This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book identifies obstacles that make development very nearly impossible and things that could either facilitate or impede development. It examines common agricultural practice, the results this has achieved, and the damage it has caused. The book looks at fishing grounds, forests, grazing lands, and water sources that are neither government property nor in private hands. It argues that trade is not working particularly well for poor rural people. The book explains microfinance. It explains information and communication technology. The book discusses school meals and other forms of food distribution, public work programmes, in-kind support, fee waivers, and cash transfers, and comes to conclusion that, in most cases, cash transfers are preferable to other types of social assistance. It explores how climate change is aggravating many of problems and threats that rural communities are facing.