Institutional structures for participation, empowerment and ownership in agricultural and rural development

  • G.H. Duvel


In promoting development which is consistent with the widely accepted principles of helping towards self-help, self-determination, empowerment, etc. the question of institutional structures that can facilitate this, becomes relevant. With this in mind an organisational framework is proposed which provides for an institutional linkage between the rural community and the development agent(s). Essential aspects of this organisational model are that the community or sub-communities (e.g. rural villages or farmers' associations) are represented in a single mouthpiece functioning as an overarching umbrella organisation taking responsibility for development, initiating and commissioning programs and development actions and co-ordinating them. Subordinate to the single co-ordinating body, are the various programme committees with a predominantly operational function. They are commissioned by the central council to plan and carry out, invariably with the assistance of a development agent, identified development priorities. The implementation of this model, designed for both commercial and subsistence farming situations, requires adaptations to situation-specific circumstances, especially in terms of the compromise to be found between a practical ward size and the number of sub-communities that can be effectively consolidated into a cohesive community coinciding with it. Other aspects include the degree to which existing institutions can be used, the direction of institution building and the nature of community representation and participation.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2413-3221
print ISSN: 0301-603X