access the same account, their credentials will not process pass the authentication process since they are not considered authentic.Authorization differs from authentication because it is the determination of whether the login is allowed. Closely coupled to the concept of authentication, both authorization and authentication must return true to create a connection to a system such as SharePoint.

Consider this same situation from the bank teller’s perception. The teller controls and regulates access to the account, allowing users to access the funds in an account by authorizing them. The question that the bank teller answers is “Is this the owner of the account?” The bank teller does not have any proof that the presented identity, in this case a driver’s license, is valid. It would not be possible, as the bank teller was not responsible for issuing the driver’s license. The bank teller however trusts that licensing department that is responsible for issuing the license. The licensing department is considered a recognized, trustworthy source of information. The bank teller could optionally reject the presented license for a multitude of reasons, however not because of a known, trusted source. For example, an expired expiration date or a pictured that appears to be dated on the license may require the bank teller to inform the customer that the identity needs to be updated. Another institution could optionally provide identity in place of the driver’s license, such as a passport. The important factor is whether a trusted institution has issued the identity. Critically in this example, the bank teller doesn’t have to understand the process that the bank customer went through to get their license or how the bank customer came to prove their identity to get their license. The bank teller simply knows that the institution that issued the license is trusted.

Summarizing what has happened under the in the customer/teller interaction:

  • The bank teller does not verify the identity directly, rather uses a trusted institution and its issued documents metadata.
  • The bank teller doesn’t need the identifying document in a particular format, as long as it is trusted. A passport, driver’s license, and several other formats would be acceptable to the bank teller.
  • The bank teller is indifferent to how the identifying document was procured or the process that the customer went through to get the document.

This process exists in many common circumstances such as going to the liquor store or going to a movie theater, both are similar transactions that require presenting authenticating trusted identification from the customer. This process is extremely efficient, which is the reasoning behind SharePoint following a similar pattern when it comes to identity. In essence, the identity layer is decoupled from the application layer.

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Agricultural Planning And Development

It has been previously stated that in implementing rural development project in developing countries, a good starting point is to develop the agriculture in the area. In this section, we shall survey the pre-requisites for such a development and then study the factors of importance to be taken into consideration when agricultural development is initiated in an area, a region or in a country.

In developing countries, a large part of the total population still lives on the land and depends on it for their livelihood. In many developing countries, present estimates indicates that two-thirds of the national income and four-fifths of the exports come from agriculture and, traditionally, on little changed systems of crop and animal production. Under such conditions people generally are poor and average incomes barley exceed USD 100 per head per year. In the some of the developing countries, the average increase of the gross national product, over a specific period of time, was just over five percent per year, but between two-to-three percent of this national growth was used by the added population, thus making the rate of growth too slow and too small to have any political, social, economical impact on the population.

Generally speaking, in developing countries, agriculture is the main source of income, its supports the bulk of population, and is the largest potential market and has the greatest growth prospects. It can provide part of the capital for industrial development and can earn badly needed foreign exchange in order to develop other sector of the economy as well as health and social services. Agriculture also has to provide the raw material for other industries and use the manufactured goods of these industries. For example, if rural development is set so as to have industries. For example, if rural development is set so as to have industries and other non-agricultural development located in rural areas, then agriculture will cater for the needs for the rural community and thus it can be most effective. Such small scale rural and non-rural industries plus non-agricultural development will bring in such infrastructures as roads, bridges, electricity, water supply networks, irrigation systems, storage facilities, and established industries which produce or service essential agricultural inputs such as farm machinery and equipment, tools agrichemicals (insecticides, wee killers fungicides, etc), fertilizers, seeds, service and repair shops, etc. Moreover, rural inhabitants, peasants, small farmers small-holders and their  families can purchase agricultural products and manufactured outputs such as plastic goods, paper, textiles, shoes, clothing, food, drinks, tobacco, etc. In this way the market for local products is expanded and employment opportunities in rural areas are enhanced.

During the last four decades, due to rapidly growing populations and many other social and political factors, many developing countries have not been able to accumulate capital for agricultural and rural development rapidly enough.

To start with, traditional farmers of developing countries can accumulate and invest a modest capital if they are not restricted by high rents or interest rates, and are organized into sound and efficient cooperatives. However, in general, the amount of capital saved is small. So the capital for exports is obtained through taxation and marketing boards. Under such conditions a considerable amount of capital for development is obtained by using freely available local materials, self-help projects and party or totally available labor, if national, and local motivations are strong and local labor forces are seasonally under employed. China and Israel are two examples where major capital works have been constructed from freely given labor, and  rural people have volunteered to build roads, drains, bridges farm buildings, public baths, houses, village halls, community schools, etc.

In recent years, due to self sufficiency of developed countries which are the major buyers of raw agricultural materials, and the introduction of synthetic substitutes, the developing nations have been competing severally among themselves. Attempts to regulate this competition through community agreements have not been satisfactory. The result has been lower exchange earning in the face of cut-price competition by other developing nations offering the same commodities. This was the case with cotton export

It is possible for developing countries to improve agricultural production technology, decrease the cost per unit of production, increase export prices without diminishing profits, and making better use of foreign exchange, which at present, may frequently be spent on food and  other agricultural commodities, most of which could easily be produced locally. But many of the poorer developing countries have not been able to alleviate their trading situation by greater exports of agricultural products and thus have turned top the developed countries for investment and capital. In reality, although some of the developing countries may be politically independent, they have to look a board for a considerable part of their capital needs. In recent years there have been substantial foreign developing countries. Where the political situation has been unfavorable, both native private investment and foreign investment has declined. International provision of capital and aid to governments and their subsides have also dimensioned.

Assuming the major step in implementing rural development is to secure increased productivity of the agricultural sector of the national economy, we now proceed to examine how to plan agricultural development at the national level.

The process of decision making by governments for the agricultural development policies and implementation of such policies over a certain period of time is generally termed national planning for agricultural development. In preparing a plan of policies and action for agricultural development, whether in developed or developing countries, we must consider the following points.

  1. What are the present needs of agriculture in different regions of the country?
  2. What steps must be taken to meet these needs now and in the foreseeable future?
  3. What are the nature and amount if natural, physical, financial and manpower resources available to present, or they can be mobilized in the near future meet the requirements of agricultural development? Agricultural needs must be worked out and available for planning
  4. Identification definition of priorities and decision making  n such priorities in the agricultural development sector in order to use available resources efficiently
  5. The national plan for agricultural development must be flexible and continuous. This is to allow for changing priorities of agriculture, and changes in national policies and different  related sectors of the economy
  6. Technical knowledge and competence of those responsible for agricultural plans as well as general fields and industries is essential for sound planning, if the programs are to be effective and operative.

In planning for agricultural development at the national level for a developing country, the following points deserve especial attention

  1.  In a national planning program for agriculture, development or crop and animal production, marketing, local availability inputs, introduction of new technology, incentives to farm operators, and transportation should be given top priority. Unless these are present and working properly, other programs of agriculture will not show the expected and desired results
  2. parallel to development of the top priorities mentioned programs which encourage and accelerate agricultural development such as credit, education  of farm and rural people and improvement of agricultural land and other related fields should be planned and undertaken
  3. Agricultural planning at the national level can never be complete. In the same way as other partial governmental programs can be planned, because actual production of crops and other farm products cannot be planned in the same manner as for rural health or road building programs. In the final analysis, for greater productivity, many decision must be left to farmers, in the  light of the conditions prevailing the country or region at the time
  4. National agricultural plans must consist of separate regional agricultural plans. Actions taken to increase agricultural productivity vary enormously from one region to another in the same country. Regions with similar potential agricultural advancement will not have the same productivity under given conditions. Normally, the more advanced region will have a different priority, plan of development greater and faster increase in production, compared with less advanced regions.
  5. For the poorer rural people with low-fertility agricultural development must be made in order to prepare them for more advanced development plans. Here, implementation of farming systems research and extension training and service command special attention.
  6. Production of crops and animal products and also markets must be developed simultaneously. Farm products produced in a region and profitably sold, determine the agricultural potential of that region. Therefore, in planning for the national or regional development of agriculture, estimates of probable internal or foreign demand for selected farm products over the next few years should be made. Foods such as milk, mea, eggs, fruit and vegetables are consumed at a greatest rare than wheat, corn (Maize) and bean. Also the demand for these foods increases rapidly with industrial and urban development. Demand projections should be made for those farm products which give the greatest and fastest increase and return, if the necessary technology and facilities are available.
  7. Increased profitability of farming

At national or regional level, increasing the production particular farm crop or animal product over cast for the securing the maximum margin of returns over cast for the business of farming as a whole. Farmers use different types of crops, farm equipment, fertilizers, manures, insecticides etc, depending on which combination of inputs yields them the highest net return. Thus, in planning agriculture at national or regional levels, care should be taken not to use the total acreage under crops or the total number of livestock as the main criteria for judging success. It is the net return of an immense number of farm business and enterprises of different sizes and types which produce different products that contribute to the national agricultural economy. It is arriving at the correct combination of these various types by planning that makes each of these small farms profitable, and it is this experience of a good margin of profit that means that the planning at all levels has been successful.

  1. In planning for regional development of agriculture, it should be noted that certain types of investment take several years to become fully effective. Agricultural land expansion, water resource development, agricultural research, changing the attitudes of farmers to trust, respect and accept innovations, extension agents and service, all take time. Therefore, plans must  have continuity and be devised well in advance, for the  profitable and successful implementation of each sector on time
  2. Attention should also be given top the quality of production in many developing countries, large, schemes of rural education, credit  and health services are initiated without due attention to upgrading the skill and experience of those operating the schemes of working for them over the years. Therefore, allocations of funds to different sectors of agricultural development should be made wisely after careful review of the plans for each activity and the availability of relatively skilled manpower.
  3. Local coordination of the main activities essential to higher farm production, the availability of extension service, farm  supplies and equipment, as well as the local testing of some of these inputs  to convince farmers and gain their confidence, is quite important. Therefore, in preparing a national plan for agricultural development, coordination of these activities is not only necessary at national and regional levels, but also at the district, country and local levels, where farmers and rural people are involved.
  4. Experience wise judgment, reliable data and surveys in preparation for agricultural development should be used. Expenditure on in0service training for extension agents, their refresher courses, or establishment of a crop and animal research station will, indirectly, increase agricultural productivity over a period of several years. In planning to collect figures, census data, and statistics, it should be remembered that dependable and reliable answers to certain sections of the national agricultural plan can be given by correct data, but coordination of all parts of such a national plan requires quantitative judgment by experienced planners who possess a through understanding of agriculture and rural development activities in the area in a region or the country.
  5. Opinions expressed by farmers should be considered. Plans for agricultural development should be drawn up, based on adequate knowledge and information as to the needs of farmers, their problems and their preferences.
  6. Preparation of a joint plan for agriculture and industrial development. Generally, industrialization increases the number of wage earners and indirectly increases the demand for farm products, or, conversely, consumer goods produced by industry and made available in rural markets encourage farmers to produce more and sell more, in order to buy more consumer goods. Domestic industry aimed at producing farm equipment and supplies, lowers the cost of farm products produced. Therefore, any plans for agricultural development should also involve industrialization and should be related to it. In some countries, national agricultural plans complement or supplement rural development plans and rural small industries.
  7. In national plans, all that has been accomplished up to date should be included. Before, planning a new program, allocating finances, budgets, and physical and human resources careful assessment of what  has already been accomplished must be made.
  8. National plans for agricultural productivity should be continuous and reviewed as deemed necessary. The program of agricultural development may change from time to time in different developing countries and in different regions of the same country, to ensure a high level of productivity. Other governmental policies related to and affecting agriculture should also be reviewed continuously. Therefore, no policy should be regarded as permanent. For example, land reform policy introduced into a country to break up large estates and changes in agricultural technology and increasing rural employment opportunities. As a result, national agricultural plans should be made sufficiently flexible and continuous to accommodate such an important reform and he profound political and social changes that can be involved.

 Mosser (177,178) considers a series of eleven steps or principles that are most necessary for agricultural development in a region or country where already a moderately thriving agriculture is underway. Under such conditions, the considers a production. Some of the principles he proposes have already been mentioned, but they are indicated here for the sake f completeness.

  1. Modern agriculture cannot be commodity specific. As an agricultural economy changes for the better, the range of crops with time. People consume more of some foods as they earn more. Such as vegetables, fruit, milk, meat and eggs, and less of others, such as potatoes, wheat and rice. Thus the cropping pattern of a region changes s that the farm product can remain profitable. The establishment of agricultural support services such as the provision of fertilizers, insecticides, machinery service and repairs, etc, will aid patterns of land development that can be used flexibly to produce crops and animal products most profitable at different periods in the future.
  2. Careful planning from the present set up. To bring about higher agricultural productivity, a number of different facilities and services must be established in a large number of places in a yearly basis with a reasonable period of time. To plan for future development of agriculture, a careful inventory of present farming practices and agri-support activities must be available.
  3. It is important to recognize and give active support for food production in farming areas. Services to support agricultural production must be easily accessible to farmers. Those most immediately needed in farm production include sources of farm suppliers and equipment, markets for farm productions, local verification trials, sources of credit and extension services and good feeder roads to the highways connecting larger centers of consumption.
  4. Farming districts are the basic units for expanding and developing a progressive rural structure for greater agricultural productivity. District units made up of several farming localities are needed for efficient services, etc. The farming district is the smallest unit of the total rural complex of public and private agri-support services on which modern and growing agricultural production depends.
  5. Local verification trials. A favorable crop or livestock response in one location does not mean equal profitability of the same practice in each farm locality. Thus, before a new set f practices is recommended to farmers, local verification trials are needed to establish the merit of each practice. Later modifications to the trials will be needed to make them even more profitable in the local conditions.
  6. Development of rural structure for different growth potential regions. A minimum skeleton network of road is needed to give support to provision of agri-support services, social and community services, and wherever there is a possibility of increasing agricultural production, for example, areas designated as having areas will be the only areas where commodity oriented projects will be successful. Therefore, they deserve the highest priority for the creation of a progressive rural structure with sufficient number of fully equipped farming districts and localities to serve all farms.
  7. Agricultural growth and rural welfare are interdependent. Generally speaking, increasing rural welfare companies agricultural growth. The agricultural growth and the non-economic aspects of rural welfare are mutually interdependent and each has a role to play serving the broader goals of national integration, economic justice and social well-being.
  8. Commodity oriented projects increase production of specific farm products and serve in securing coordinated co-operation among various agri-support facilities and services. It is the support activities that can accomplish the success of the commodity oriented projects in areas with immediate agricultural growth potential, where economic production increases can be secured in a relatively short period of time.
  9. Intensity of rural programs should fit regional potential for agricultural growth. Different regions of developing countries have the following agricultural potentials for growth.
    1. farms and lands  where there is immediate growth potential  for agriculture
    2. Lands  of low  agricultural growth potential, but which are frequently used for  crop production
    3. Non-agricultural rural  lands such as deserts, mountains and other lands out suitable for cultivation

Each type of growth potential, according to Mosher (177,178) requires a rural welfare program and especial agricultural growth programs to suit the potential fertility and production capability of each area

  1. Initiatives in planning should be encouraged with respect to progressive rural structure. Local initiative provides first- hand knowledge of local conditions, leads to greater participation by rural people, while national planning for agriculture growth may provide the complementary elements of a progressive rural structure. All contribute to increased and enhanced agricultural development.
  2. Establishment f a set of procedural steps to give effect to these general principles. In creating a progressive rural structure, it must be decided what is to be done, in what order, in which place, over what period of time and how much it is going to cost. A procedural step in a progressive rural structure varies for each place and depends on sound information for the area already having been obtained. Generally speaking, in developing countries, agriculture is the main source of income, its supports the bulk of population, and is the largest potential market and has the greatest growth prospects.

During the last four decades, due to rapidly growing populations and many other social and political factors, many developing countries have not been able to accumulate capital for agricultural and rural development rapidly enough.

China and Israel are two examples where major capital works have been constructed from freely given labor, and  rural people have volunteered to build roads, drains, bridges farm buildings, public baths, houses, village halls, community schools, etc.

The national plan for agricultural development must be flexible and continuous. This is to allow for changing priorities of agriculture, and changes in national policies and different related sectors of the economy.

Agricultural land expansion, water resource development, agricultural research, changing the attitudes of farmers to trust, respect and accept innovations, extension agents and service, all take time. Therefore, plans must have continuity and be devised well in advance, for the profitable and successful implementation of each sector on time.

Experience wise judgment, reliable data and surveys in preparation for agricultural development should be used. Expenditure on in0service training for extension agents, their refresher courses, or establishment of a crop and animal research station will, indirectly, increase agricultural productivity over a period of several years.

Generally, industrialization increases the number of wage earners and indirectly increases the demand for farm products, or, conversely, consumer goods produced by industry and made available in rural markets encourage farmers to produce more and sell more, in order to buy more consumer goods.

To bring about higher agricultural productivity, a number of different facilities and services must be established in a large number of places in a yearly basis with a reasonable period of time. To plan for future development of agriculture, a careful inventory of present farming practices and agri-support activities must be available.

Local initiative provides first- hand knowledge of local conditions, leads to greater participation by rural people, while national planning for agriculture growth may provide the complementary elements of a progressive rural structure. All contribute to increased and enhanced agricultural development.

~~ These are the notes from my Rural Development class @ UoM ~~

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Rural ICT Development And National Level Implications

At the national level, a strong commitment to rural development policies is needed. To eliminate rural poverty and to obtain increased agricultural production, such steps as aspects of land reform may be introduced. This may even need a major political change. Government objectives should poor, low-income farmers and peasants. There should be coordination between national plans and rural and agricultural development programs projects under way in developing countries at present, very few of these developing nations have a well planned, well operated, articulate, systematic and efficient rural development program-me.

Often, in many developing countries, the relationships between input and output and also between the prices of agricultural products and prices in the other sectors of the economy are such that economic growth is not stimulated in the rural areas. Frequently, manufacturing and processing industries are favored at the expense of agriculture. Thus raising costs of inputs such as fertilizers, etc and making the adoption of new technology and new ideas by farmers risky or unrewarding. Also when cheap food is provided to urban areas with a subsidy to farmers, often large numbers of small farmer do not benefit by such subsides. It is, in the long run, less costly and more beneficial to have a minimum guaranteed price for farm products than to have subsides

In most developing countries, fiscal policies have shown considerable inconsistency in their approach to rural development. For example, when a large portion of public expenditure is used in favor of urban dwellers while in rural areas, only the few well-to-do benefit from many of the social and other services provided. Indirect taxation puts taxes on goods and services so that rural poor people pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes than the rich.

Cost recovery of publicly financed investments such as main highways, bridges, etc .., should be imposed in order to provide revenue for rural development and for the rural poor who are unable to pay any imposed progressive taxes. Absence of an imposed progressive tax on national investments or services will severely limit future undertaking by the government in rural areas, even though the economic and social returns may be high.

For rural development to be effective in developing countries, land reform can act as an essential element (see chapter 4). The income of peasants and subsistence farmers in many parts of the world depends on the extent to which they control the land and its output. Land reform is needed, especially in areas of difficult tenancy producers and also before government expenditure on farm inputs and other projects intended for the benefit of small farmers, rural workers and rural people, can be effectively undertaken. Land reform carried out without proper planning and provision of some physical and social infrastructure is doomed of fail.

In a developing country a rural development project may be composed of several programs with different objectives covering agricultural industrial and social services. Several sectors provide a whole range of facilities and services such as clinics, health centers, credit cooperatives feeder roads and water supply systems. Many of these services may best be located in small, rural towns serving the surrounding rural areas and villages. Small capacity service units may be located in the village and those with larger capacity in the towns. As rural development progresses and more workers migrate to towns, the regional planning of rural and urban areas has to be coordinated and given greater supervision. Before regional rural development policies are formulated careful study of human, physical and natural resources available to each region, in particular the less fortunate areas should be made. The growth potential and resource endowment of each area must be appraised to establish the procedures for finance and investment policy

In many developing countries 60 to 80 percent of small farmers have limited or no access to institutional credit. A high percentage of credit in these countries is short term. In rural areas, the use of credit for increased economic production will benefit rural people, provided the following conditions are observed

  1. New technology, innovations and improvements which show definite and clear economic grain for rural households or for the borrower should be adopted.
  2. Farmers should be using production credit, and also have access  to necessary training and skills to m make effective use of innovations and credit
  3. Existence of good delivery systems which provide the ready and timely inputs required farm produces and the market outlets for them.
  4. For small farmer, a comprehensive package program which increases the productivity and easy sale of farm product should be arranged.
  5. To replace to supplement credit from traditional sources that charge high interest rates, to overcome in elasticities in the supply of credit, to alleviate the seasonal financial problems of rural households, to encourage small farmers to raise their output, more and more institutional credit is required by farmers and rural people
  6. Land reform once implemented and pursued wisely, sharply

increases the demand for credit from former peasants and tenants

For most rural development program to be viable, the following points on the introduction and flow of technological ideas should be considered

a.   Continuous flow of field-tested easy to apply and proven technological information relevant to small holders small producers and to farm production, should be available at all times. This information must be revised and updated as more economical efficient, newer techniques and developed and implemented

b.   Without new technological improvement rural poor people cannot substantially increase their earnings as a result of the investment made by governments.

c.   For specific geographical areas with limitations on higher production, such as high and rolling country, mountain regions arid zones and hot and humid forests where population is spares and scattered etc, special techniques and technologies should be evolved.

d.   Technological factors important to small farmers and rural enterprises should be given special attention. Research priority should be given to matters such as easy pest and disease control methods, the use of high yielding varieties or poor man’s crops such as millets sorghum, cassava, yam, pulses and upland rice

e.   Applied research adaptation of innovations at the village level, well-planned extension service all are highly essential. Many failures of rural development projects in the past have been attributed to inadequacies in research, adoption of new ideas extension work, reliable evaluation methods and continuity

f.    The peasant on subsistence agriculture, the low- income small rural operator and landless rural poor people require as compressive an approach as the farmers in order to improve their production and other aspects of their lives.

Education of the rural masses and the poor is highly important as apart of a national plan for rural development. There are minimum learning needs in the form of ‘’basic education” which include educational literacy, numeracy, the knowledge and skill required for earning a living, operating a household including family health, childcare, nutrition and sanitation, and civic participation time and costs involved in providing primary school education has promoted many developing countries to turn to information about the most cost effective education for adults. A survey by the world bank (2,57) showed small scale training and education operations, by a wide variety of different agencies were often not integrated into a national development education of the rural masses in developing countries for the effective implementation rural development. Rural education should be considered in terms of the national plan and educational policy and should be based on the following principles:

a. Primary education should be low cost. Reduce waste and be of high quality

b.Use of mass media, simplification of curricula, adaptation of curricula to local needs. Age of entry to school, length of school cycle, adaptation of indigenous learning systems. And size of classes should be studied and implemented in educational policy.

c. Education may be integrated with employment and rural development where students receive effective training in skills, self employment and new opportunities as is the case with a project in Botswana (299) in the Swaneng Hill and Shahe river schools.

  1. The education of rural people at all levels should be functional in serving specific target groups and meeting their specific requirements.
  2. Rural education programs should be planned as part of a total education plan and delivery system. The programmers should also co-ordinate the other activities of the community such as health and credit by using multipurpose centers. Examples of multipurpose centers are the rural training centers and community education centers in Tanzania.
  3. Rural education projects literacy programs etc. should be integrated with other development activities, and whenever possible should provide appropriate inputs and services. Such integration and linkage can be seen in the Comilla project in Bangladash (209a) and the program on agricultural credit and cooperatives in Afghanistan (PACCA).
  4. Basic education and training of rural people should be flexible in terms of costs and management, and in using existing facilities and resources so that continued effective implementation of programs can be maintained.

~~ These are the notes from my Rural Development class @ UoM ~~

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