Rural Systems

Pressures on rural communities and businesses are abundant; from changing climates to soil erosion, from natural resource to skilled trade scarcity – all requiring a well-rounded grasp of the practical realities on the ground as well as the policy and investment systems that represent diverse interests and goals.

Our work focuses on forming stakeholder coalitions, to tackle economic, environmental and social challenges through collective dialogue and design, meant to reach a mutually beneficial development and investment plan.

We work across private, non-profit and public divides to bring people together. Sharing the best each has to offer creates a conversation that benefits everyone. There doesn’t have to be one winner anymore. True gain is mutual and enduring.

ORG provides multiple services, including comprehensive masterplans, renewable energy development, coalition building, land resource and watershed management plans, supply chain innovation and co-op commercialization; all to address the complicated issues of today and get agrarian communities on track and poised for a dynamic future.


As agricultural production is often the main source of employment and income in rural and impoverished areas. Agricultural cooperatives play an instrumental role in socio-economic development, food security and poverty reduction. They provide smallholder farmers with access to natural and educational resources, tools and otherwise inaccessible marketplaces. Producer organizations can also empower smallholders to become more resilient; in other words, they build the capacity of farmers to prepare for and react to economic and environmental stressors and shocks in a way that limits vulnerability and promotes their sustainability.


At ORG, we focus on five main types of infrastructure – water, sanitation, energy, transport and communications. In some developing regions people meet their needs in a variety of ways – informal access to formal grids such as illegal energy hookups; ‘off-grid’ forms such as latrines or bore-wells; or hybrid forms such as reliance on water trucks when urban supplies run dry. A particular concern in these developing regions is whether such critical infrastructure is sufficiently robust and stable to weather the multitude of human/political and environmental shocks and stresses facing them.


At ORG, we find that rural areas have specific competitive advantages that can be important in guiding their economic development strategies. As the industry clusters cross administrative boundaries, cluster development strategies can have unique regional boundaries irrespective of state political jurisdictions. Our experience shows that connecting sectors corresponding to economic areas may promote cluster-based economic development opportunities and specialization.

Project clustering strategy and development zone designation for Chipoka urban and TA Ndindi


At ORG, we believe that watershed environmental design, whose main aim is to secure water for rural communities, represents a promising opportunity for large-scale sustainability transitions in the near future. If properly designed, they promote activities in the watershed that enhance ecosystem services while protecting nature and biodiversity, as well as achieving other societal goals.

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