Voices of Rural Practitioners Series


The Booklets in this series are,

Voices of Rural Practitioners Talking About

­ The Community ­ Housing, Environment and Technology ­

­ Economic and Commercial Diversification ­

­ Integrated Approaches ­

­ Health Care ­

­ Learning and Education Processes ­

­ Managing Agriculture ­

­ Women and Development ­


­ The Overview ­

Experiences, information and materials reported through the

International Exposition of Rural Development (IERD)

and the

Central International Event (CIE)

of the IERD

at New Delhi, India during the 5th to 15th of February 1984

Compiled and produced by

An IERD Editorial Team in conjunction with selected consultants

Rome, 1984

Limited Edition for IERD participants and sponsors only

All publication rights reserved

Citation is prohibited without permission of

The IERD Coordination Centre

Rue Amedee Lynen Straat, 8

1030 Brussels, Belgium


Voices of Rural Practitioners

The Overview


INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

FOCUS . . . . . . 5


Phase One: Lead­up Activities . . . . . . . . . 6

Phase Two: Central International Event (CIE)

Phase Three: Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7


WHY IS RURAL DEVELOPMENT NEEDED? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10








Inter­relationship of the Objectives


Operational Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Implications 23



Operational Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . 24

Implicatons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Concerns 26

SELF­IDENTITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Operational Characteristics

Implications 28

Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

ACCELERATING FACTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30



Content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Concern ­ .

Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

WOMEN'S ADVANCEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Intent .

Content .

Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34



Intent 36


Concern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37


Voices of Rural Practitioners

The Overview






















The VOICES OF RURAL PRACTITIONERS series is one attempt to weave together the insights and experiences of many people participating in the process of rural development in different parts of the world. Written from a micro­level perspective, the focus is on approaches practitioners have used successfully.

The International Exposition of Rural Development (IERD) programme was organised to call attention to significant accomplishments in rural development occurring as the result of people working in local communities around the world. The information for this series has come from varying sources and events associated with the three year programme of the IERD including: Rural Development Symposia held in many of the 55 participating nations during 1982 and 1983 and the Central International Event (CIE) of the IERD held in New Delhi during the 5th to the 15th of February 1984. Over 1000 projects participated in the first two years of the IERD. The CIE in New Delhi had over 550 delegates, including representatives of 300 participating projects, gathered to share approaches that work.

The projects and materials of reference in this series are meant to be representative and not exhaustive of the wealth of valuable information available. Although explicit reference has not been made to all available information, much of it has contributed greatly to the thinking in this documentary report. Readers will note a greater abundance of illustrations from Africa, North America and India. This is indicative of the more extensive documentation that was available to the team composing this report. Note too that projects and many quotations are identified with an alphanumeric code referring to the IERD DIRECTORY OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS published separately.

Grateful acknowledgement is due the practitioners and participants in the IERD, the Global Advisory Board, the National Steering Committees and Advisory Boards and the supporting sponsors, individuals and organisations.

The IERD co­sponsors are:

International Council of Women

United Nations International Children's Education Fund

United Nations Development Programme

United Nations Fund for Population Activities

World Health Organisation

Agriculture Finance Corporation

Association of Indian Engineering Industry

Canara Bank

Special Technical Support:

Control Data Corporation

Organising Sponsor:

The Institute of Cultural Affairs International

Voices of Rural Practitioners

The Overview


"A spotlight needs to be placed on the success in development so that hope in the future can be founded realistically on past experience (IERD Concept Paper: IMAGE, Vol.XII No.l, April 1983, The Institute of Cultural Affairs).

Progress in world development over the last four decades is impressive. The populous nation of India has achieved self­sufficiency in food. Smallpox has been globally eradicated. The average life expectancy in developing countries has increased from 42 to 54 years and there is evidence of improvement in the material standards of living. The proportion of literate adults has risen from 30 per cent to 52 per cent in the world as a whole

These historically important successes have been years in the making and have grown out of the involvement of millions of people and the expenditure of billions of dollars. Yet, they seldom appear on the front page of today's newspapers. In the press of urgent needs today, perspective is lost and genuine accomplishments go unrecognised. In fact, the current pessimism and mood of failure often obscures these achievements.

The means of development have been created. Those who have laboured in the task of development now seek to generate momentum within the rural areas of each nation. They seek to release a nation's greatest resource, its own people. As Mr. Tarzie Vittachi (UNICEF) points out, " It will no longer work to try to spread messages that work. Those messages spread horizontally from village to village.. If something works in this village, you don't need a newspaper to spread it to the next village. It spreads because it works. The real test of our work is whether it is spreading laterally."


This need for sharing successful or effective approaches in rural communities was met by the Institute of Cultural Affairs International in organising the International Exposition of Rural Development. The primary aim of the Exposition is to accelerate the replication of tested methods and models of rural development.

The format of the Exposition is a three year series of events in fifty­five nations. A Central International Event (CIE) was held in India during the 5th to the 15th of February 1984. It was intended as a global process within which field workers, community leaders and representatives from funding agencies, government and non­government organisations could meet and share their knowledge of rural development. The theme of the Exposition, "Sharing Approaches That Work", prompted a wide variety of activities in each participating nation.

Phase One: Lead­up Activities

The exposition comprises three phases. Phase One began in September 1982 with each nation establishing a National Steering Committee responsible for that nation's participation in the three year programme. The activities included:

­ Promotional events and media coverage directed toward increasing awareness and interest in rural development.

­ Rural development symposia designed to identify successful development efforts for documentation.

­ Documentation of local initiative projects and their supporting linkages which would accelerate other efforts.

­ Preparation of exhibits for presentation in New Delhi.

­ Selection of delegates to represent their nation in India.

­ Appropriate national and international funding arranged.

The National Steering Committees planned and organised over one hundred rural development symposia, documented over 300 projects through project description labs and selected the delegates to participate in the CIE. The symposia provided opportunities for local people, rural development practitioners and representatives of government, public and private organisations, to discuss their project experience and particularly the factors identified as influencing effective projects. They varied from very local events to state­wide or national meetings.

Phase Two: Central International Event

The Central International Event (CIE) in India was attended by six hundred and fifty representatives from fifty five countries. Seventy percent of these delegates were rural development practitioners. The delegates came to India not to make speeches, but to meet their counterparts from other projects and other countries, talk with them, listen to them, and share their experiences about the approaches that have been working. One highlight for the delegates at the IERD plenary was the field visits. They travelled in team to 30 rural development projects in 10 states in India. They spoke with project leaders and local villagers. During these visits, delegates had the opportunity to look at their own project experience in dialogue with the perspective of local development in India. The delegates were highly impressed by the accomplishments of these efforts and the authentic struggle they had been through and were honoured by the hospitality of their hosts. Each team then created a report on the project they visited for presentation at the New Delhi plenary.

The delegates to the CIE had the opportunity to hear Shri Vasant Sathe, Minister for Fertilisers and Chemicals, Government of India, who inaugurated the Central International Event. Shri Sathe set the overall tone for the global symposium by emphasising "It is obvious if we can solve the problems of these (disadvantaged) people, the whole quality of life of the human race would improve." Sir James Lindsay, Global Convenor of the IERD and President of the ICAI; Dame Miriam Dell, President of the International Council of Women; Mr. Goran Hayden, Ford Foundation Director for Eastern and Southern Africa; Mr. Bernard Woods of the.World Bank; Dr. David P. Haxton of UNICEF and Professor David Morley, consultant on child development were the other principal speakers during the exposition.

The various Rural Development Symposia held during Phase One generated a large amount of information. A few weeks preceding the CIE, this data which was organised into 18 categories of "directions" and 12 "keystones". One of the original objectives of the plenary event in New Delhi was to test the directions and keystones in light of the experiences of the representatives and the field visits made across India. This was to generate a common statement of directions for the future. However, by the end of the first two days it was apparent that many thought they would benefit more from a direct exchange of experience. Also, many of the delegates had not participated directly in the symposium events. They felt that much more opportunity for direct interchange was necessary.

A representative group of conference organisers and delegates met to create a new schedule and ensure that the expressed desire for changes in the plenary programme was met. As a result, the first three days were revised to enable delegates to meet in 12 interest groups. This brought about a change in the form of the final product from a consolidated statement emerging at the end of the conference to the creation of documentation that would reflect the experiences and learnings expressed by the participants as well as intrepret the mass of development information on their behalf. Consequently, this documentation cannot be considered to be a formal declaration of the delegate body as a whole.

Phase Three: Implementation

Phase Three of the IERD began with the meetings of the National Steering Committees. The programmes already planned include:

­ Rural Development Symposia.

­ Plans for presentation of the IERD Booklets, "Voices of Rural Practitioners", and discussion of the same for "Sharing Approaches That Work", analysing their own experiences and project direction in the light of the findings and providing feedback for documentation.

­ Planning for implementing successful approaches.

­ Utilising the forums already available for spreading the message of the IERD.


One of the delegates' recommendations from the CIE was that the findings on rural development, incorporating the approaches that work, be published and made available to all participants. This lead to the formation of the IERD Editorial Team which met in Rome for two and a half months beginning on the 1st of April 1984 for researching the informative material presented during the IERD phases one and two and organising it for presentation in written form.

The team in Rome used the following information and material: ­ Project Description Lab reports. ­ Field visit reports. ­ Records of interviews with delegates to New Delhi. ­ Literature from the project exhibits. ­ Interest group reports. ­ Speeches of guests at the India events. ­ other materials made available during the CIE.

The team first agreed upon a research methodology that would ensure having practitioners' experiences and views articulated as faithfully as possible from the available materials. It was decided to produce seven booklets on the subjects indicated by the interest groups. The team believed that, rather than a single, large book, the booklets would be more practical and useable for development practitioners.

VOICES OF RURAL PRACTITIONERS series comprises a compilation of the illustrations, stories, insights, delegate interviews, project descriptions and practical steps of implementation that presents various facets of approaches to:

­ The Community ­ Housing, Environment and Technology ­ Economic and Commercial Diversification

­ Health Care

­ Integrated Approaches

­ Learning and Education Processes ­ Managing Agriculture

­ Women and Development

The OVERVIEW provides a context for the booklets and a summary of the contents.

It is expected that these booklets can be used during Phase Three of the IERD to reach many more organisations and groups. This process will help in "Sharing Approaches That Work". Practitioners using these booklets are invited to provide feedback to the Exposition Coordination Centre in Brussels, relating their own experiences and reactions. This will help to make subsequent editions of the booklets more useful to development practitioners. Any comments and suggestions are welcomed (in particular, comments on the booklet entitled, WOMEN AND DEVELOPMENT. That booklet, along with a slide show, will be presented at the, "End of the Decade Conference on Women. to be held in Nairobi in 1985).

The expectation is that the VOICES OR RURAL PRACTITIONERS series will be of value to practitioners in their day­to­day work as well as to executives and administrators.

It has been a pleasure for the Institute of Cultural Affairs International to have been associated with all the organisations and individuals involved. The Editorial Team has been grateful for advice from delegates, members of the Global Advisory Board and others. Because of the desire to get an initial document in the hands of IERD participants as quickly as possible, the team did not correspond with as many people as had been hoped. Any errors or ommissions are the responsibility of the Editorial Team. The opinions expressed in these booklets do not represent official policy of any of the sponsoring organisations or individuals, nor is there any representation of resolutions put forth by the delegates. They are the team's analysis of the available material. Much effort has been put forth to faithfully capture the experience of the participants. It is important that all concerned make known, to the IERD Coordination Centre in Brussels, the corrections and modifications considered necessary.


"Despite the impressive level of economic growth the developing world has achieved over the past quarter century, some 800 million individuals remain caught up in absolute poverty, a condition of life so limited by malnutrition, disease, illiteracy, low life expectancy, and high infant mortality as to be beneath any rational definition of human decency" (Robert McNamara, Introduction to Poverty and Basic Needs, 1980).

The large majority of the poor live in rural areas:

"If we look at the broad history of development, each decade has revealed new dimensions of the task: the 1940's disclosed the need to transfer skills and technology; the 50's showed the necessity of providing capital; the 60's brought the initiation of local community organisation and participation; and the 70's were marked by a movement toward a new international economic order. Development was becoming a global concern which pointed to overall solutions within a framework of new relations between nations.

"During the 1980's, the pieces of the puzzle are coming together: it is necessary to provide capital; it is necessary to create adequate and appropriate internal and external structures in order for development to take place. The 80's, marked by a weakened economic base, are providing the occasion to trim costs, to synthesise learnings and to articulate what works. It is a time of refining development methods into effective tools.

The basic question remains. "How do we take what we have learned about development and focus it on the plight of the poorest within each nation and the globe?" (IERD Concept Paper, Ibid).

Development means different things to different people. There exists already a vast literature on the subject. Given the variety of meanings covered by the term, the exposition chose to highlight 'micro' development rather than 'macro' development and development by the people rather than development for the people. While appreciating the need for macro planning and the role of government in improving the total infra­structure, the Exposition examined these areas only insofar as they relate to effective approaches discovered by practitioners.

The unique perspective the practitioners brought to this discussion was that they looked art development while standing inside the village, alive to the issues and context of the village. There was a questioning of the dubious value of changes that claim to be 'inevitable' necessities. For instance, "the experience of living and working with the tribals has revealed the truth that the perpetuation of the problem of poverty and backwardness in the rural areas is the outcome of the modern values of life and the policy of industrialisation. Undue importance to individual progress, disregard for the physical labour and so called 'small jobs' and the lack of a sense of community responsibility has deprived the society of honest and sympathetic behaviour and the will to share the life with others in the society. Raising the standard of community health seems to be impossible as long as the commercialisation of every aspect of life with its associated irrational exploitation of the natural resources is upheld in the society" (Agrindus Banawasi Sewa Ashram. SA­2).

By contrast, other practitioners commented­ on the healthy sense of community that exists in the so called 'developing' areas as an aspect that they would like to see continued in the future. There are many advances and benefits present in developed areas that are needed in villages. But a pivotal viewpoint sees the developmental process where people need to become the initiators of change rather than being beneficiaries of change and where development flows from inside out rather than outside in. This aspect was illustrated in the case of the Village of Tsumago, Japan, where the community decided what the life style and social patterns of their society could look like and then created them (Conservation of Historical Environment, SP­29).

The content and shape of development must be rooted in the creativity of village people if the quality of the change is to hold the values, insights and understanding of human community. This places the practitioner in a role of facilitator or catalyst who provides a process for people to design their development rather than being one who prescribes what it should be.

However there is a legitimate place for some outside intervention. Practitioners commented that, 'Certain formulae work, certain structures are effective, at what stage do we change the tradition.' The caste system, for instance, brings distress to the weaker minorities yet it is a deep rooted tradition. So is racial discrimination everywhere. In many nations it is often only the intervention of a central government that affords security to minorities who otherwise would be harassed by sections of the majority population.

The practitioner is not an objective, neutral outsider but a person who comes from a particular society, carries values and assumptions characteristic of a particular background and is perceived as such by the villagers. For the practitioner the venture of development is often a personal discovery of who one understands oneself to be, one's relationship to the rest of society and the implications for one's own life style. In this sense the action of the practitioner broadens from being a benevolence for the underprivileged and instead becomes a responsible attempt to help shape the socio­economic environment in which she or he, the village and the rest of the world live.


With 650 participants from 55 countries, representing local communities, academic institutions, governments, non­government organisations (NGO's) and business, there were many differences of opinion about ideologies and definitions of development. The Exposition process was more effective in enabling direct person to person, project to project interchange than it was in drawing together and stating a consensus on rural development. Additionally, the delegates present also were more interested in direct interchange and visiting local projects in India than in creating definitions or debating issues. As expected, most were more interested in practical rather than theoretical problems.

In this series of booklets there is a weaving together of the words and deeds of practitioners and projects involved in the IERD­concerning. This Overview Booklet is the beginning of a process of drawing together the learnings about how development takes place, the fundamental objectives of the practitioner, and some of the accelerating factors pertinent to many different projects. The booklet is not intended to be a summary of the other booklets. It represents a pull­together and summary of the themes and experiences being expressed.

There are common threads discernable through Rural Development Symposia, project documentation, and Project Documentation Labs, India field visits, exhibited projects and interest group reports. At least four basic learnings about how development takes place have come up frequently in the material, and that these lessons from experience have led practitioners to a new appreciation of the interrelated human objectives of the task of development. Further, it became apparent that at least six factors were mentioned frequently as contributing to the accelerated achievement of these human objectives of development. The following pages, therefore, focus on Learnings, Objectives and Accelerating Factors.


People and projects involved in the IERD represented wide experience with the process of implementing practical change in rural development. Most of those present were involved in small projects working with several communities (Ahmedabad Study Action Group in India, San Luis Valley Solar Association in the USA) or in many cases single communities (Michaelston in the UK, Bangor in the USA, Kokorobitey in Ghana). Only a few projects were of large scale (Mahaweli Ganga in Sri Lanka, National Dairy Development Board in India, Rural Multipliers Programme in Brazil). The majority of delegates were involved in day by day implementation of efforts. Some were in positions related to policy or large scale design of rural development. In drawing together the IERD material, at least four lessons of how the development process takes place at the project level were noted broadly throughout the material and have application in various functional divisions in rural development.

Rural development occurs:

­ As an evolving journey. No set patterns or blueprints exist. Actual change in an actual rural situation means dealing with the actual constraints of that situation. Only when action begins do the real learnings take place. Every locale has its own starting point.

­ As a multifaceted reality. Development activity is not limited within a single sphere of expertise (health or agriculture or education) or a single sector perspective (Government, or NGO or local). "Single purpose" projects find themselves working far afield of their expertise in order to be effective and single sponsor projects seek assistance and cooperation from others.

­ AS a participatory process. Those who participate in the reality of development benefit from the fruits of that development. Similarly, those who participate in the human activity of development acquire the capacity to deal with the process of change and to respond creatively to new situations and conditions.

­ As a catalytic dynamic. Change is experienced as a flow of breakthroughs and consolidations as well as a straight line process of implementation.

The following pages illustrate these four lessons with material from the IERD and the experience of participating practitioners and sketch some of the implications of these lessons for development practice.


"I have been learning from the farmers here. Unless you are in that situation, where the farmer is, you forcibly cannot come off with solutions; for them because the farmer has unique problems that you may not realise living in the city. You cannot formulate projects to bring about development of the farmer when sitting in a place far away from a village. We decided that we are going down to­the village, live among them, like peasants, and work with them" (Interview, Gururaj Pagad, Asian Institute for Rural Development, AIRD) (SA­3).

In practice, development is an evolving journey. No set patterns or blueprints exist. Actual change in a rural setting means dealing with the actual constraints. Only when action begins do real learnings begin. Every locale has its own starting point.

At the project level, the emphasis of development is on implementation and action. However, "it is (not) action and action alone. The donkey is also working the whole day. You must take time to sit back and think; what can we learn from each other? How do we react to a broader spectrum (of ideas) than what we have? The realm of ideas resides very much in the realm of practice" (Interview, Dr. B.S. Khanna, AIRD, SA­3).

On this journey, you start with where the people are, what they are feeling about their needs and go from there. This includes working with a variety of structures and alternatives and also includes new learnings about what can actually be done particularly in their situation. "Training should not be don, way from the farmer, but at the village level. You won't need to go in and do the demonstration at the training centre, where the field has been plowed by the tractor. Come down to the village level where the farmer has to use animals. He will see it as the job he has to do everyday" (Interview, Silas Hungwe, National Farmer's Association of Zimbabwe) (BA­33).

This journey involves people understanding the changing social milieu and the necessary development going on in the community to meet the problems facing them. "People are aware that the population is increasing­that is the first thing. The second thing is their energy requirements in the village are not being met. The forests are becoming smaller; and the food requirement is becoming more; the rains are becoming less" (Interview, Shyama Pagad, AIRD, Ibid).

This requires looking at the struggle with immediate problems and looking from several perspectives. When that struggle is linked with what is happening in the broader society ways can be devised to effectively "move" on the situation.

In what way is a group of village people sitting and deciding on what to do to improve their living conditions inferior to a village plan prepared by an outside agency after spending more money than the village will ever get to develop itself. One can understand the sophistication in planning technology at the national level where facts have to generalise, but not at the grassroots and local level where it is the details which matter. "Committed­ grassroots planning gets most support, encourages a sense of responsibility and achieves the most lasting development. We found that the best approach was to make use of the natural common sense of the (people) in planning for the future and taking decisions. It was also important for a set of priorities to be established for sequence of emphasis, such as crops, education, health and housing. We learned that people can do a tremendous lot for themselves, but that voluntary and self­sacrificing leaders were highly appreciated" ( field visit report, VASFA) (SA­20).

"People know best how development can be locally implemented. The transfer of responsibility and decision to local people will encourage leadership in equal and responsible involvement of men and women in the process of planning for their village. In CRHP (SA­4) we saw the village women participate in the creation of media­tools and methods for promotion of good health awareness. Village health workers cure 78 per cent of the medical cases. All sectors of the village community are engaged in the process of planning through Farmers Club and Women's Club and other cooperative structures. All villagers participate in keeping the village clean and in good appearance. The whole village is involved in the observation of health hazards. Local people, even if semiliterate or illiterate, are fully capable of providing to their village professional services if appropriately trained. Even in remote areas where medical services are not available it is possible to provide sufficient health services if the villagers are involved and engaged in practicing appropriate health care" (field visit report, Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP) Jamkhed) (SA­4).

In the village of Tsumago, "Every day one representative from every family must clean the roads in front of their house at the same time. That is because it is a symbol. If everybody doesn't cooperate the project will be destroyed. It is to symbolise action" (Interview, Mr. Kawabata, Conservation of Historical Environment in Tsumago) (SP­29).


"For change to happen, there has to be an event to change the course of the community and wake people up to their possibility. This may be an outside influence or an event within the community. The catalytic agent can be either an outsider or a neighbour or a field demonstration. Once the value of change is shown, (the people) are quite ready to accept it for themselves" (field visit report, Comprehensive Rural Health Project, CRHP) (SA­4).

One field visit report brought to light that rural community development, particularly among the disadvantaged sector, implies a change in the attitudes of the community. This can be accomplished by a catalytic agent who approaches the community with an open mind, establishes rapport by living with the villagers and adopts their idiom and life style. This catalyst can initiate activities which bring about human resources development. This could be done by a process of sensitising, dissemination of knowledge and providing necessary skills through appropriate functional educational and training.

"Moreover, a catalyst is supposed to organise activity in the community for instance, by forming a village development committee and by establishing the community fund which will enhance their capacities in order to build up and sustain self­reliance. While initiating development projects, a catalyst should gradually transfer responsibility to the community. Again, he should play a dynamic role in bringing about necessary changes in social attitudes, particularly of primitive communities. This could be done by discerning the value systems and even introducing an element of 'agitation/resistance' which means creative confrontation. He can also act as an intermediary between the community and different­agencies by initiating developmental projects, continuously monitoring and evaluating them, until the community is able to take over. Lastly, a catalyst needs to encourage the use of local resources available, for example, the use of natural fertilisers and crop rotation for better yields" (field visit report, Xavier Institute of Social Services XISS) (SA­7).

As part of the catalytic process, "Pilot demonstrations are vital as a means of introducing change in the rural areas. The government will, for instance, go into a village and identify one woman who is willing to be trained as a weaver. After receiving her training, many of the village girls will want to learn the new skill too. As weaving becomes established as a viable industry for the women, the government will help them finance their businesses (through easy bank loans). Their products are bought by the government for marketing. Pilot projects are also used to demonstrate innovations in farming.

Farm fairs and exhibits are held regularly in the state so that villagers can see for themselves new grain crops, and animals" (field visit report, Hisar District Development Agency (DRDA), SA­29).

The catalytic dynamic in development reinforces the community's confidence that it is in charge of its own destiny. Some projects judge their success not only by visible accomplishments, but also by such intangibles as reducing dependency. One indicator of the success of the project is the withdrawal of the catalytic agent when the community is able to deal with its own problems with courage and determination. The community has then outgrown the need for direction.


Those engaged in rural development who operate from these learnings have different objectives or points of focus from development who operate from these objectives or points of focus from past. The data from the projects IERD indicates three fundamental objectives:

­ Shared Responsibility

­ Economic self­dependence.

­ Self­identity.

Nothing replaces the need for adequate nutrition, clean drinking water, proper shelter and legal rights for all who live in rural areas. These other objectives come as an intensification of these activities. Each is foundational to the process of development over the long term. They are related to establishing the capacity for initiating, implementing and sustaining development activities within the village community itself.

Shared responsibility is the shift in perspective from "the Ministry of Rural Development is responsible", or "the District Officer is responsible", or "the agency is responsible" for "development" to, "we are responsible". The village community itself is responsible and is aided and assisted by support structures. It shifts the level of decision from the government offices to the village, not structurally, but in terms of emphasis. If the village or the group of poor farmers is responsible for the planning and implementation of the project, its possibility of failure is also theirs to deal with.

Economic self­dependence is a shift from emphasising the increase of local cash income to increased use of all local resources. The local people, whether village residents or members of a special group, come to see the value of their having greater control over all aspects of their lives, a control that can only be obtained when the resources are in their control

Self­identity shifts are similar. The focus is no longer on bringing the people up to date or modernising them. Nor conversely is it on protecting them from the modern world. Both of those are paternalistic attitudes. The focus is on enabling reflection on their situation so that they keep that which is valuable from their past and create the new ways they decide are required to respond to the present and the future.

Inter­relationship of the Objectives

When rural infrastructure inputs (such as water supplies, roads, irrigation, health and education) are discussed at the macro level they need to be segmented. When development occurs however, it affects the life of rural people or there is no reason for it. Here there is an organic unity, not segmentation. The three objectives therefore must be understood as three closely interlinked facets. They are so closely interlinked that one cannot be talked of without consideration of the other two.

From the perspective of shared responsibility, activities that increase economic self­dependence call for greater assumption of risk of the consequences on the part of members of the group. This greater assumption of risk requires a new level of responsibility shared among the people, or shared responsibility. This will not happen if they have a limited sense of themselves as competent, worthwhile individuals or communities.

From the perspective of economic self­dependence, shared responsibility is an abstract concept unless related to actual decisions about the community. Self­identity cannot be given expression unless the group decides who it is and what it is about doing and allocates resources from that view point.

From the perspective of self­identity, shared responsibility will be meaningless if the people are unable to see what binds them together as a people. Self­dependence collapses into individual family pursuits of material gain unless there is an understanding that links those people together in efforts toward a common objective.


The perspective the IERD participants expressed in development (of, by and for the people) makes the arena of shared responsibility/shared Leadership central to any development effort whatever the content of the programme. Although formal and informal training programmes will contribute greatly, there is more to it than just leadership development. Shared responsibility/shared leadership is essential to sustainable growth and improvements in the community.

Every programme can contribute to or weaken the objective of a health programme which chooses as its main implementer someone well­qualified from outside a village. That person may be effective in­ dealing with disease, malnutrition and poor sanitation. If the project organisation has the financial resources to sustain such a system, it will be viable economically. And such a project will be implemented more quickly than one based on a village committee or local­selected health worker. However, a health project using a village health worker from within the village as the base of a health system, or a village health committee, enables the development of a leadership dynamic within the community that can broaden its concern to all aspects of the community's well­being. Rural development practitioners who focus on the development of a team within the village to run any programme are make strides for enabling self­confidence in the village and investing in the future capacity of the village to do its own development.

Operational Characteristics

Increasing Involvement. Creating a consciousness in the community that development is a participatory dynamic and its success depends upon the inclusion of more people including women. The group has the capacity to invent ways of doing this.

Effective Implementation. Implementing needed programmes (health, agriculture, literacy) in such a way that the participants can then become increasingly self­reliant while accomplishing the task.

Mutual Aid. Increasing the sense of common concern for the welfare of everyone in the community, particularly the poorer members.

Committed Core. Having people who make a commitment to continuing the process of development in their local area is crucial. They understand that this is a process of encouraging participation, fostering self­confidence of the whole population, increasing economic self­dependence of the community and ensuring that the basic needs of all are being met. They know the need for constant enquiry and reflection. They do this without necessarily holding formal leadership positions.

Emerges From the Task. Those who engage in the work and carry the burden of thinking and acting are the leadership of a developmental programme whether they are the publicly named "leaders" or not.

Holds Group to Decisions. An essential element of effectiveness is following through on plans in spite of unanticipated or underestimated difficulties. The cycle of planning, implementing, evaluating and replanning must be completed for growth in understanding and effectiveness.

Shared Leadership. The leadership style of projects, in which the values are self­dependence and full participation, is that of a team. This includes the acquisition of skills at enabling consensus, appreciation for the strengths and weaknesses of co­workers and a sense of objectivity.

Transfers Information. Knowing where and how to find information and communicate it in a way that can be understood is essential.

Bridges. the Gap. Enabling the linkage of the community with external resources requires that some members become proficient at such relations on behalf of the whole group.


The implications for practitioners of shared responsibility are many. It means refusal at certain points to get engaged in an issue but leaving it to the community to decide. It can mean already established and capable community leaders sometimes absenting themselves deliberately to force the emergence of new people who are capable. It means more time spent on reaching a consensus with a group. It means looking for every opportunity to sub­divide work and assign a small group to figure out the task and do it. It means frequent discussions within the group that let them realise what they are experiencing. It includes regular exposure to new perspectives through interchange outside the village or group.


The concerns for practitioners include:

­ The blocking of a programme by traditional leadership in circumstances where it is essential to honour these persons in order to respect the local culture.

­ The form of accounting to the whole group or community.

­ The training that produces commitment.

­ The authentic participation of all social groups in shared leadership: women and men, youth, elderly, poor and ethnic minorities.

­ The static image of "leader": how to shift it, making leadership an expanding dynamic and shared process.


A group or community's identity and sense of capacity to decide about its future are determined in large part by its control over resources: building materials, food, technical knowledge, credit, energy, equipment and communications links. Many of the projects documented in the IERD showed innovation in creating resources out of materials formerly thought to be waste, or creating a skills base in the village out of "nontrainable" people. Self­dependence was dealt with in these projects in ways that do not enter most conventional macro­economic calculations, yet these innovations may be the most feasible ways for local villages to move toward self­dependence. A house normally costing US$70,000 was built for US$10,000 using waste materials (Self­Help Enterprises, NA­22). A project in Kenya for soil conservation and reforestation, the Greenbelt Movement (BA­15) uses handicapped people and school children as the human resources for its efforts. A health project in Mexico, Piaxtla and Projimo Projects (LA­37) makes teaching materials out of sticks and pieces of old rubber tire. UNICEF and WHO report how diarrhoea can be treated in the village with water, local salts and a natural sweetener.

Most of the IERD participants were very down­to­earth practical people. They used a certain approach because it worked. Often they had started out from other perspectives. Doctors for example who went to rural areas assuming more hospitals and fully­trained medical professionals were needed, discovered that the most economical proposition and the only viable one in the long run was village­based health care with the villagers doing 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the work.

In food production there was also an emphasis on greater self­dependence. For some, natural farming was simply more practical. It cost less, and gave the farmer greater autonomy; by relying on natural fertilisers and pesticides and crop rotation, he controlled more of the inputs. Similarly, with animals or crops grown for income, the emphasis was on small­scale activities where the producer could control more of the factors. Development focused in this direction produces people who are able to rely less upon external financing.

Although the focus on self­dependence is essential for self­identity and shared responsibility to happen, it also does not happen if these other two objectives are not also taken seriously. An emphasis on self­dependence is an emphasis on the group assuming greater responsibility sometimes in the face of advice from outside urging on it inputs that would weaken its move toward this objective. All this requires a united group, thought through on its priorities and clear what kind of a programme they intend to have.

Operational Characteristics

Local Resources Emphasis. Exploiting the natural, human and technological resources of the community in preference to dependence on outside inputs. Maximum use of local resources makes for cheaper costs, greater accessibility and a reinvestment in the community.

Equitable Local Control. Controlling the resources, production, and distribution mechanisms so that all in the community, tribal group or local area, benefit and so that the people's priorities are achieved.

Secure Basic Needs. Providing the security that allows people to live adequately and not be tempted or forced to migrate to the city in the hope of a better livelihood.

Human Resource Investment. People are the most important local resource. Investment in skills training, knowledge acquisition and conscientisation is of long lasting benefit to the community.

Accessible Financing. Having credit available from credit institutions outside the community enables the investment in increased production and diversifies the village economy by enabling both individuals and groups to go into economic ventures that supplement agricultural income. Loans versus grants are a venture in self­identity and self­dependence.

Increased Local Investment. The encouragement of local investment as part of a project through family savings, the creation of village funds and credit associations increases the economic vitality of a community. This provides an alternative to external financing for situations where local priorities do not fit institutional criteria (especially true in regard to funding for social and cultural activities). It permits people to build up over a longer period a locally­controlled capital pool that will balance their use of external credit structures.

Emphasised Local Production and Marketing. Activities built on local resources, skills and markets are generally more stable and give the people more control.

Continuous Training. Skills training on a continuous basis is a necessary aspect of building up human resources.

Local Control. Appropriate forms of local organisation enable access to outside resources in a way that gives the group greater control than would be the case if they arranged things individually. It is the occasion for the group to take practical steps toward its objectives. This is possible by empowering existing structures or by the creation of new organisations.


Of the three focal points, self­dependence will take the most time to be realised. The practitioner therefore must think in terms of 10 to 20 years as well as tomorrow. The hardest work in this arena is the image shift required of the people and the practitioner. It can be thought of as a balance­of­payments question: everything brought from outside the local area is an import and must be paid for in cash, which means producing something for sale outside the local area. The practitioner does not decide for the group, but helps them be aware of the implications of a deficit in such a flow.

Self­dependence means emphasising "prosumption" (production for one's own consumption) and self­help. For example self­built housing means the people have better ideas how to maintain their dwellings. Parents as teachers means the education system is less dependent on state support. It means focusing on­ supplementing incomes from multiple sources rather than full­time single job employment and the consequent narrow focus on conventional industrial plants.

The practitioner needs to help the community to examine every aid programme from the perspective of its short and long term consequences. It means appreciating that this is an arena where no one is clear and understanding that every programme is an experiment. Some will eventually be abandoned, but will have provided income for a time. Some will be useful in enabling the community to learn. Perhaps this is the one implication for the practitioner: make sure the people are evaluating what they are doing and trying new things out of these [earnings. Indeed the capacity to "work it out together" is self­dependence.


Concerns for the practitioner include:

­ Restricted credit access. Credit schemes that favour the large farmer to the disadvantage of the poorer sections of the society. Procedures have discouraged poor farmers, women and landless people from getting credit.

­ Bribes required by some officials that can make government schemes too costly for the poor.

­ Inequitable access to land, water and forest resources.

­ Short term subsidies from welfare organisations or governments are often detrimental to motivation.

­ Disregard for local savings and investment, while encouraging credit from large institutions, creates a dependence on credit institutions and money lenders.

­ Establishing production units for employment which are dependent on import of raw materials weakens the economy of the local community. Similarly dependence on "export" markets (meaning beyond the local or regional level) makes the local economy vulnerable.

­ The underdeveloped markets for rural products.

­ In calculating the costs of a programme, the cost (both financial and expertise) of maintenance and repair are often disregarded.

­ Programmes designed to meet criteria for outside funding.

­ Few evaluation and monitoring techniques for measuring progress toward self­dependence.

­ Difficulty of enabling people to work through life­style shifts needed to take advantage of new or appropriate technology (different cooking hours for use of solar cookers, need for poor households to coordinate finances and house construction to build low­cost biogas plants.

­ Negative image of the "old" way of doing things such as abandonment of breast­feeding for bottles and twigs for toothbrushes.

­ In rural areas in more­developed countries especially, overdependence on selling to national or global market and neglecting the building up of healthy diversified regional markets.


Self­identity can be enhanced in any programme. In agriculture or health or housing, a project which begins by affirming the traditional wisdom of the community and inviting its people to reflect on changes from that perspective gives the people a way to participate in innovation as an evolutionary decision, not an either­or choice. The capacity to make critical choices is foundational to self­identity. Efforts at economic self­dependence will be unsuccessful if the people involved have a limited sense of their own worth. Many programmes teaching economic skills mentioned that this negative self­image is the major handicap to be overcome. Recognition of individual achievement and community service is also important. For people who have felt themselves victimised for years by an educational system that taught skills that were of no use to them. A certificate at the end of a health worker training course or a literacy class, even if it has no official significance can be the first mark of recognition in their life that they have achieved something in society.

Operational Characteristics

Moving from Passive Acceptance to Active Involvement. A greater sense of mastery over one's own destiny (as individuals and members of a community), a sense that decisions can be made, circumstances changed and lives improved is fundamental to sustainable development of, by and for the people.

Blending Cultural Continuity and Change. A sense of the worth of one's cultural heritage and the capacity to respond creatively to the intrusion of other cultural perspectives is necessary for people to be controllers of the change process not victims of it..."To do development means to bring about change (Traditional) societies have values that the modern world is struggling to recreate today. To try to preserve those values as they are is in the long run leading to their own destruction as (they) must adapt to the modern world if they are to survive. The question of how to preserve the gifts of a society while engaging in development is at the core of any endeavour of human development" (field visit report, XISS) (SA­7).

Process, Not a State. No community just is. Communities and societies are always moving and adapting. The concern of the local practitioner is for the community to know that it is evolving and to enable it to decide as comprehensively as possible what opportunities to accept and which to decline.

Awakening the Need for Collectivity. Solidarity within a group comes when the people become aware they are a group and have power together. However obvious this may be to an outsider, even to some within the community, until the­community becomes aware of this fact, creating permanent structures (a registered cooperative, for example) will be premature.

Sensitising the Group. It is the group's discovery of its' common heritage and what is happening to them that creates a context for initiating their own development. This conscientisation is a process of self­discovery. It is a method rather than a curriculum for indoctrination.

Builds on Existing Culture. Traditional patterns of self­help and common action are powerful bases for implementation of programmes of change.

Recognises Individual Worth. Group acknowledgment of each individual's contribution strengthens the whole group and counteracts the tendency to determine self­worth by material accumulation alone.


There are many practical ways the sense of self­identity can be fostered. Activities that directly strengthen cultural identity including festivals, workdays, preservation and development of traditional crafts. It is important for the group or community to articulate its own version of its history. Such a project requires that the community interpret past events and the act of presentation whether as book, song, dance, or drama provides a symbol of that identity. A number of projects, especially those dealing with ethnic minorities involved parents and community elders in designing and teaching a cultural heritage curriculum in the local school. This approach increased the awareness of the adults in the community of who they are and enabled them to decide what parts of their tradition needed to be retained for the future. Another approach is to emphasise special events as ways of letting the group or community see its value in the opinion of others. Visits to other villages and projects let the group see how others have approached similar problems and been successful. The element of friendly rivalry of, "if they can do it so can we", can be effective as a motivating factor.

The list of possible activities is long, but the implication for the rural practitioner is simple: never miss an opportunity to­reinforce the individual's and the community's sense of self­worth. It means spending time organising "non­productive" events in the midst of an economic programme, of finding ways for the people to do their own telling of the story about the significance of what they are doing. It means challenging the people to see their common cultural heritage. The focus on identity does not mean the practitioner ignores inequities or tensions within the community or group, but it does prepare the ground for programmes that deal with them directly. This creates a climate in the community for programmes, especially in economic development, that benefit the disadvantaged to the exclusion of others relatively better off (the Small Farmer Development Program, SA­36, for example).


Concerns for the practitioner include:

­ The loss of confidence in the value and use of skills, customs, stories and art that results from change.

­ The acceptance of an inferior status in society as the unchangeable way of things.

­ The dependence of a group on others to find solutions for their problems, supply the resources for resolving them and provide staff to implement programmes.

­ The discrimination against groups within a society for reasons of religious differences, different ethnic background, social class, health (leprosy, retardation).

­ The failure to recognise and honour contributions to the community by individuals, especially those made by persons from an underclass or minority group.

­ The propensity of planners and workers, who come from outside, to impose their values to problems they have have identified and are seeking to resolve. This is especially painful when the field worker is sensitive to the local situation but has to implement an agency or departmental directive.


The projects and reports indicated at least six factors that enabled the attainment of stated objectives:

Project Learning Processes

Women's Advancement

Participatory Organisational Structures

Broadening Horizons

Developing Horizontal and Vertical Linkages

Developing Appropriate Technologies

To make this section more useful to the practitioner each of these factors is discussed in terms of:

­ Intent.

­ Content.

­ Concerns.

­ Options (from IERD project documentation).


This accelerating factor was summarised in IERD working papers as follows: "This keystone is concerned with image education, general education and with specific skills training. Image education equips people with winning images and allows the impossible to be turned into the possible. General education is continuing adult education: academic, artistic, vocational for all. In the case of specific skills training, there is a need for the transfer of ideas, technology and management skills. The emphasis is as much on drawing out the human quality of life as in equipping for economic intensification" (IERD Keystones Paper summarising Rural Development Symposia).


Self­dependency. "In order for village people themselves to control their economic development, training is required in skills of production, purchasing, marketing and management" (field visit reports). It is also necessary to provide an increasing number of people in the community with the management skills needed to plan, control flow of money, organise community effort and relate to and negotiate with government and other external structures.

Awareness. "To provide appropriate formal and non­formal education in all areas to promote awareness, self­respect in every person, the broadening of outlook and sensitising and informing them (Field visit reports).

Catalysis. To enable a growing core of local leadership to seek out relevant information for community efforts and transmit it effectively to the rest of the community.


Life Education. Basic to development education is the understanding that every situation can be a learning situation. Reflection in group settings on their experience is one of the foundations of appropriate life education.

Issue­orientation. "Approaching the learning process from the starting point of some real issue that distresses the people in order to have a motivated "study" and to have a way to share the analytical process.. (for) the people's organisations in the villages, the issue­oriented education helped them to evaluate critically their existing position in the society" (Comprehensive Rural Operations Service Society, CROSS) (SA­25).

Continuing Education. The process of learning in relation to development never stops. Nor does the 'student body' become fixed. It is aimed at everyone.

Alternatives. Because the life­journey of each individual is unique it is important to offer multiple options for training tailored to each of the groups in the community. Many of these options will not be offered as education but will fulfill that function.

Attitude Changes. "Training helps people translate their vision into reality. It focuses on self­image, leadership development, skills acquisition and local development methods" (field visit). Programmes which raise the consciousness of the people change attitudes and provide an incentive to acquire practical skills. skills seem to be most effective.


­ Non­participatory teaching style which prevents rural people's own experience being shared.

­ Skills training unrelated to local income opportunities.

­ Difficulty of engaging poorly educated parents in shaping children's education programmes.

­ General training programmes inadequate for disadvantaged.

­ Curriculum being taught without practice.

­ Training restricted to men only in many arenas.

­ Developing appropriate training in entrepreneurship, small industry, and services.

­ Limited understanding of legal rights and eligibility ­ for government assistance.

­ Domination of village structures by those with education.

­ Inability to make use of technological innovations.

­ Limited skills in group consensus­building/organisation.


Agricultural Improvement

­ Use of micro­computer to aid groups of dairy farmers .

­ Crop demonstrations in a farmer's field rather than a piece of land set aside by a university.

­ Master farmer training programme based on farmer continuing to reside in and work his/her fields.

Youth Motivation and Training

­ Three to five­day "camps" for youth to talk through concerns, plans for community involvement and to consider a "life of service".

­ Young farmers 'clubs.

­ Resident programmes of four to eight weeks for youth just before or after high school to help decide vocation.

­ Elders in community as a teaching resource for skills training and children's education.

­ For rural areas with low population density, a "preschool in the home" with once a week teacher­parent day of running the programme.

Special Educational Events

­ "Hands­on" workshops to introduce people to solar energy.

­ Five­day training course for women with little education.

­ Village Health Worker (VHW) training is based on actual weekly cases encountered at the centre or in the village.

­ Creation and use of dramas, role plays, song, dance, and other art to raise awareness.

­ A group assigned to analyse their own situation or that of another village.

Other Suggestions

­ Hands­on experience and face to face encounters with people engaged in similar activities. Demonstration centres, master farmers, simulation games and all activities which emphasise the experiencing of a technique or situation are appropriate.

­ Involving adults in shaping the curriculum, management and teaching in the local primary and secondary school is an indirect mode of training the adults of a community.

­ Case studies of legal issues written by a village group to heighten awareness of legal rights and actual situation.

­ Community­controlled cable TV system linking small rural communities, including video training.

­ Residential demonstration and training centres for ecology where staff lifestyle is a demonstration of possibility.

­ VHW training as a means to accelerate the leadership development of a community's women.

­ Assign trainees to build a questionnaire to survey the needs, send them to do research in the villages for six months, months, return and work to implement the programmes.

Special Programmes

­ Women recruited for particular programmes need support with pre­service training.

­ Field trips of rural women to the city and urban women to the rural are awakening women to alternative solutions.

Economic Betterment

­ Providing training in skills not traditionally held by women is important in broadening the economic base and dealing with the imbalance in the participation of women in the community.

­ Improving the skills of women has increased their bargaining power.

Development Involvement

­ Women's participation in planning out child and youth programmes has been found to be a path to their broader participation in decisions.

­ Women have been found to be effective extension workers in environmental, water and sanitation matters as they are more directly affected by programmes in these arenas.

Other Suggestions

­ Literacy programmes have been found to be more effective when the content of the curriculum related to the life the women live every day. The curriculum was designed locally with the input of experts through workshops.

­ Creating security schemes for women such as maternity benefits, widowhood and death assistance and health schemes. Literacy programmes that were taught during the working hours of an economic venture such as bidi making were also found to be effective.

­ Encouraging the participation of women from a wide age spectrum has been found to be key in doing new programmes and created a mutual understanding and trust.


"One of the most basic factors is local people participating in all aspects of determining their own development. It consists of identifying their own needs and the basic planning of their own development activities. This is followed with implementation of the development plans. It includes building community organisation structures that take into account geographically­related groups, community­wide decision­making and the creation of self­help groups. Local people participate in upgrading their development planning with training that increases their potential" (IERD Working Papers)


Group Power. Enabling people to tackle issues that they would not be able to deal with singly. "By organising a structure for decision­making, people get the opportunity to choose for changes in their life and to be united enough­to come to an implementation of their choice" (field visit report, CROSS) (SA­25).

Inclusive Participation. Structuring the participation of minorities and disadvantaged groups: "in both the tribal communities and Harijan communities these associations function to bring cohesion and community identity to otherwise fragmented and isolated groups of people" (field visit report, Action for Welfare and Awakening in the rural Environment, SA­21).

Structural Linkage. A way of for relating to outside sources of assistance in expertise, advice and capital investment.


Locally Appropriate­Locally Designed. Part of the process of developing solidarity and self­dependence within the rural community is for the people to think through and create the form of organisation to accomplish what they wish to do. Since organising an effort is itself a skill to be learned by action and reflection, it is best if early structuring of a project is simple, flexible and informal.

Form Evolves. Organising a project is best done as a process that creates structures as the task demands and people's capacity to manage allows. Legal forms established prematurely are hard to undo if they turn out to be too restrictive. Early registration allows the more advantaged or powerful factions to take control and nullify the participatory dynamic the project sought to introduce. Similarly, whether to use a single­purpose or multi­purpose form is best answered over time. Single­purpose forms are better for starting activities and can evolve into multi­purpose cooperatives as the members develop greater managerial capacity.

Participation Broadens. A local organisation can create appropriate ways for different groups in the community to participate. Since projects rely on the willingness of the people to be involved for their effectiveness, a form which encourages rather than restricts participation is required.

Local­Based. In a scheme built with the people to be benefitted themselves in charge, the most local unit is the most important (landless labourers, for instance). The other layers of organisation and support are shaped to enable implementation of this unit's decisions, be it the family, the village or a special group.

Planning/Action Focus. Such organisations often begin as a gathering point for residents in making plans for and scheduling implementation of their own development.


­ Keeping project structures free from local politics.

­ Preventing takeover of leadership by economically powerful individuals or interest groups.

­ Maintaining flexibility and avoiding bureaucracy that hinders participation, especially of the less educated.

­ Sensitivity to traditional ways of organisation

­ Maintaining cohesiveness and sense of common purpose.

- Inflexibility of national scheme rules applied locally.

­ Insuring that the poor benefit.


Agricultural Groups

­ Registered society of small farmers formed around tube well they constructed and own in common.

­ Dairy­cooperatives of small producers many of whom do not own land, backup up by animators from national structures.

­ Creating small groups of five to thirty farmers to receive agricultural credit collectively and to be accountable together for its repayment.

­ Farmers' markets with coordinating committees made up of producers and consumers who establish prices before each market is held, eliminating both middlemen and price competition between producers.

­ Offering 3 officially recognised kinds of group farming to allow for individual preference: joint, coop., entrusted.

Community Improvements

­ Community improvement associations­voluntary groupings of residents apart from the local political structures mobilise village consensus across political divisions.

­ Open­court conflict­resolving tribunal that exists exclusively through the consent of the people and which operates out of the presupposition of reconciling parties to a dispute. Through the open nature of its proceedings it educates all the other members of the tribal group (ethnic minority) and involves them in determining the application of traditional values to modern situations.

­ Working committee for national village competition that includes both men and women and has representatives of all clubs and groups in the village.

­ Housing trusts and cooperatives of eight to thirty families who operate as one unit for purchase of building materials to construct houses for the members and go out of existence once the dwellings are completed.

Consensus Methods

­ Pre­cooperative groups well­established before applying for linkage to the larger system or for official registration.

­ Short term organisations­study groups, etc.

­ A village health committee that selects and pays for a village health care worker, and relates to a larger medical centre for advice and support.

­ "Three­tier" system, based on village­selected health worker who is supported by regular visits of a mobile medical team led by a nurse sometimes with a doctor, and a medical centre to which serious illnesses or other health problems can be referred. The key is that the village health worker is the basis and is chosen by the village.

­ Three­tier system with village association, cluster committee and block committee (about 100 villages) as a way of organising voluntary development efforts. The NGO involved then works with the villages in implementing the models they have created.

Existing Organisations

­ Using local organisations like religious groups or schools as the basis for initiating a project like planting trees, a local committee to ensure the ongoing care and a handicapped person in the village as monitor.

­ Using the profits from a conventional farm cooperative to establish a social organisation to build a centre.

­ Using the entry point to a village made by health work, to bring about the establishment of a Farmers Club.

­ Using an existing network of local organisations (churches, women's clubs) as the implementing structure for preventive health care programmes.

Self­Help Groups

­ Creating organisations composed of the poorest in the area to qualify for government schemes which were not attainable by them individually.

­ Village level and cluster level meetings followed by visits and interviews, and initiation of programmes.

­ A network of social and economic enterprises whose functions are to serve the needs of the poor. Together they cover a wide range of needs.For the annual meeting, each enterprise must prepare three reports: a financial statement, a social balance sheet and a three year plan.

­ Creation of a comprehensive scheme including creches and kindergartens and a credit union for self­employed women.

­ Creating a credit institution that will invest uniquely in a specific disadvantaged group's advancement and allows only members of that group as shareholders and depositors.

­ Forming village associations of landless people and linking these together in cluster committees. ;

­ Cooperatives based on a tribal or ethnic group that conduct their proceedings in that language and modify other aspects of the structure to suit the local situation

­ Family development plans for poor families prepared with them by an agency (farm clinic) that is trusted by but independent of a credit institution.

­ Establishing village welfare associations which include one representative from each family and two agency workers that meet monthly. Meetings of the associations from across the region are held twice yearly.

Developing Leadership

­ A national (or area) scheme to initiate a local project which uses the regional project as a demonstration.

­ Some organisations provide for rotating leadership of meetings and an annual retirement of some members of the board with a period of disqualification before eligible for re­election for greater sharing of responsibility.

­ Village­level discussion and study groups for graduates of a regional adult education centre.


Direct interchange and interaction among projects and participants in development activities is an accelerating factor in rural development. ''Information is both a resource and a motivating factor. Community projects have found that regular interchange and communication is a critical key to the development effort. This can be informal communication, sharing what is happening in the project, or regular news briefs that keep the community updated on the total effort. Regular meetings have been critical to rehearse common objectives and report on activities. Mass communication programmes through radio, TV and newspapers keep an open system of interchange between the project and the outside world" (IERD working papers).


Integrative Dialogue. Discussion and planning groups on local regional and national levels remove barriers to effective cooperative action and break isolation of (groups) (Interest Group). Networking among communities and agencies reduces duplication of efforts and rivalries. ( Field visit reflection).

Context Expansion. Exposing rural populations and field workers to other perspectives and practical experiences gives familiarity with innovative possibilities and new insights into the project situation.

Indirect Encouragement. Experiencing the commonness of issues and the resolve of other groups to deal with them, as well as learning new ways to deal with them is motivating.


Mutual Learning. A shared context that the process is one of mutual learning.

Culturally Appropriate. Methods and techniques to suit the cultural context involved.

Local to Global to Local. A flow of practical learnings from local action groups to a global interchange and to the local again.

Lateral Sharing. Scheduled events and visits with responsible persons engaged in similar projects.

Practical Learnings. Record of group reflections which has agreed­upon learnings for future training and sharing with other projects as well as regular review and revision by project participants.


­ Ensuring that relevant information is available at the local level.

­ Initiating and accelerating local­to­local interchange

­ Overcoming isolation of projects from each other.

­ Avoiding experts dominating the interchange process.


Meetings and Conferences

­ Exchange conferences between rural workers.

­ Intensive residential seminars using participatory learning methods with cross­section of rural workers.

­ Semi­annual or annual meetings of whole staff structured to allow for reflection on learnings of previous period as well as planning.

­ Rural Development Expositions where projects have displays and audio­visual presentations.


­ Invitations to representatives of different approaches to speak at staff meetings.

­ Regular informal visits by field workers to local project leaders.


­ Mobile team sharing experiences, one village with another.

­ Field visits to other projects.

­ Excursions for rural people to a variety of projects, to encounter urban life, meet support agency personnel receive training and/or see and discuss a relevant film or play.

Information Exchange

­ Video and cable TV­ producing programmes locally that can be shared with other communities via a community cable system or exchange of video cassettes.

­ South­south exchanges between rural groups.

­ Slide shows with taped commentary on a project that is aimed at telling details about the project not for publicity or fund­raising.

­ Radio programmes that are produced in and from various rural locations.

­ Local newsletters distributed in the project area and mailed to other projects/agencies.

Other Suggestions

­ Sports competitions, cultural festivals social gatherings between communities are used as easily acceptable ways of increasing interchange between villages.

­ Link roads make communication with others easier and faster.

­ Competitions for village beautification foster inter­village visits


This key refers to enlisting the support and cooperation of the sectors (public, private, voluntary) with the local project people. It seeks the authorisation of the political and economic power structures in carrying through a project. Projects have found that the resources of the public and private sectors can be involved in carrying through projects, whether the resources are expertise, technology, or capital funding.


Services Delivery. "To harness the support services of government agencies, non­government agencies and banks for rural development" (Tata Steel Rural Development Society, SA­17).

Replication Acceleration. "A vital role for a voluntary agency must be in sharing the experience gained from its various activities with our country and society. Effort must be made to build up a programme that can help small voluntary agencies, development programmes, etc. With the expertise available, we could contribute to the growth of similar activities in various parts of our country" (Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs, SA­27).

Eliciting Responsible Participation by the Other Segments of Society. "Education of richer and more powerful people in the country regarding the real socio­economic conditions and development needs to elicit responsible participation by them" (Interest group).


Coordinating Services. Coordinate services in relation to local plans of all sectors influencing the local situation whether that be various levels of government, commerce or industry.

Regional Relationships. The institutions at the regional level: government agencies, banks, private corporations, and voluntary organisations and NGOs work together to coordinate their actions at the village level.

Committed Individuals. "The present socio­economic structure is not very conducive for the development of persons from the weaker segments. It is therefore necessary to organise individuals from all segments of government, industry, banking, medicine and social sciences who can help whenever there are obstacles and difficulties from the present structure" (India Development Service Integrated Rural Development, SA­22).

Convergence Journey. The convergence is not a final consummation but a coming together of the various services from the earliest stages of and through the development process. At the level of the community, the nutritionist, the health worker, the sanitarian, the water supply technician, and the pre­school teacher worker have to learn to work together. They need to be trained not only in techniques, but even more strongly in their attitudes, and be exposed to one another's aims and disciplines.

Global Fraternity. "Another key approach seen in this project is the emphasis placed on building a movement of human development beyond the project itself, thus linking it with a national and global 'fraternity' of projects, organisations, and dedicated people" (Bontoa Human Development Project, SP­2).


­ Transforming images of "donor ­ receiver", "expert ­ ignorant", "source ­ target" into one of "partnership"

­ Ensuring that the benefits of government programmes get to everyone not just to the clever or well­positioned

­ Figuring out what the necessary linkages are

­ Timing delivery of services to be most enabling to the village.

­ Avoiding creating dependency relationships on outside sources.



­ Education programmes to make the people aware of what government programmes/rural credit schemes are available.

­ Creation of "Human Development associations" at the village cluster level that include as members the village associations, branch managers of state banks, interested professionals, business representatives.

­ Health camps­special events where the services of trained personnel who volunteer their time can be effectively made available to village populations.

­ A special wing of an NGO created to handle coordination with the local governments in the project area and to train officials in reorienting their approach to the people.

­ Having the linkage for an agricultural credit institution be performed by a mobile credit officer who visits the farmers who take out the loans in the village.

­ Linking service clubs in nearby towns with projects for help in delivering short­term assistance.

­ Joint circuits where field workers from government agencies and non­governmental organisations make the rounds of villages together to serve the residents in a more integrated less bureaucratic way.

Other Suggestions

­ Having the permanent residence of the government technician in the community allows more flexible communication with the people and encourages their participation more easily.

­ "Great spheres" (clusters of villages) where horizontal and vertical linkages are improved.

­ Linking village women's groups with national and international women's groups to provide helpful pressure for policy changes or enforcement of existing rights.


Technological innovations in every field of rural development were displayed and discussed in New Delhi. A surprising number of projects had specific programmes of developing ;appropriate technology for rural situations. Technological innovation is an accelerating factor in rural development.


Availability. Making available to rural populations technology that eases their burden without ­­ displacing them, saves energy, and costs little to install or maintain.

Appropriateness to Local. Having local people decide on what to accept and what to reject.

Adaptation. Using local wisdom and technical expertise together to create design and adaptation.


Information Access. Knowledge of what sources are available for information and advice, ease of access to them, costs and time involved and the capacity to follow up.

User Participation in Design. A system to engage the local users actively in the design stage or in an adaptation.

Experimental Demonstration. On­site pilot experiments both expand the village's vision and provide a relevant local test of adaptability.

Education for Use. Training and general education that provides opportunity for users to test, raise questions.


­ Introduction of new technology unaccompanied by education that explores advantages and disadvantages.

­ Access to technology on an equitable basis for rich and poor, educated and uneducated.

­ Advances that are beyond range of many people in villages.

­ Working out the problems at the local level with people.

­ Non­consideration of social factors, changes in food preparation required, displacement of certain occupations.

­ Getting technically capable people who will consider the social factors and work at the local level.


Introduce New Techniques

­ Making available listings of major appropriate technology centres and their catalogues to project groups.

Demonstration of New Ways

­ Demonstration sub­centres that take the technology to where the people in the villages around have easy access.

­ Intensive effort to enable acceptance of new technology in one local area and then wider publicity of the usage of the new techniques by the new users themselves.

Local Inventiveness

­ Improvements to traditional crafts e.g. weaving rather than introduction of new trade because of available technology e.g. knitting, crocheting.

­ Involving women in design conversations regarding subjects like water systems, farm labour, agricultural processing, energy saving or stove design.


The following is a selected list of the innovations displayed at the Central International Event in India.


­ Honey and wax refining (Kenya) .

­ One­acre mixed farm providing adequate income and nutrition for a family.

­ Natural farming (no chemicals) .

­ Natural pesticide manufacture.

­ Community­run tree nurseries including seed­gathering.

­ Sericulture for landless workers.

­ Solar irrigation pump.

­ New fodder crops including fodder trees like subabul.

­ Hydroponic vegetable growing.

­ Vegetable dryer.

­ Water pumps.


­ Video tape.

­ Health teaching aids made from local materials.

­ Computer and video disc.

­ Mobile creche .

­ TV satellite system for reaching rural areas.

­ TV, tale­books and radio as part of a nation­wide self­training scheme.


­ ORT (Oral Rehydration Therapy).

­ Ayurvedic medicines.

­ Yoga for treatment of hypertension, asthma.

­ Herbal medicines.

­ Household soakpits.

­ Household cisterns and waterjars.


­ Ventilation improvements.

­ Nubian vault .

­ Cinva ram for sun­dried mud bricks with a five per cent cement content.

­ Different mixes of mortar for different climate conditions.

­ Use of undersized wood (roundwood) for framing, cladding

­ and interior finishing.

­ Bamboo housing techniques.

­ Geodesic dome designs made of bamboo.

­ Biogas installations of various types.

­ Varied active and passive solar techniques.

­ Fish­curing: improved oven

­ Smokeless stoves.

­ Carbon refrigerator.