Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Kijk op multifunctionele landbouw : verkenning van de impact 2013 en 2011
    Veen, E.J. ; Vijn, M.P. ; Poort, Michelle ; Dijkshoorn-Dekker, M.W.C. ; Schoutsen, M.A. ; Haaster-de Winter, M.A. van - \ 2014
    Lelystad : Praktijkonderzoek Plant & Omgeving, onderdeel van Wageningen UR, Business Unit Akkerbouw, Groene Ruimte en Vollegrondsgroenten (PPO rapport 618) - 86
    multifunctionele landbouw - utrecht - gemeenten - economische ontwikkeling - sociale ontwikkeling - arbeid (werk) - regionale ontwikkeling - boerderijwinkels - kinderverzorging - boerderijtoerisme - recreatie - zorgboerderijen - belevingswaarde - multifunctional agriculture - utrecht - municipalities - economic development - social development - labour - regional development - on-farm sales - child care - farm tourism - recreation - social care farms - experiential value
    Doel van dit onderzoek is de impact van de multifunctionele landbouw te onderzoeken. De specifieke vraag in dit onderzoek is: Wat is de impact van de multifunctionele landbouw op de economische en maatschappelijke ontwikkeling van de twee gemeenten Woerden en Lopik? Het gaat in deze vraag nadrukkelijk om de impact die de bedrijven hebben op het gebied zelf – extern – en niet om de impact op de bedrijven. Dat betekent dat er vooral wordt gekeken naar wat de multifunctionele landbouw betekent voor anderen in het gebied, en dus niet naar wat het betekent voor de bedrijven zelf. Ten tweede, wordt er vooral gekeken naar wat het totaal aan multifunctionele bedrijven bijdraagt, en niet zozeer naar de bijdrage van een individueel bedrijf.
    Slimme routes naar verduurzaming voedselconsumptie
    Overbeek, M.M.M. ; Dagevos, H. - \ 2013
    Tijdschrift Milieu : Vereniging van milieuprofessionals 2013 (2013)5. - p. 34 - 35.
    voedselproductie - voedselverspilling - dierenwelzijn - duurzame ontwikkeling - consumenten - innovaties - sociale ontwikkeling - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - food production - food wastage - animal welfare - sustainable development - consumers - innovations - social development - sustainability
    Dierenwelzijn en voedselverspilling staan op maatschappelijke en politieke agenda's, veel consumenten proberen bewuster te eten en duurzaamheid is een kernwoord in menige bedrijfsfilosofie. Toch vordert de verduurzaming van het voedselsysteem traag. Een bredere kijk op opties en oplossingen kan de verduurzaming versnellen en daarmee de ecologische voetafdruk van onze voedselproductie verkleinen.
    The arena of everyday life
    Butijn, C.A.A. ; Ophem, J.A.C. van; Casimir, G.J. - \ 2013
    Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers (Mansholt publication series no. 12) - ISBN 9789086867752 - 174
    middelen van bestaan - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - huishoudens - sociale ontwikkeling - volksgezondheid - vrouw en samenleving - consumenten - huishoudkunde - sociologie - livelihoods - livelihood strategies - households - social development - public health - woman and society - consumers - home economics - sociology
    In 'The arena of everyday life' nine authors look back and forward at developments in the sociology of consumers and households. Nine chapters show variety in the employed methods, from multivariate analyses of survey data to classical essays. The contributions are organised around four themes. In the first theme, two chapters entail a critical discussion of the concepts livelihood and household. The second part deals with health, in particular food security, hygiene and aids/HIV. The third theme focuses on female opportunities to foster income procurement of household by respectively microfinance and entrepreneurship. The fourth theme concentrates on two topical societal developments in a Western society, the first chapter dealing with the issue of creating opportunities for tailor-made services to older people, the second one focussing on the home-work balance of telecommuters.
    Mallas y flujos : acción colectiva, cambio social, quinua y desarrollo regional indígena en los Andes Bolivianos
    Laguna, P. - \ 2011
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leontine Visser, co-promotor(en): Alberto Arce. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085859604 - 522
    chenopodium quinoa - inheemse volkeren - producentengroepen - antropologie - sociale verandering - modernisering - economische ontwikkeling - sociale ontwikkeling - coöperatieve verenigingen - bolivia - andes - ontwikkeling - zuid-amerika - chenopodium quinoa - indigenous people - producer groups - anthropology - social change - modernization - economic development - social development - cooperative societies - bolivia - andes - development - south america

    This thesis studies collective action and social change in indigenous rural organisations (IRO) in the Bolivian Andes. I focus on the effects and importance that these organisations have in the historical process of regional development as social spaces that encapsulate different projects of social, political and economic modernity. I reconstruct the practices and situations that turn rural indigenous organisations into significant spaces in which individuals and groups of people put into practice their life projects and their aspirations of modernity. The main question of this thesis is: what are indigenous rural organisations in the Bolivian Andes and what are their contributions to regional development?

    To answer this question, I argue that we need to leave aside social constructivism and rational action present in current studies of indigenous rural organisations in the Andes that use the concept social capital. These organisations are not essences, totalities, nor are they are stable. Also, they are a more complex process than mere rational and technocratic action. IRO are contextual and situational spaces of social life that contain significant elements or objects, which are material and immaterial. These spaces are heterogeneities of humans and objects united by shared significant objects that are emergent, original and intensive. In this sense this organisations represent meshworks that interweave the changeable relationships between entities (humans and objects) and practices, and encompass the possibility of social change. These meshworks have different dimensions (economical, social, cultural, political). In each one of those, the flow of practices, interactions and experiences of individuals and groups of individuals simultaneously unify and break meaning, identity, affect, materiality and also regulation.

    I study three kindsof indigenous rural organisations fromthe Perisalar (the Bolivian Southern highlands): communities which are based on kinship relationships, ayllus which are ethnic groups and quinoa producer organisations. Communities are social spaces that contain significant elements of modernity, such as the desire for access to State education and to enjoy citizens’ rights, the wish for agricultural machinery and to produce for the global market, the diversity of livelihoods and the affirmation of racial and class identity. Ayllus are made by community assemblages and many comunarios belong to quinoa Producer Organisations. In this sense ayllus and producer organisations are important social spaces as they contain significant elements present in the communities. I present the social life of IRO starting from the intersection of local development practices and experiences with other social spaces: the market, migratory destinations, education, social movements and institutional intervention. In order to better understand the effects of social change and IRO, I chose a long-term historical vision, considering the emerging effects of the intersection of local and external practices and experiences, before and during the quinoa commoditisation process.

    The study concludes that IRO in the Bolivian Andes, are meshworks made by vibrant humans and objects with social vitality and intensity. They have the capacity to actualise significant elements of an economic, social, cultural and political character, in interaction with the Nation-State and the global market. These organisations increase through global market the vibrant character of significant elements such as quinoa, and by their recognition by the State they provide semi-autonomy to their members, and a space to make recognised their citizenship and their trade union, racial and class identities, and to locally redesign the State. Memory, identity and affect reveal the potential of IRO in repositioning past reminiscences and ancestral properties, and at the same time claim for a future that does not contain the same substance of that which is “the Andean”, “the Aymara” or “the Quechua”, rather incorporates new elements that lead to multiple “(neo)Andeans”, “(neo)Aymaras” and “(neo)Quechuas” forms, present in each and every one of the partial connections.

    These organisations contain a variety of symbols, discourses and practices that correspond to heterogeneous knowledge and forms of socialisation and thinking of modernity that sometimes result in tension, fissure and conflict without however being fragmented. That is why structuralism, institutionalism and rationalism partially explain the agency in ambiguous and eclectic social spacessuch areIRO, whose limitsare constantly redefined by the flow of experience of its members. Development through these organisations is a social process, experiential and unpredictable, reflexive and corporeal, cognitive and performative, that contains both cohesion and tear. For understanding IRO contribution to rural development we must describe the relational and the imaginative in the wishes and processes of social change and regional developmentand grasp the relevance of its individual members’ experiences and practices in the creation of social ties. Methodologically this leads us to dissolve analytical categories and to follow and observe individuals past and present practices and their intersections with other individuals, groups, structures and significant objects. Our study underlines the significance of human-object relation as a starting point for generating new analytical frameworks in indigenous Andean organizations.

    Assessment of the status, development and diversification of fisheries-dependent communities: Urk Case Study Report
    Delaney, A.E. ; Hoefnagel, E.W.J. ; Bartelings, H. ; Oosterhout, J. van - \ 2010
    The Hague : LEI, part of Wageningen UR (EU Fish 2006 / 09. 2010) - 33
    vissersgemeenschappen - visserij - sociale verandering - sociale ontwikkeling - sociale gevolgen - sociale situatie - demografie - economische situatie - sociale economie - werkgelegenheid - flevoland - fishing communities - fisheries - social change - social development - social impact - social situation - demography - economic situation - socioeconomics - employment - flevoland
    This case study about Urk shows which social and economic challenges this traditional fishing community faces due to its specialization on just a few stocks, the increasing independence of a processing sector no longer reliant on it to supply locally caught fish, and culturally preferences in the way of life and ways of doing things, and the additional hardship of limited TACs, forced decommissioning, low stock prices, and high fixed costs (fuel costs).
    Personal and Social Development of Women in Rural Areas of Europe
    Bock, B.B. - \ 2010
    Brussel : European Parliament - 42
    plattelandsvrouwen - persoonlijke ontwikkeling - sociale ontwikkeling - platteland - europa - rural women - personal development - social development - rural areas - europe
    Sporen van moderniteit : de sociaal-economische analyse van de regio Liemers (1815-1940)
    Smit, J.B. - \ 2010
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Pim Kooij. - Hilversum : Verloren - ISBN 9789087041618 - 541
    economische ontwikkeling - modernisering - geografie - regionale ontwikkeling - sociale ontwikkeling - inkomensverdeling - beroepen - nederland - agrarische geschiedenis - liemers - gelderland - economic development - modernization - geography - regional development - social development - income distribution - occupations - netherlands - agricultural history - liemers - gelderland
    Dit boek geeft de weerslag van een onderzoek naar de economische ontwikkeling van de Liemers. Het onderzoek start aan het begin van de negentiende eeuw toen een deel van de Liemers van Pruisisch tot Nederlands gebied werd. In feite speelde er zich dus een tweedimensionaal integratieproces af, een proces van regiovorming, terwijl die regio op haar beurt zich moest voegen in de eenwording van Nederland. Als eindpunt van deze studie is 1940 genomen, omdat in de oorlog maar ook de periode erna een sterkere economische sturing van overheidswege optrad, die er in de wederopbouwperiode ook op gericht was de achterstanden van regio’s weg te werken.
    Políticas públicas como objecto social: Imaginando el bien público en el desarollo rural latinoamericano
    Arce, A.M.G. ; Blanco, G. ; Hurtado Paz y Paz, K.M. - \ 2008
    Guatemala : Flacso - ISBN 9789993972570 - 300
    plattelandsontwikkeling - politiek - regering - overheidsbeleid - ontwikkelingsbeleid - markteconomie - sociale ontwikkeling - latijns-amerika - rural development - politics - government - government policy - development policy - market economics - social development - latin america
    Lessen uit een eeuw stedelijke problematiek
    Peters, K.B.M. - \ 2007
    Vrijetijdstudies 25 (2007). - ISSN 1384-2439 - p. 51 - 52.
    woonwijken - stadsontwikkeling - stedelijke planning - sociale ontwikkeling - sociale klassen - stadsomgeving - residential areas - urban development - urban planning - social development - social classes - urban environment
    Een bespreking van een nieuw boek van Leo Lucassen en Wim Willems (red.) genaamd De krachtige stad, een eeuw omgang en ontwijking. De ontwikkeling van steden heeft de aandacht van velen. Politici, bestuurders, marktpartijen, bewoners en onderzoekers houden zich al decennia lang bezig met de stedelijke vernieuwing, de problemen die zich in steden voordoen en op welke wijze deze problemen het beste kunnen worden opgelost. Zijn de huidige problemen nieuw? In het boek wordt aan de hand van verschillende casussen gekeken of er vergelijkingen te trekken zijn tussen het verleden en de huidige tijd
    Van Probleemwijk naar Prachtwijk: Het belang van vrijetijdsmogelijkheden
    Peters, K.B.M. ; Gadet, J. - \ 2007
    Vrijetijdstudies 25 (2007)3. - ISSN 1384-2439 - p. 42 - 50.
    woonwijken - minder bevoorrechte klasse - sociaal welzijn - sociale ontwikkeling - stadsontwikkeling - stedelijke planning - residential areas - disadvantaged - social welfare - social development - urban development - urban planning
    De aandacht voor buurten en wijken flakkert op. Met het project ‘van probleemwijk naar prachtwijk’ van VROM-minister Ella Vogelaar (met de 40 wijkenlijst), heeft de politieke aandacht voor achterstandswijken vorm gekregen. Aandacht, die met de troubles in de Utrechtse wijk Ondiep ook mediageniek werd. Aandacht, die bij stadsgeografen en –sociologen al eerder een moderne injectie kreeg door de maatschappelijke explosies in de Franse banlieus. In dit Forum wordt door verschillende auteurs uiteengezet hoe vrijetijdsmogelijkheden van invloed zijn op de ontwikkeling van wijken. We beginnen met een korte inleiding op deze thematiek. Vervolgens komen drie deskundigen aan het woordn. Mariette van Baaren (gemeente Amsterdam), Jan Rath (UvA) en Peter van der Gugten (Proper-Stock Groep B.V.) Aan het eind van deze Forum discussie trekken we een conclusie: gaan we naar prachtwijken toe, of houden we probleemwijken
    A journey without maps: towards sustainable subsistence agriculture in South Africa
    Adey, S. - \ 2007
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): F.H.J. Rijkenberg. - [S.l.] : S.n. - 242
    ontwikkeling - sociologie - participatie - technische vooruitgang - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - plattelandsontwikkeling - bodemvruchtbaarheid - economische ontwikkeling - sociale ontwikkeling - instellingen - kunstnijverheid - natuurlijke hulpbronnen - hulpbronnenbeheer - gezinstuinen - voeren van een landbouwhuishouding - zuid-afrika - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - bodemvruchtbaarheidsbeheer - development - sociology - participation - technical progress - subsistence farming - sustainability - rural development - soil fertility - economic development - social development - institutions - crafts - natural resources - resource management - home gardens - homesteading - south africa - livelihood strategies - soil fertility management
    Participatory technology development within the subsistence-farming sector in South Africa is receiving increasing attention. Linked to this is an interest in sustainable development, particularly for agricultural interventions. Ecological approaches to agriculture have largely been considered unable to provide a route for income generation. However, some promising examples of sustainable small-scale farming systems can be found in South Africa. The main aim of this thesis was to identify factors within these development programmes that led to sustainable technology development in the context of subsistence farmers’ livelihoods. This objective was achieved through exploring practically, the concepts derived from the sustainability paradigm. To be sustainable, a farming system should be biologically, technically and socially feasible and viable at farm level, within a positive and enhancing external environment. Sustainability ultimately concerns the relationships between all elements of the farming system and for this reason researching sustainability in agriculture requires a multi-level, multi-aspect and multi-actor approach. Sustainability was explored in three case studies in this thesis and at a number of levels: field level; farm and district level, including organizational interaction. Different aspects were researched that included agricultural technologies, household livelihoods and organizational development. The various actors involved in the technology-development process examined in the three case studies included farmers, change-agents, researchers and local traditional authorities. Interactions at all three levels influenced and contributed to the overall sustainability of the development intervention and this research supports the widely demonstrated conclusion that the challenges faced by agriculture will not readily be solved by technological interventions at the field level alone. The factors at each of the levels that contributed to the sustainability of the develop projects are presented and the lessons learned from the three case studies are also given.
    Belevingslandbouw. Maatschappelijke kaders "de Smaak van Morgen". Eindrapport
    Spruijt, J. ; Wees, N.S. van; Wenneker, M. - \ 2004
    Lelystad : PPO Akkerbouw, Groene Ruimte en Vollegrondsgroenten - 59
    landbouw in voorsteden - alternatieve landbouw - sociale ontwikkeling - hedendaagse samenleving - landbouwproducten - landbouwproductie - biodiversiteit - openbare mening - stadslandbouw - suburban agriculture - alternative farming - social development - contemporary society - agricultural products - biodiversity - soil management - public opinion - urban agriculture
    Voor belevingslandbouw in een stedelijke omgeving worden in dit onderzoek op basis van een desk-studie, interviews en een workshop maatschappelijke kaders geschetst. Het uitgangspunt van dit PPO project is: het realiseren van een pesticidearme landbouw in een stedelijke en in een landelijke context. Via biologische en geïntegreerde belevingslandbouw (stedelijk gebied) en productielandbouw (landelijk gebied)
    Taakcombineerders in het landelijk gebied; naar een sociale infrastructuur voor het combineren van arbeid en zorg op het platteland
    Nieborg, S. ; Stavenuiter, M. ; Strijbos, J. ; Langers, F. ; Veeneklaas, F.R. - \ 2002
    Utrecht / Wageningen : Verwey-Jonker Instituut / Alterra - ISBN 9789058300867 - 154
    sociale participatie - sociaal beleid - sociale ontwikkeling - sociale voorzieningen - plattelandsontwikkeling - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - arbeidsverhoudingen - nederland - zorgboerderijen - social participation - social policy - social development - social services - rural development - farm management - labour relations - netherlands - social care farms
    Processes of enlightenment : farmer initiatives in rural development in China
    Ye, J. - \ 2002
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.E. Long. - S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789058087300 - 288
    rurale sociologie - plattelandsgemeenschappen - sociale verandering - gemeenschapsontwikkeling - sociale ontwikkeling - boeren - netwerken voor persoonlijke ondersteuning - china - rural sociology - rural communities - social change - community development - social development - farmers - personal support networks - china

    This research concerns development initiatives in rural communities. I define a farmer initiative as the impetus that sufficiently and necessarily drives a farmer (or group of farmers) to formulate a realistic strategic plan, and to implement it in an attempt to create space for manoeuvre and to pursue change through changing social conditions. Farmer initiatives emerge from farmers' experiences, knowledge, events, social networks, and from interactions among themselves, a wider network of actors and the broader socio-economic environment. In other words, farmers develop particular initiatives through the interaction of these factors. Thus farmer initiatives are also processes of enlightenment. Here enlightenment is an emergent property. In the Chinese context it not only refers to being inspired by ideas from others, but more importantly, by experience and interaction with others, with events, and so on.

    Theoretically, rural social change is fundamentally the outcome of rural initiatives and must thereby be closely linked to them. The process of social construction involved in rural initiatives requires an interpretation of the 'logic' or rationale of processes of social encounter, intersection, interface and interaction that often remain only implicit in sociological studies. This approach repudiates exogenous views of development characteristic of modernisation theory, dependency theory and planned intervention models and focuses instead on endogenous development. One way of doing this is to enter explicitly into the vital terrain of farmer initiatives. Placed within the Chinese rural context, a sociological study of this kind is endowed with special significance. This is for two reasons. First, rarely are mainstream concepts of rural development sociology derived from or tested in the Chinese context. Second, the Chinese historical and socio-cultural context and its ideological content offers at this present juncture an opportunity not only to fill the vacuum of rural development sociology in China, but also, more generally, to redress possible distortions associated with certain brands of development theory.

    In conformity with the understanding of the dialectics of internal and external factors, the generation of strategic ideas, and the debate about the nature of human agency and 'ordering' processes in social life, I mainly adopt an actor-oriented and interface approach in my analysis. Adopting such an approach to the study of the development of rural initiatives implies a focus on the dynamic interactions between actors as well as on the internal and external factors/variables implicated in these processes. My methodological starting point is not with pre-set models or recipes that define a set of techniques simply to be applied in the field. The research distances itself from the idea of applying simple positivist methods of research made up of a 'tool box' of techniques to be used for data collection, hypothesis testing and the isolation of the determinants of social behaviour. Instead, it adopts an open-ended, ethnographic approach aimed at unravelling the complexities of meaning and social action, through the development of a conceptual framework that accords priority to the understanding of everyday life situations.

    The thesis consists of eight chapters. Chapter two provides a critical review of the theoretical 'state of the art' on issues related to the research outlined in the first chapter. Chapter three records the entire process of selecting and entering the research community. This started the long process of getting to know the community and building the community profile. The readers are presented with a process that highlights the specific context of rural China, its recent history, traditions, ideology, culture, and institutions. The everyday encounters in organised arenas (i.e. those using participatory methods) and in more indigenous arenas (such as 'sitting in street') form the basis for an understanding of the domains of community organisation and household livelihoods. They also, together with the account of interactions with village officials and leaders, draw attention to the significance of differentiated life worlds. They helped us to become socially and culturally socialised into the community. These experiences provide the foundation for the analysis of village social organisation and the dynamics of rural initiatives explored in the village profiles in Chapter four and Chapter five.

    Chapter four falls into two parts. Part I begins with a general picture of village administrative organization followed by a general profile of each of the four researched villages. Most of this material was collected through discussion and interviews with key administrative cadres and from information obtained from records kept by the bookkeepers of the party offices and augmented by the research team's general observations. Part II explores the village profiles further through the use of a number of participatory methods and interactions with villagers in their everyday lives. The profiles furnish the reader with a full picture and penetrative analysis of a Chinese rural community and they thus provide the necessary background and contexts for exploring the nature and implications of farmer development initiatives. Importantly, the chapter displays the whole process of constructing the community profile, providing information on rural actors' life worlds and community dynamics. In this way the chapter allows readers to view the research community as a living picture.

    Having become socially accepted into the community and having constructed profiles of the four villages of the study, I was in a position to understand better the complex social, economic and cultural environment in which local actors organise their life worlds. My research therefore moved on to its second stage and to the central theme of the study - farmer development initiatives. As I argued in Chapter five, all people have agency to act, to respond, to cope with life, and to solve problems, and different social actors will act, respond, cope and solve their problems differently and to a greater or lesser degree. In the context of rural household and community development, individuals will use their agency to engage in the pursuit of various undertakings or initiatives for achieving their own goals. I call this developmentagency . Thus all rural actors may express the intention to better their livelihood situations, but (especially in the rural context examined) this can only be pursued effectively by starting something new. It is for this reason that I stress the importance of innovative agency. The core of my research was aimed at analysing how different farmer development initiatives were socially constructed. This required the study of careers of innovative actors in relation to household and community development. The selection of appropriate cases for study became critical. Eventually I ended up with twenty cases that allowed me to explore in more detail the careers of the selected farmers in relation to their household and community development. The various undertakings throughout a farmer's career were analysed, in particular how their initiatives started and were socially shaped and eventually implemented. All twenty vignettes of the case farmers are included in Chapter five.

    The main types of farmer initiatives were related to outside wage labour, raising of livestock, scorpions and bee-keeping, development of various local enterprises, forestry development, small-scale trading, fruit tree development, local mining, tertiary services, transport, community administration and management tasks, vegetable cultivation, orchard development, and involvement in outside construction and factory projects. The critical factors contributing to the process of various farmer initiatives include trust, social networks, information derived from networks, past experiences, media and publications, calculations of cost-effectiveness, enlightenment from interaction with family members and the networks of outsiders, study visits, information from the market, visits to successful cases, the influence of family and social network members and others, consultation with others, self-help and co-operation, reputation (respect, creditability), interests, beliefs, curiosity vis-à-vis the outside world, technology innovation, knowledge from publications and training, study visits, skills and technical capability, enlightenment from observation and favourable policy. Many of these are interrelated and some in fact can be grouped into broader categories.

    Having selected the cases of farmer initiatives for detailed analysis, I designed a questionnaire survey consisting of two parts. The first focuses on general household demographic information, land and other resources, cropping, livestock raising, forestry and fruit trees, non-agricultural undertakings, household income and expenditure, and so forth. The second part was composed of open-ended questions aimed at eliciting farmers' views about critical factors and at filling in the social context of their lives. My aim was to provide a general overview of the characteristics of the twenty farmers chosen as case studies in their social and cultural context, followed by a discussion of the critical factors that contribute to the emergence and development of farmer initiatives. The in-depth analysis of this questionnaire survey is presented in Chapter six.

    Chapter seven shows the empirical process of how various farmer development initiatives are constructed, analysing the career trajectories of five farmers selected from the 20 cases so that readers are able to conceptualise the real life environments in which these farmer initiatives develop. Within the processes many factors are inter-linked and mutually influence each other, and function jointly to contribute to the strategic generation of ideas, the consolidation of social relations, and the continuous shaping of these initiatives through social action. These factors include social networks, information, and interaction, and so on. Through the functioning of these critical factors, farmers become enlightened, and thus many kinds of development initiatives emerge. Hence, farmer development initiatives are also processes of enlightenment. The analysis of the various kinds of farmer's development initiative leads to conclusions relating to the initiatives per se as well as to the identification of certain critical factors.

    The last chapter brings us back to the research questions formulated at the beginning of the thesis. Since there are no major differences between farmers in the research community in terms of human capital, or physical and educational and other local facilities, differentiation between farmers must come from activities other than arable farming. We need therefore to consider a wider range of elements. As the twenty in depth case studies reveal these elements included social networks, information, enlightenment from interactions, trust, reputation, respect, creditability, experience, consultation with others, self-help and co-operation, favourable government policy, interests and hobbies, beliefs, curiosity about the outside world, pressure, and so on. One might sum these factors up as falling under the umbrella of, or as belonging to the sphere of social capital. Of course I do not wish to underestimate the importance of physical and human capital in the implementation of different development initiatives. However, being well equipped with good physical and human capital does not necessarily imply a capacity to generate strategic development ideas and to consolidate the ideas into plans for action. In comparison, adequate social capital in the form of established and extended social networks, information that is continuously received and updated, active interaction with others and with the wider society, and the possession of trust and credibility, will provide the means to generate new creative and strategic ideas to put into initiatives. Social capital is thus the mobiliser.

    These processes of initiatives and social capital are developed under particular social conditions. This is a dynamic and recursively-evolving circle. The operation of social networks is based on certain mechanisms of trust, and on values and norms. During interaction, particular values and norms will be employed consciously or otherwise to sustain the existence and operation of particular social networks, giving actors openings for obtaining social and other resources from their networks. Moreover, it is the interweaving and interplay of the various factors that create social capital and this therefore cannot be reduced to a simple formula of kinship, cultural beliefs, normative frameworks, particular institutions and organisations etc.

    This research reveals therefore that social capital is a composite factor and interwoven with other factors that jointly contribute to the initiative process. Any one farmer's initiative will have been generated, consolidated and implemented by some of these factors functioning together. No single factor can work in isolation and lead to the entire process of a certain kind of initiative. For instance, an initiative in small-scale trading may be generated through enlightenment from interaction with others, usually those within the farmer's social network. Then through their own and through the social networks of others in the network, farmers are able to obtain relevant information and mobilise needed resources. After an idea is generated, then a farmer may need to consult close family or relatives so as to consolidate the idea into a plan for action. Consultation will be based on kinship trust. During the implementation stage, the farmer may need to integrate previous experience and to co-operate with other farmers and again kin or geo-related trust will be an element. Additional information and knowledge can also be obtained from the media, (study) visits, local markets and temple fairs, and so on. All these factors function in a co-operative manner and jointly contribute to the process of a small-scale trading initiative. That is, they are all integral to the process. On the other hand, the generation of ideas does not automatically and necessarily lead to the commencement of consolidation into action, nor to the implementation of initiatives. These three stages do not necessarily take place spontaneously or consecutively. In between there may be many conditions relating to other factors that need to be fulfilled.

    Different initiatives often represent the different milestones in a farmer's career. These milestones are often the breakthrough points in the farmer's development. Such points have been referred to as 'springboards' to further progress. Each development initiative involves strategic decision making with significant implications in terms of choice and interaction mechanisms. The process of development initiatives is a dynamic one, which mainly stems from human agency and the changing societal environment. The farmer's own agency is the primary motive leading to strategies for action, and the changing societal environmental is the essential aspect resulting in the continuous adjustment of strategy, during the process of which the strategy becomes increasingly structured.

    The innovations of this research are threefold. First the research explicitly positions the researcher as one of the multiplicity of actors operating in the community. Second, the research fully documents the process by which the researcher enters the scene and negotiates his own role, and third it represents a new departure in research on community development in China.

    Perdidos en la selva : un estudio del proceso de re-arraigo y de desarrollo local de la Comunidad-Cooperativa Unión Maya Itzá, formada por campesinos guatemaltecos, antiguos refugiados, reasentados en el Departamento de El Petén, Guatemala
    Vaeren, P. Van der - \ 2000
    Agricultural University. Promotor(en): J.D. van der Ploeg. - S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789058083081 - 377
    bevolkingsverplaatsing - boeren - vluchtelingen - sociale ontwikkeling - economische ontwikkeling - guatemala - resettlement - farmers - refugees - social development - economic development - guatemala

    Lost in the forest : A study of the reintegration, re-rooting, and endogenous development process of the communal co-operative Unión Maya Itzá, formed by Guatemalan peasants, former refugees in Mexico, resettled in the Department of Petén, Guatemala.

    Lost in the Forest: the return of the refugees to the El Quetzal "finca"

    This book is about the process of re-rooting and socio-economic development of a group Guatemalan peasants refugees, who had fled the internal armed conflict. Today, this group forms a pioneering community and co-operative, the Unión Maya Itzá , settled in the El Quetzal "finca" (or estate), in the Department of Petén. Taking advantage of political changes occurred in Guatemala in the second half of the eighties, and the beginning of peace talks between the guerrilla and the government, the refugees, advised by Guatemalan political exiles linked to the insurgency, undertook negotiations with the Guatemalan government about the conditions under which organized groups of refugees could return to their home country. The negotiations were concluded in October 1992 with the agreements between the Permanent Commissions of the Guatemalan Refugees in Mexico (CC.PP.) and the Government, which set the political and juridical framework as well as the practical modalities for the return of organized groups of refugees, including guarantees that their human and constitutional rights would be upheld. The return of the refugees, conducted by the Permanent Commissions, was obviously a political move, of which the main objective was to keep seeking changes in Guatemala towards a more equitable and democratic society. It is in this context that on the 8th of April 1995, after almost 15 years in refugee camps in Mexico, a group of about 200 families settled down in the El Quetzal finca, to reconstruct their lives and promote the socio-economic development of their community.

    Until the arrival of the returnees, the El Quetzal finca was almost totally covered with forest, although most of its fine wood had been plundered before. For a long time during the negotiation for the return, the government, through the National Council for Protected Areas (CONAP), opposed the settlement of the returnees on the finca, a private property, arguing that it was located in a protected area. However, the government never offered any serious alternative. Almost two years of negotiations and political pressures were necessary for CONAP to give way, and for the government to grant the co-operative the revolving credit to acquire the finca.

    In spite of the extensive preparation of the social and technical aspects of the return, the political side of the negotiation with the government remained dominant. The financial support required to prepare the settlement infrastructures could not be obtained, and the date of the return was fixed according to political objectives. Therefore, the families of the Unión Maya Itzá settled in the El Quetzal finca under inhumane conditions, which they had to bear for nearly a whole year, while they were constructing the village. Moreover, just a few days after their arrival, they were left to their own fate, lost in the forest, by the persons who had advised them. The difference between the objectives pursued by the political advisers and by the peasant refugees-returnees became evident: the advisers were seeking, among other things, a political victory over the government, in overcoming the obstacles raised by CONAP, and a demonstration, towards other " vertientes " ( sections ) of the Permanent Commissions, of their capacity of political mobilization; whereas the peasants, without underestimating the global political objective of their return, were seeking to acquire land where to settle and to build the development of their community.

    In spite of the quick organization of social services health and education-, on the basis of the capabilities acquired and of the social organization set up while in Mexico, the first year was a time of very serious social and economic crisis, in particular of food shortage. In building the social organization of the community, the returnees had to establish rules of procedure governing relations between the different groups, professional and gender organizations, as well as between the individual families, on the basis of the model of community organization discussed in Mexico, while integrating a new structure, i.e. the co-operative. The leaders of the co-operative came to take up the leadership of the whole community. The new community maintained the relationship it had with various actors who were involved in the preparation of the return, and established new relationships with new external actors: governmental institutions, NGOs, traders, etc., each one with its own political position, projects and interests.

    The political significance of the return of the refugees, which was occurring while the armed conflict was still going on, and the opportunities to negotiate projects for their benefit, made various external actors try and control the social and economic process of the community. In particular, three external actors struggled with each other to open action spaces for themselves within the community. One actor was related to the government, a second was linked to the (former) insurgency (URNG), and a third actor, politically independent, was promoting a development process controlled by the community itself. With time, the returnees came to decide themselves the kind of relationship they would have with each one of those external actors, in accordance with their political options, and with the benefit they could obtain.

    In the beginning, in spite of the presence of community members with substantial capability of analysis and experience in leadership, the refugees experienced difficulties to change their attitude of dependence toward external actors and authorities, as they had been used to for years as refugees. They would have difficulties in reaching decisions or take action on matters which could be of vital importance. This is the main reason why, eight months after the return, agricultural production had not begun, which provoked a serious food and economic crisis, that could only be resolved with external help. However, the returnees were able successfully to mobilize internal and external resources to negotiate with the government the construction of the access road to the finca , which was of vital importance for the economic development of the community.

    The experience of the Unión Maya Itzá clearly shows the elements and conditions required to make a process of local development possible. These are: a coherent internal social organization; access to an amount of capital which can be converted into money; the sustainable management of natural resources. All this, taking into account the social, political and economic context, and the capability of the community to take advantage of it. This case shows how, under given conditions, beginning with the opening of political spaces in societies in conflict, the reintegration of an up-rooted population can be achieved.

    A modest sociology, the campesino actor, socio-technical networks, and endogenous development

    This study is a retrospective account and an analysis of the process of preparation, return, reintegration, re-rooting, and development of the Unión Maya Itzá. During the two years of the preparation in Mexico and during the first three years of the return, I participated in this process, not as an observer, but as an actor involved with one of the NGOs which collaborated with the refugees in Mexico, and which continue collaborating with the returnees in Guatemala. However, the events accounted for in this study started long before I got involved with the refugees, and continued their course after I ceased to collaborate directly with them. Moreover, a certainly important proportion of events and aspects of this process escaped me. In trying to tell how things actually occurred, I observed retrospectively, I sorted out events, and related actors among themselves. However, the account remains incomplete, fragmented and imperfect. It is an exercise of modest sociology.

    The people of whom this study is about do not form an homogeneous social group, they are actors who are capable, each one of them, to process information, elaborate strategies, and modify the state of things or the course of events, through the organization of social relations. They have the capability to exert their human agency. This study is about the repeated intents of realizing their human agency by those who form today the Unión Maya Itzá, under conditions of repeated ruptures and sometimes extreme constraints.

    The campesino has been defined as a social actor who lives off small scale agriculture, with low external inputs. Usually, campesinos represent marginalized sectors of the societies in which they live, with limited access to land, natural resources, social services and infrastructures. Peasant agriculture is characterised by the constant production and reproduction of inputs in the productive process, and by low external inputs. Peasant agricultural activity offers prospects of socio-economic development in societies with low employment opportunities in other sectors of the economy. This statement is valid under the conditions that the peasants benefit from stable and favourable political, climatic and market conditions.

    Agricultural production requires the farmer to be inserted in a network, through which he can mobilise resources and fulfil his objectives. Through this network, which has been defined as a socio-technical network , farmers interact with other social actors - other farmers, traders, etc.- and with non human entities - land, natural resources, etc.-, called actants , who assume their respective attribute according to their interaction. The socio-economic development process of a peasant community depends upon, among other things, the insertion of its members in a socio-technical network, through which flow resources, information, labour and products, so as to allow its member to satisfy their needs, gain access to social services, and initiate a process of accumulation of capital and goods. The up-rooting - re-rooting process is one of breaking up and reconstructing and renegotiating socio-technical networks.

    The community, which is the circle par excellence for co-operation among campesinos, shows how the families relate with one another to organize their economy, trying to strike a balance between the desire of each individual to retain control over the decisions made and the necessity of collective agreements. This co-operation is a means through which those who co-operate can increase their capacity of action, their power of negotiation with other social actors, or share the results of experimentation and appropriate technology innovations, in a process of technological internalisation. The first co-operation objective, for those who today form the Unión Maya Itzá, was to obtain land where they could resettle themselves. Generally speaking, the possibilities of poverty eradication and socio-economic development in rural areas depend on an egalitarian distribution of land, with the elimination of the dominant rural social classes and the implementation of social and economic policies favourable to small farmers.

    The process of agricultural production and of natural resources exploitation is one of co-production , which results from the interaction between the human being and nature. In this process nature is moulded in specific forms in order to be converted into goods and services for human consumption. For the management of the agrarian ecosystem, or agro-ecosystem, to be sustainable, the cycles of matter and energy, and the dynamic equilibrium of the natural ecosystems, have to be reproduced. More precisely, the sustainability of the management of the agro-ecosystem depends on the following elements: its productive capacity; the stability of the dynamic equilibrium; its capacity to resist and/or to adapt to severe disturbances; its economic viability; its autonomy from external factors; its biodiversity; the possibility for the farmers to learn about practices appropriate to its specific characters. Moreover, situations of social injustice in rural areas: poverty, lack of resources, etc., have negative impacts over the sustainability of the ecosystem.

    The socio-economic development process of the Unión Maya Itzá is one of endogenous development , in the sense that the families of the community control the local resources - human, natural, financial, etc. - at their disposal, and they negotiate or struggle with external actors to get control over the external resources they need. Most of the benefit and product of the activities implemented locally are reinvested in the community itself, to strengthen its own development process.

    A process of continuous up-rooting, caused by inequality of land distribution, lack of access to resources and political violence

    The peasant families who returned to the El Quetzal finca in April 1995, like numerous peasant families in Guatemala, have been through a continuous process of migration, temporary or permanent, mainly because of insufficient access to land, and political violence. From the " reducción " (forced gathering) of the inhabitants of present day Guatemala into the " pueblos de indio ", and the concentration of most of the cultivable land into large estates, owned by the oligarchy, the majority of the campesinos , both indigenous and ladinos" (Ladino: person of mixed origins), have been forced to constant migration and up-rooting because of the land tenure problem.

    To survive, most of them had to seek work, in terrible conditions, on the large estates of the land-owning oligarchy, mainly on the South Coast. Either they lived permanently on the estates, or were migrating temporarily from their villages of origin. The families of the Unión Maya Itzá originate mainly from three regions of the country: the occidental highlands (Huehuetenango), the central highlands (Alta Verapaz) and the Oriente (Chiquimula).

    From the sixties, those who are today the oldest members of the community migrated towards new areas of colonisation, in Ixcán and Petén, where they set up new villages, co-operatives, and other smallholders communities out of their own initiative or thanks to the support of foreign catholic priests. However, both regions became zones of conflict between the guerrillas and the army. At the beginning of the eighties, with intent to destroy the guerrilla, the army unleashed a scorched earth campaign, and many villages and co-operatives were destroyed and their population massacred. This occurred at a moment when they had achieved, or were about to achieve, a significant socio-economic development. The survivors were forced to migrate again, towards other regions of the country, and to neighbouring countries: Mexico, Honduras and Belize.

    In Mexico, the refugees settled first in the State of Chiapas, until the Mexican authorities relocated an important number of them in refugee camps in the States of Campeche and Quintana Roo. The agreement of October 8, 1992 made possible organized returns to Guatemala. An important number of refugee campesinos who had lived in Ixcán could not, for various reasons, recover their land, or they did not have any land they could claim as their own, or the growth of their family had made it necessary to search for more land than they had in that region. In these circumstances, refugee political leaders and political "advisers", together with a small group of families who had already lived in Petén, promoted the return movement to that region. The return to the El Quetzal finca, after almost two years of arduous negotiations with the government and a relatively intensive process of technical preparation, was the first to take place in Petén. This new migration was intended to be the last for the refugees. However, migration has continued for a number of them, particularly for a group of families who had lived in Ixcán and were promised compensation for the land they had left in that region. Deceived by the political advisers as well as by the government institutions, they had been unable to solve their predicament at the moment of the present study. They remained landless, thus unable to take root again.

    Negotiation and preparation for the return to the El Quetzal finca

    The return movement to Guatemala of organized groups of refugees could take place thanks to the social and political spaces opened by the Permanent Commissions of the Refugees in Mexico (CC.PP.). Those spaces were given a formal stance in the Agreement of October 8, 1992. The refugees who decided to leave the stable material conditions of the refugee camps in the Yucatan peninsula and to return to Guatemala, were doing so because they wanted to acquire land where to settle with secure property rights, and to go back to their roots. They were also attracted by the prospect of socio-economic development offered by the return of organized groups. Knowing that the social, economic, and political conditions in Guatemala were harder than those in Mexico, they nonetheless hoped to promote political changes towards a more democratic society.

    The refugees who choose to form a new community in Guatemala had to go through a series of procedures: find an estate which they could purchase; form a social organization; obtain the legal status of association from the governmental institutions in charge, for instance that of a co-operative; negotiate with FONAPAZ (Fondo Nacional Para la Paz) the revolving credit with which the estate could be bought.

    On both sides of the border, various structures were organized by the CC.PP., in the refugee camps and among the political advisers, the técnicos , and the NGOs accompanying the return process to Petén, with a view to undertake the various functions and tasks for the political negotiation and for the social and technical preparation of the return.

    The development model, that is to say the social, economic and political project of the return, was the subject of many discussions between the various actors involved, inside and outside the refugee camps. The main elements of the global development strategy agreed upon were the following: access to land, community and regional development, and "conservation" of the environment. However, political contradictions between two ideological trends among the external advisers did not permit to fully elaborate the development scheme.

    The technical preparation, promoted by the political advisers and the external técnicos, concentrated on the formation of the social organization of the future community, on the planning of the urban centre, and on the use and distribution of the land and natural resources. One of the most debated topic was the size of land each family would get. Failing detailed knowledge of the characteristics of the land, it was agreed to proceed by steps, and to make, after the return, detailed studies to allow planning the use of the land. Questions remained about which perennial crops with high market value would be adapted to the land, and how to exploit the forest without destroying it, while implementing all the contemplated productive activities.

    By mid-1994, while the negotiation of the purchase of the finca was going on, the Unión Maya Itzá co-operative was legally established.

    Development process of the Unión Maya Itzá Co-operative and Community

    The Unión Maya Itzá community is made up of four "neighbourhoods", or groups, and by various professional (health and education) and gender (women's organisation Ixmucané) organisations, and also by various committees with diverse social functions. The co-operative, strictly speaking, is the group of associates, i.e. the group of male heads of family, plus some women. It is structured along committees and functions as defined by the legal statutes, which are responsible for the management of the different economic projects and the community infrastructures. Since the arrival in the finca , the need for an interlocutor towards external actors, to centralize information, and to assume responsibility for promoting internal decisions and monitoring their implementation, led the management board ( junta directiva ) to take up the leadership of the whole community.

    The particular situation of the Unión Maya Itzá - i.e. the co-operative organisation; the settlement in the forest; the collective property of land and of natural and financial resources, requires collective agreements on the organisation of the fundamentals of daily life, namely: the access to and the management of natural resources, the construction and/or the implementation of infrastructures, services, productive projects, etc.

    During the preparation of the return in Mexico, it was insisted upon the necessity for the social organisation to be democratic. In the Unión Maya Itzá, there are various fora for debate and decision taking: the groups or "neighbourhoods", the sector meetings, and the co-operative general assemblies. These make possible a constant flow of information and consultation on matters which should be decided upon. However, in most cases, the decision making process is concentrated in the co-operative, where only the associates have the right to speak and vote in their general assembly. Therefore, an large number of community members, namely the women, the elders, the youth who have not reached majority and/or who are not associates of the co-operative, have only a limited access to, or are even excluded from, the process of decision making. In some cases, the decisions are taken only among the members of the management board.

    According to the traditional structures and procedures of the co-operatives, any associate can be appointed by the assembly to any responsibility, and each project is the responsibility of a committee appointed for a given period of time. However, this results in a multiplication of committees and responsibilities, up to the point that more than two thirds of the associates are engaged in the different functions of the co-operative. It occurs that some associates are even appointed against their will, but have no possibility to refuse. In this situation, the load of community work is felt as too heavy, and the co-operative is still looking for a better way to distribute responsibilities and functions among its members.

    The process of land planning discussed, in Mexico, in the preparation for the return was taken up by técnicos of one the NGOs accompanying the reintegration process, with the objective of establishing the most appropriate forms of management of the finca , of land distribution between the families, and of evaluation of crop adequacy. A series of technical studies (soils, cartography) were carried out, and the technicians in charge investigated with the campesinos the criteria these commonly use to describe the soil and their environment in general. This permitted a "translation" of the technical studies into a language they could understand. The results of the studies were presented in thematic maps, allowing the farmers to decide by themselves how to distribute the land and to manage their finca . In these processes, the results of a forest survey carried out by others were taken into account as well. The fundamental principle to abide by was to guarantee a fair access to land for all the associated families, while using the soil according to its intrinsic characteristics. Firstly, adequate food production had to be secured, and secondly, the production of commercial crops to contribute to the financial income necessary to sustain the socio-economic development. In this process, the location, extension and forms of management of the plots were fixed.

    The studies carried out brought up a problem of overpopulation, compared to the actual carrying capacity of the finca . This situation was caused mainly by the political context in which El Quetzal was negotiated: the political advisers wanted to promote a return as numerous as possible, in order to demonstrate their capacity of political mobilisation; and the government wanted to settle as many refugees as possible in the finca , in order to limit the purchase of land. The real characteristics and capacities of the estate were disregarded. The returnees were left alone to face this situation, which has important consequences for the access to land and to natural resources, and therefore for the possibilities of economic development of the community. One of these consequences is that there is no possibility for the youth to get access to land within the finca .

    Other analyses have raised serious doubts about the sustainability of the management of the forest area (2/3 of the total extension) as it had been planned, and about the possibility that some methods used in the commercialisation of wood (volume measurements) are unfavourable to the community. These aspects have to be further investigated.

    After four years, the economic situation of the families is still very precarious. Most of them do not manage to cover their expenses with the income from the produce of their plots, mainly maize and other annual crops, and they have to seek employment outside the community.

    The co-operative is managing six economic projects: a co-operative store; wood farming; xate ( Chamaedora sp. ) exploitation; public transportation; chicken husbandry; bee keeping. Some of these projects are certainly profitable, and offer a potential for significant income. However, in some cases, the technical management and, in general, the financial administration are extremely inadequate, up to a point where the associates have no knowledge of the financial balance of each project, nor of the whole co-operative enterprise. The families have access to social services and enjoy favourable price conditions in the co-operative store and on the public transportation. However, except for the distribution of a portion of the income from wood sales, the families have not, so far (1999), obtained any income out of the co-operative projects .

    The members of the women's organization Ixmucané have started, out of an external initiative, a project of laying hen farming, which failed because of inadequate planning, and because the donor NGO did not fulfil its commitments. The organisation is now managing a bee keeping project, which, at the moment of the investigation, was still at an early stage.

    The precarious economic situation puts a strain, not only on land, but also on the social organisation of the community. Many an associate is reluctant to dedicate its time and resources to community work and projects, from which no personal benefit is perceived. However, the members of the community have demonstrated their ability to analyse their situation and to propose solutions. This capacity has still to be transformed into concrete actions. Moreover, the community disposes of some human, financial and natural resources which are not used adequately, or not used at all.

    The situation could get significantly better if the following be improved:

    1. the internal democracy, by allowing all adults of the community to participate in the decision making process, and by improving the flow of information, including about financial aspects;
    2. the financial administration of the co-operative;
    3. the technical management of the projects, not by appointed committees whose members change periodically, but by permanent and dedicated groups;
    4. the expansion of the existing projects, after an analysis of their social, technical and financial feasibility, and the implementation of new projects, some of which could provide wage labour;
    5. the search for another estate where to establish a branch of the co-operative, which would allow the youth to have access to land.

    As a whole, the productive and economic activities at family and co-operative level offer a development potential which is only partially exploited. The search for, and the exchange of, information within the co-operative, could allow its members and their families to take better advantage of the various existing productive and economic activities, and to organise and manage them better. Socialisation of information and co-operation between all the members also offer greater possibilities for the planning and implementation of new productive activities, with better chances for success, at individual/family level, as well as at co- operative/community level. This co-operation could dynamize the internal economy and allow to take better advantage of opportunities in existing local and external markets. The co-operative organisation is an asset in the search of common solutions to individual problems.

    The aspects discussed in the present study are mainly internal to the community. In general terms, however, the socio-economic development of a peasant community also depends on the social, economic and political context, in particular: the politics of the State about services (health, education, etc.), and infrastructures (roads, electricity, telecommunications, etc.); and on the climatic and market conditions.

    Reflections and conclusions

    The experience of the Unión Maya Itzá shows how the reintegration and development of communities of uprooted peasants depend mainly upon the access to land and natural resources, so as to allow them to implement economic activities. The outcome of the exploitation of these resources depends, in its turn, upon the capability of the community members to adequately organise their social relations, among themselves and with external actors. The community members have to define ways of fair land distribution, of natural resources exploitation and of mobilization of internal resources: capabilities, experience, work force, etc., in implementing social services and communal projects. Through negotiation with external actors, in this case mainly the government, traders, and NGOs, the community should be able to mobilise the external resources which it is lacking, and to carry out economic exchanges.

    Given the social and political situation in Guatemala, the returnees consider the political and the socio-economic dimensions of the return as the two sides of their reintegration and development process. However, the predominance of political aspects over technical ones during the negotiation and preparation of the return had adverse consequences for the returnees, particularly as far as access to land is concerned. Moreover, the re-rooting of the returnees takes place in an unstable national context, where actors of the military dictatorships of the eighties continue to play an active role in the State structures. Harassment and violent practices that were thought to belong to the past have indeed reappeared.

    As for the economic prospects, the argument has been discussed that the unequal distribution of land, with the reproduction of a dominant social class, is an obstacle to development in a rural area, particularly in view of the very low possibilities of employment in other sectors of the economy. Currently, production might be increased and diversified mainly towards international markets, on which small farmers have very little power to influence the terms of exchange. Therefore, they can never be sure to reap a sufficient income. The development of an internal market, stimulated by equitable access to land and natural resources, and by adequate State policies, would contribute to reduce poverty in rural areas. However, there is currently no evidence of such a tendency on the part of the State.

    To secure a positive impact on the development process of the community, external actors should focus on identifying the potential for endogenous development, as discussed in the second chapter, and seek to strengthen the local process, out of its own components: social carrier; agricultural production and exploitation of natural resources; local resources, knowledge and practices; local products; commercial lines products-middlemen-consumers. Under the condition that a relation of mutual respect be established between the community and external actors, especially regarding the local organisational structure and decision making process, the identification of the potential for endogenous development may lead to both sides designing together better endogenous development strategies.

    Platform for resource management : case studies of success or failure in Benin and Burkina Faso
    Dangbegnon, C. - \ 1998
    Agricultural University. Promotor(en): N.G. Röling; A. Blum. - S.l. : Dangbegnon - ISBN 9789058080059 - 311
    natuurlijke hulpbronnen - bedrijfsvoering - sociale verandering - sociale ontwikkeling - sociaal milieu - economische situatie - benin - burkina faso - natural resources - management - social change - social development - social environment - economic situation - benin - burkina faso

    The present book focuses on platforms for (natural) resource management. It analyses various case studies in Benin and Burkina Faso. Conditions for collective resource management in conflict and interdependent situations are the most critical issues. The present study raises the importance of socio-economic sustainability. It aims at incorporating social perspective within economic growth by focusing on stakeholders needs and by learning with them to respond to evolving conditions.

    The present book is based on three main parts. After an introductory chapter (chapter 1), the first part discusses the perspectives and methodologies used to carry out the present study. The second part analyses six case studies, and the third part presents a synthesis and the main conclusions.

    Part one: perspectives and methodologies
    In part one, perspectives and methodologies used to carry out the research are developed. First, resource management problems are elaborated. They cover several dimensions: social dilemmas in interdependent resource use situations, and social and ecological crises. Collective action and platforms are the puzzles of effective resource management in face of these problems. These two notions are the central points of my argumentation if conditions for sustainably managing natural resources is to be realized.

    The fact that resource management problems unravel two different assets, the social (stakeholders) and the natural (ecosystems), I have used 'coupled systems thinking' to elaborate perspectives with respect to resource management (chapter 2). Based on this notion, 'hard system thinking' is applied to conceptualize ecosystems for the purpose of resource management. 'Soft system' is also applied as a form under which we organize our attempt to reach common appreciation of problematic situations. These perspectives enable me to develop the notions of platform, social learning to cope with both ecosystem and social dynamics, and the facilitation of change in resource management (communicative intervention, incentives, support institutions, and policy contexts). Having elaborated my perspectives for the present study, I could define first, the following problem statement:

    "The extent to which the perspectives elaborated, help develop theories, practices and ideas, in the particular contexts of resource use in Benin and Burkina Faso, for the facilitation of adaptive resource management in various attempts to enhance regenerative practices and sustainable development in ecosystems".

    Second, I define the following research questions:

    • To what extent can various resource management situations from Benin and Burkina Faso, be analyzed?
    • What are the factors that affect the success or failure of the various resource management situations analyzed?
    • Can concrete and fresh theories, concepts and ideas, be identified to support the facilitation of deliberate adaptive resource management interventions towards greater sustainability?

    The methodologies of the present study (chapter 3) involve a scientist's curricula for discovery learning and the concrete research methodology. Case study research approach, grounded theory and comparative study are used. Exploratory research is done to gain novel and fresh arguments that contribute to the scientific and public debate with respect to resource management practices.

    Part two: case studies
    Six case studies were carried out (four in Benin and two in Burkina Faso). The first case study (chapter 4) deals with fishery resource management, specifically Lake Aheme in Benin. An analysis of the evolution of the platform for Lake Aheme's resource management is done from the pre-colonial period to the recent democratization process in Benin. The major conclusion from the Lake Aheme case is that, sustainability is an emergent property of a soft system, which means that the impasse noticed in the management of the lake can only be broken if two conditions are satisfied. On the first hand, collective action is effective for regulation, mutual control and monitoring. On the other hand, a platform is developed for governing the lake and resolving conflicts.

    The second case study (chapter 5) deals with rangeland resource management within the Chabe community in Benin. Two situations are compared: the local arrangement in Savè area and the implementation of the Appui-Conseil for collective rangeland resource management. The first situation reveals that, a lack of decision making capacity and concerted action, and an absence of organizations and institutions for resource management, affect failures. In the second situation, a negotiated agreement and concerted action led to the development of a platform. The major conclusion from this case study is that, barriers to collective rangeland resource management can be overcome if different categories of stakeholders adopt collective action, develop platforms for decision-making, monitoring, sanctions and exclusion at the level of gaa, villages and regions.

    The third case study (chapter 6) presents watershed development problems with two ethnic groups, the Adja and Mahi people in Benin. The critical issue here is the extent to which scaling up watershed development from the level of farms to the watershed for intervention, is effective. This implies the need to develop inter-village perspectives. Within both the ethnic groups, the absence of consistent property right institutions was a barrier for watershed development. Platforms for pooling a systematic treatment of micro-watersheds towards the watershed development based on inter-village structuration (scaling up) did not yet emerge in Mono. A reason was the nonexistence of local organizations that could strengthen this process. In Ouèssè, the creation of the Union Inter-Villageoise pour la Gestion des ressource Naturelles (UIGREN) also called SEDOKU, was a platform at the level of the region of Mahi people. The success of the scaling up process was due to existing organizations and a collective learning path adopted by the intervening agency.

    Resource-flow management to improve soil fertility by a women's group is analyzed in the fourth case study (chapter 7). The analysis considers two different contexts: before, and during democratization process in Benin. Resource-flow management can be effective only if successful collective action is maintained to provide public goods (e.g., infrastructures, the group itself). A major conclusion for this case study is that, a shift in the political system of Benin, has some implications for making grass-root development processes more dynamic. Many opportunities such as credit, training, exchange of experience, enable the maintenance of the group, and in turn, collective action for resource management.

    The fifth case study (chapter 8) shows the evolution of forestry problems from a purely indigenous regulation to the recent intervention of the PNGT and co-management practices in Burkina Faso. This case study reveals that, the evolution of the platform is sensitive to ownership issues concerning the Maro forest. This case involves both public goods (e.g., fire break) and common goods (e.g., trees). Co-management practices, exclusion of free-riders and monitoring, enable collective action and platforms for regenerating the Maro forest.

    The gestion des terroirs applied in a physical planning process to enable the creation of a zone for herding and tree planting, is analyzed in the sixth case study (chapter 9). The main issue was the aménagement of a zone sylvo-pastorale . The need to initiate this aménagement emerged from severe problems such as crop damages due to the transhumant herders, and clashing interests among herders, the native Bobo and the migrant Mossi. Perceived interdependence among these stakeholders was a driving factor for successful collective action and platform development for the aménagement of a zone sylvo-pastorale . This interdependence has become visible through repeated conflicts between herders and crop-farmers. However, the case study reveals that the management of the zone sylvo-pastorale will require new roles such as monitoring, conflict resolution, and mediation for professionals.

    Part three: synthesis and conclusions
    Many propositions and concrete ideas are pulled out with respect to resource management (chapter 10). They are addressed to resource management problems, social learning, and the facilitation of changes. Crises in ecosystems are triggers of social learning by stakeholders and intervening agencies. The facilitation of change goes beyond transfer of technology, advisory work and information support services, and extension which focuses on solution of specific problems. The case studies acerbate the importance of collective action and platforms to realize a successful collective resource management. Collective action means that individual action are consistent norms, rules, etc., which are collectively agreed upon. Collective action can be expressed through the willingness of many stakeholders to act beyond their individual interest, maybe because of stimuli from their environment. Conditions for successful collective action are: perceived interdependence with respect to resource management; mutual benefits; perceived externalities within resource management activities; risk sharing, tontine and increasing negotiation power; and trust in social capital for resource management. The platform notion is dynamic, heuristic and sensitive to the boundary problem within ecosystems under siege for resource management. Conditions identified for the functioning of effective platforms are: collective action, representation at the appropriate ecosystem level, quality of leadership, possibilities to meet, capacity for implementing mechanisms for concerted action and conflict resolution, stakeholders are the main concern for the functioning of operational platforms, and possibilities for continual learning for adaptability. The present study explains adaptive resource management concept. A major conclusion (chapter 11) is that adaptive resource management is different from conventional technology development. Sustainability with respect to resource management depends on collective action, trust in resource management institutions, decision making capacity, quality of leadership, management capacity and policy contexts. Implications of adaptive resource management for planning are discussed. Practical recommendations are suggested. They are addressed to the role of governments, local communities, and effectiveness of adaptive resource management.

    Fietsen of vernieuwen : de projecten plattelandsvernieuwing (Cluster III) in evaluatie
    Groot, T.C. de - \ 1997
    Den Haag : LEI-DLO (Mededeling / Landbouw-Economisch Instituut (LEI-DLO), Afdeling Structuuronderzoek 586) - ISBN 9789052423913 - 101
    plattelandsplanning - plattelandsontwikkeling - sociale economie - sociale ontwikkeling - technologie - sociaal welzijn - overheidsbeleid - economie - wetgeving - nederland - economische planning - rural planning - rural development - socioeconomics - social development - technology - social welfare - government policy - economics - legislation - netherlands - economic planning
    Plattelandsontwikkeling en agrarisch onderwijs. De menselijke maat.
    Bor, W. van den - \ 1997
    Agrarisch Onderwijs 39 (1997)19. - ISSN 0925-837X - p. 18 - 21.
    sociale ontwikkeling - plattelandsontwikkeling - technologie - sociaal welzijn - sociologie - plattelandsgemeenschappen - agrarisch onderwijs - onderwijsplanning - onderwijsbeleid - docenten - verbetering - innovaties - modernisering - social development - rural development - technology - social welfare - sociology - rural communities - agricultural education - educational planning - educational policy - teachers - improvement - innovations - modernization
    Onderwijskundige vernieuwing en het kunnen participeren hierin van docenten. Een korte speurtocht naar mogelijkheden om betrokkenheid en motivatie van docenten bij het vernieuwingsproces te verhogen
    Pluriactiviteit, vrouwen en vernieuwing.
    Bock, B.B. - \ 1997
    Wageningen : Wetenschapswinkel (Rapport / Wetenschapswinkel 143) - ISBN 9789067545044 - 85
    sociale ontwikkeling - plattelandsontwikkeling - technologie - sociaal welzijn - sociale klassen - boeren - rurale sociologie - vrouwen - social development - rural development - technology - social welfare - social classes - farmers - rural sociology - women
    Issues and Dilemmas in Building Development Efforts on Local Organizations.
    Hilhorst, D. - \ 1997
    Community Development Journal 32 (1997)1. - ISSN 0010-3802 - p. 17 - 29.
    samenwerking - ontwikkelingshulp - ontwikkelingsplanning - boeren - nederland - planning - sociale klassen - sociale ontwikkeling - vrouwen - cooperation - development aid - development planning - farmers - netherlands - planning - social classes - social development - women
    Local organization building is part of many development interventions, especially in those programs directed at disempowered groups, such as women. Since the mid-1980s, it has been argued that the formation of women's organizations should follow local, indigenous organizing practices. It should moreover be built on existing, informal organizational institutions, such as social networks and neighbourhood groups. The study presented here looks into a case where official organizations aim to organize agrarian women who had already formed their own rather informal groups. The conflictual dynamics that unfold suggest several issues of knowledge, power and control in relating to local organizations.
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