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Culture and Development:

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Title: Culture and Development:


1
Culture and Development Culture Matters
Daryl Hobbs, Ph.D Rural Sociology, University of
Missouri Columbia, MO USA
Presentation World Bank, Washington, DC April 8,
2002
2
Table of Contents
1. Broadening Vision of World Banks 2.
Globalization and Shifts in Development
Paradigm 3. Growing Role of Community/Culture 4.
Cultural Basis of Poverty 5. Culture as
Development Resource 6. Culture in Development
Process 7. Cultural Knowledge and Development 8.
Culture and Information 9. Data Into
Knowledge 10. Organization and Measurement 11.
Case Study Yemen 12. Case Study Indonesia 13.
Case Study Indonesia 2 14. Cultural Matrix of
Development 15. Development and Diversity 16.
Rigidity of Technical Knowledge 17. Rationale for
Cultural Focus.
3
  • As the bank begins this century with
    ever-grander visions--abolishing poverty,
    embracing global civil society, giving voice to
    the poor, and pursuing sustainable growththere
    are calls for focus and results.
  • Jessica Einhorn, Foreign Affairs
  • Sept-Oct, 2001

4
Globalization and Shifts In the Development
Paradigm
GLOBALIZATION AND SHIFTS IN THE DEVELOPMENT
PARADIGM
  • How is development measured and at what level
  • of social and economic organization?
  • Obsolescence of traditional measures?
  • Diminishing economic power/influence of nation-
  • states?
  • Curtailed domestic safety-net investments?
  • Enhanced conditions for diffusion of disease and
  • terrorism?
  • Growing affect of place and culture on personal
  • well-being /identity?

5
As traditional communities disappear and
ancient cultures are overwhelmed, billions of
human beings are losing the sense of place and
sense of self that give life meaning. The
fundamental political conflict in the opening
decades of the new century, we believe, will not
be between nations or even between trading blocks
but between the forces of globalization and the
territorially based forces of local survival
seeking to preserve and to redefine
community. Richard Barnet, Global Dreams
6
The Political/Cultural Basis of Poverty
  • Direct state transfer of resources will be
    unlikely to eradicate poverty, because...
  • Poverty is embedded in a cultural, state, and
    economic context. Social stratification is
    cultural.
  • Local cultures are typically associated with the
    capture of and influence over development
    initiatives by local elites reinforcing
    traditional cultural practices.

7
Culture is a Development Resource When Culture
Is...
  • Agency
  • Effective Social Infrastructure
  • Especially cogent for social development...
  • Poverty reduction
  • Disease control
  • Gender equality in education/resource allocation

8
Where Culture Can/Does Affect the Development
Process
Goal/ Problem
Process
Outcomes
Initiating Source State? NGO? Donors? Culture?
Resources State? NGO? Donors?
Culture?
  • Development?
  • By what measure?
  • Who benefits?
  • Cultural Measures?
  • Quality of Life?
  • Winners/Losers?
  • Productivity?

Impediments Conflict? Tradition?
Culture?
9
What Knowledge Affects Development?
  • Cultural Knowledge?
  • Technical Knowledge?
  • Differences in...
  • Rules of evidence
  • Rules of logic

10
Culture and Information
  • What is information?
  • Who has the power to say so?
  • What difference does that make?

11
Development --the Cultural Context of Information
Data Raw material from which
information might be extracted Information
Data that becomes meaningful in the environment
in which people live, work and make
decisions Knowledge Gaining an
understanding of what is happening through
the parsimonious integration of information.
Acquiring knowledge usually involves the
orderly \ loss of information not its
mindless accumulation.
12
Any organization tends to get back largely
what it measures and rewards. --Ray
Marshall
13
CASE STUDY Yemen
  • Including community cultural elements in design
    of development projects will ensure that poor
    communities will benefit from their efforts to
    increase self-sufficiency rather than continue as
    seekers of assistance of limited potential for
    viability

14
CASE STUDY Indonesia
  • Technical planning is more suited for large
    organizations as opposed to traditional proess of
    knowledge information transfer used in local
    villages
  • Lack of community access to relevant information
    was a barrier
  • Spreading information among and between community
    members deepened and widened project priorities

15
CASE STUDY Indonesia (2)
  • GOAL Strengthen local formal and informal
    institutions by making them more inclusive,
    accountable and effective at meeting villagers
    self-identified development needs.
  • Douglas North--Economic performance over time
    (learning societies) -- a consequence of
    institutional integration/collaboration
  • Excessive institutional specialization/
    fragmentation produces stuck societies

16
Cultural Resources and Their Various Roles in
Development Projects
Some Typical Development Projects
Components Of Culture
Disease Control
Improved Nutrition
Increased Income
Resource Management

Values/Attitudes Technology Institutions Beliefs/I
ndigenous Knowledge Natural
Resources Household Reproduction Social
Capital Human Capital
Which cultural resources are most relevant
to different kinds of development projects?
17
A weakness of high modernization is its
administrative penchant for standardization. An
important, perhaps indispensable, resource of
culture is the diversity of cultural forms and
perspectives. Is development to be defined in
terms of... Standardization? Or the effect of
cultural diversity on productivity?
18
The great failure of rationalism is, not its
recognition of technical knowledge, but its
failure to recognize any other. -- Pascal
19
Rationale For Inclusion of Focus on Culture
James C. Scott Rules of thumb that could make
development less prone to disaster
Take Small Steps Favor Reversibility Plan On
Surprises Plan On Human Inventiveness
We cannot know consequences of our interventions
in advance
Prefer interventions that can be easily undone if
they turn out to be mistakes
Plans should allow the largest accommodation for
the unforeseen.
Assume that those who become involved will
develop experience and insight to improve on the
design.
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