Tag Archives: social sustainability

Social Capital Formation in Community Development and Conservation Interventions: Comparative Research in Indonesia

Concepts of local civic participation, community capacity building and social capital formation are widely asserted to be of importance for democratic good governance, economic development and sustainable resource management (Bebbington et al. 2004; Woolcock 2010; Mansuri and Rao 2013). This brief summarizes the results of comparative investigations into participation and social capital formation through village-level field studies across several of Indonesia’s culturally and ecologically diverse regions.

The research project studied the processes and outcomes of community development and conservation programs aimed at improving participation and building capacity in villages with different social and ecological assets. It assessed the extent to which these approaches have contributed to improved governance and more sustainably managed environments over the decade and a half since Indonesia began its dramatic program of democratisation and decentralisation. This research applied a mixed methods approach in 15 villages across 9 Indonesian provinces where community-based development and conservation interventions had been introduced. It involved detailed random sample surveys, interviews with key figures in local government and non-government organizations, and participant observation. The results are of comparative policy significance beyond the Indonesian case for improved understanding of the practical relationships between capacity building strategies and the community development and conservation goals associated with applications of social capital, participation, and empowerment concepts.

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生态减贫:包容性发展视角下的路径选择 (Ecological poverty eradication: path selection under inclusive development)

This brief is submitted in the Chinese language. The full brief could be accessed through the below link. Your comments could be in either English or Chinese.

摘 要
文章旨在探索新时期中国减贫的突破口,运用区域经济学分析方法分析生态恶化和环境破坏对巩固减贫成果和深入推 进扶贫开发的制约。文章认为生态型贫困是未来我国扶贫攻坚的重点,中国的贫困主要发生在生态脆弱区,这些地区扶贫难度大、减 贫成果难以巩固、贫困与生态恶化互为因果,需要包容性措施来化解生态改善与减贫目标的冲突。文章建议我国应在贫困落后地区协 调经济增长与资源环境保护的关系,确保经济增长的效益惠及区域所有人群,尤其是贫困人口,让更多人享受改革和发展的成果,这 也是包容性发展的内在要求。生态减贫是中国突破减贫瓶颈的必然选择,是治贫的根本。


From conspicuous consumption to conspicuous accomplishment

The new international development framework will be universal and place people and planet at the centre. The emphasis on “people”, in addition to the “planet”, will require a focus on the social dimension of sustainable development, as choices have to be made about pathways for human wellbeing based on how countries understand themselves and the world their citizens wish to live in.

A century ago, the economist Torstein Veblen coined the term “conspicuous consumption” to characterize the materialism of newly well-to-do Americans. The term “conspicuous accomplishment” has been suggested for China’s young nouveaux riches, as the compressed time frame and memories of previous austere lifestyles are leading to behaviors and expectations different to those in industrialized societies in terms of urban spaces, social status, lifestyles and identities, as well as social values that are not based on monetary, which are seen as Western, values. In India, half of the total urban population is found in towns each with a population of less than 0.5 million and “middle class” identification is based on social attitudes that are upbeat even at low
level of incomes.

China considers ‘ecological civilization’ a governing idea and national strategy for the whole society. While it aims to double 2010 GDP and per capita levels of rural and urban residents by 2050 it will cap emissions of carbon dioxide by 2030, providing a new model for other countries. The 18th Party Congress, in 2012,incorporated in the Party Constitution the statement that “promoting ecological progress is a long term task of vital importance to the people’s well-being and China’s future”. The effort is to shift from industrialization led economic development and urbanization to a services and high technology led development and urbanization to keep within ecological limits.

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Social sustainability through accessibility and equity

Spatial sustainability is a very interesting subject for research, particularly in view of its enormous potential public policy applicability. The concept of accessibility has an interesting dual dimension, being both geographical and social. The measurement of physical or geographical accessibility contributes to the knowledge of whether public services are being provided adequately – equitably – to serve the whole population of the study territory irrespective of where people live.

There are many different indicators of accessibility, mostly based on distance and user satisfaction. The main difficulty resides in the measurement process itself. The use of Geographic Information System (GIS) has helped to make this task easier and,consequently, to expand the possibilities of present and future analyses.

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