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 6: Forms of collective actions in a dyadically woven local society: the case of rural Philippines

Atsuko Hayama


This study aims to clarify the organizational capabilities of rural Philippine society and its relationship with the performance of development organizations and programs and projects. In order to understand the failings of many community-based or participatory development programs and projects in the Philippines, it is important to identify the local mechanisms underlying how rural people organize themselves. Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM), the Philippine national program for sustainable state forestland management as well as for rural development, is one such failing development program. Like other community-based development programs and projects, the “community” facet of CBFM refers to a development organization formed by outside agencies with specific purposes. Although nearly 20 years have passed since the implementation of the CBFM policy, its goals have yet to be realized. Why so? Although many studies have discussed the causes of CBFM’s poor performance, none of them have focused on the “community” itself or specifically on the mechanism that organizes people living in a rural society. This study hypothesizes that CBFM’s malfunction is attributable to the discrepancy between the organizational capability of rural Philippine society and what is expected of a development organization (that is, communities formed by outside agencies for CBFM purposes). The study consists of two parts. The first part (the second to the fourth sections) focuses on self-organizing processes and local social mores in rural Philippine society.

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