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Grassroots development in El Salvador
George A. Harding (author)Paul Bowles (Thesis advisor)University of Northern British Columbia (Degree granting institution)
Master of Arts (MA)
Number of pages in document: 59
In this paper I discuss grassroots development as portrayed in the development literature and use my findings to evaluate three local rural programmes in a poor, remote area of El Salvador, Central America. I set the context by briefly examining and comparing two approaches to development, namely, the paradigm of things and that of people. I also provide moral justifications for the latter paradigm and trace its history as an idea. I then discuss in detail the tree central tenets of grassroots development, participation/collective action, social organization and empowerment. Throughout this process local people are the main actors they are the ones who participate together to form a grassroots organization in order to empower themselves and take more control over their lives. Indicators for the three pillars of grassroots development are used to evaluate the three case studies. The cases are all in a poor department in northeastern El Salvador the participants are subsistence cultivators or artisans. In all three areas local people worked together with varying results. The local development association scored better overall when rated subjectively than did the two coffee co-operatives but the co-op members' well-being were enhanced more through group activities. All participants appeared to be taking more control of their lives.--Page i.
Rural development -- El Salvador.Social movements -- El Salvador.Economic development -- Social aspects -- El Salvador.Political participation -- El Salvador.