T16P25 - Participatory Community-based Development Approaches, Local Institutions and Indigenous and Traditional Societies

Topic : Sustainable Development and Policy

Panel Chair : Carlos Potiara Castro - carlos.potiara@riseup.net

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel


Participatory community-based development initiatives that target indigenous and traditional groups have gained attention and interest among policy makers in the last decades. Several reports and research literature show that promoting community participation at the local level boosts the impacts of public policies aiming to fight poverty, loss of environmental assets, dispossession of land and migration from rural areas. It is widely acknowledged that policies with a top-down design are likely to achieve poor results in terms of human development. Similarly, evidence shows that public policies elaborated by large institutions, such as national governments, may not translate in concrete benefits at the local level as desired. To ensure that public policies and development initiatives become more effective, agencies should further tailor their actions in line with the multidimensional features of specific local realities.

 Indeed, the aim of integrating multidimensional development initiatives would be to boost and strengthen local development plans and support the establishment of resilient institutions, operated and managed by local people. Participatory community-based planning and other initiatives as community protocols are being implemented all around the world with the poor, the rural and most vulnerable social groups. In this sense, those initiatives becomes an instrument of community empowerment, management and control of their territory and natural resources. They may prepare communities to be proactive rather than only reactive to outside challenges.

It is appropriate to point out that indigenous and communities with traditional characteristics have, to different degrees, life styles that distinguish them from the average national society. The challenge of overcoming the gap between a national policy's intended objectives and its actual outcomes is especially significant for those social segments. Estimations reveal that around 5% of the world's population are indigenous, which corresponds to approximately 358 million people. Their territories occupy approximately 20% of the world’s land and the majority of them live in Least Developed Countries (LDC). In a scenario of limited resources, participatory local initiatives and in particular those using CPR approaches, as community protocols, could improve the well-being of those social segments.

Thus, this panel aims to bring a discussion on how to design effective public policies through participatory community-based initiatives and the strengthening of local institutions.

Call for papers

We invite contributions that approach the subject of this panel in terms of theoretical development or case studies and detailed analysis of trends and practices and possible futures of scientific inquiry on “Participatory community-based development approaches, local institutions and indigenous and traditional societies”

We welcome proposals from scholars active in a variety of research fields, from public affairs studies, law, political science and sociology to the various disciplinary perspectives applied to the study of local development public policies affecting the well-being of indigenous societies. Mixing such perspectives will yield a rich and comprehensive picture with an interdisciplinary focus.

We intent to present papers from scholars representing preferably three continents, paying attention to gender, race and ethnicity parity.

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