Local Societies and Rural Development
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Local Societies and Rural Development

Self-organization and Participatory Development in Asia

Edited by Shinichi Shigetomi and Ikuko Okamoto

The importance of community-based and participatory approaches to rural development in developing countries has long been emphasized. Rural people, who are economically and politically weak as individuals, can only participate in development projects when they are collectively organized. However, this is no easy task. This book aims to identify the mechanisms in each local society through which rural people can best organize themselves to meet their development requirements. It stresses the need to find local mechanisms that motivate and control the members of a new organization in order to achieve organizational goals.
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Chapter 7: Common fund procurement through rent collection: a form of collective action for public works and public services in Indian villages

Akina Venkateswarlu and Shinichi Shigetomi

Extract

In post-World War II India, many new economic theories on how best to promote development arose. One such theory, advocating the modernization of production and restructuring of traditional production factors, required two economic policy measures at the local level: (1) the regional resource development approach; and (2) the allocation of production factors (Yogo 1986). The former measure was meant to enhance production through improvement of the production infrastructure. However, even after the improvement had been implemented, this measure faced a problem in that the modern production factors were not sufficiently procured through market mechanisms. As a result, the productivity of small producers did not increase. To cope with this “deficiency of market” problem, the latter measure was implemented to allocate production factors through local administrative organizations. However, such an allocation through governmental hierarchy faced another problem, namely “the limitation of administration.” It was often the case that cohesion between the local administration and the rural elites was built into the allocation system of the production factors, resulting in the apparent intensification of disparities among the traditional rural classes.

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