Democratic rural organizations can play an important role in helping their members, who are frequently poor farmers living in the margins of the economy, to escape their disadvantaged starting point and to gain access to financial services, political influence and profitable markets for their product. Democratic Rural Organizations: Thresholds for Evolution in Africa and Asia traces the evolution of democratic rural organizations from small groups to larger, NGO financed, multi-tier democratic rural organizations in recent years.
Rural citizens have historically formed democratic organizations by their own initiative, to enhance economic and social wellbeing, but in recent years rural mobilization processes are frequently initiated and supported by national Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), who are financed and guided by international NGOs, a process which has had mixed results. Using rich empirical material from Uganda, India, Bangladesh and Cambodia, Democratic Rural Organizations: Thresholds for Evolution in Africa and Asia identifies eight thresholds which represent practical stages in the development pathway of democratic rural organizations and influence success or failure.
Both development practitioners and researchers of development and rural policy will find this book a useful guide to the deployment of democratic organization as a strategy for economic and political empowerment.
SECTION I Historical context of evolution of democratic rural organizations
Chapter 1 Democratic rural organizations as vehicles for rural development in Africa and Asia
Chapter 2 The socio-economic and political contexts of democratic rural organisations in India
Chapter 3 The socio-economic and political context of democratic rural organizations in Uganda
Chapter 4 The socio-economic and political context of rural organizations in Bangladesh
Chapter 5 The socio-economic and political context of rural organizations in Cambodia
SECTION II Conceptual framework
Chapter 6 Unpacking participation and fostering empowerment
Chapter 7 Identifying thresholds for the evolution of Democratic Rural Organizations
SECTION III Practical thresholds for the evolution of democratic rural organizations
Chapter 8 Mobilising rural people to organize in groups and higher level DRO
Chapter 9 NGO-fostered empowerment through membership of democratic rural organisations
Chapter 10 About what, when and how to federate democratic rural organisations
Chapter 11 Governance: adjusting aims and leadership to address market challenges and satisfy members’ aspirations
Chapter 12 Finance for the federation of democratic rural organisations
Chapter 13 Accountability in democratic rural organisations
Chapter 14 Markets as a threshold for DROs
Chapter 15 Navigating political challenges
Chapter 16 A Practitioners’ Perspective
Chapter 17 Conclusion