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UNIT I: Rural Development Concepts and Scope


Introduction The term rural development is a word that can be described as multifaceted, dynamic, interesting, challenging, controversial, complex, political in nature, full of hope and frustrations, subject to a lot of meanings and debate, study and interpretations as there are individuals conceptualizing, thinking, and using it. Rural development through the years, as it becomes a field of study is a concept or subset of a broader term development. Every person in his normal state dreams of a development state which he aspires and works for himself and family, others work for the greater glory of God, others for the community or country and for the whole world. It becomes an intrinsic or extrinsic motive to wake you up everyday of your life. Hence, it is not surprising that there is need to write a book that put in writing meaningful insights, observations, experiences, conclusions, unified and acceptable definitions of what it should be for a particular person, group, society, community or a country. Let us try to explore and present its meaning in order to crystallize ever changing concepts, your concepts and others who have been working, dreaming, and aspiring for it to guide us on what are we really doing and where we are going. At the end of the chapter, the reader should be able to: 1. Explain the nature and meaning of development and rural development based on different and realistic perspectives; 2. Search for various philosophies and principles of rural development and be able to formulate relevant and universal philosophy; 3. Identify and list the scope of rural development as implemented by various sectors; and 4. Present selected approaches in rural development that are popularly used.

Nature and Meaning of Rural Development


Development is a moving state or target, progressing every minute, happening unnoticed, intentional or unintentional, deliberate or not, influenced by peoples values, religion, discipline, status in life, education, position, work experiences and the inner desire to be ---- powerful, wealthy, healthy, wise, holy and most of all people-centered and God-centered. Generally, development connotes change in various aspects of human life such as physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, cultural including mans environment and all the resources around him and all those in his capacity to control and develop. I am very sure you have your own definitions and concepts of rural development which in many cases contrary to what you have read and heard before. With all the economic, social, political, technological, environmental and spiritual issues and state of development around us, sometimes you may ask yourself, what is really happening in this world? As men become wiser and technologically advance, we forget our fellowmen, the real essence of human existence and just focus on our own personal desire and ambition to be on top and become powerful. Is this the development state we would like to achieve? Is this the orientation we learn from our parents, from the prestigious schools we studied, from the government that surrounds us? From our parents who molded us? Where is the development state we are aspiring for, the government trying to aim for, and the goals and target we would like to achieve. Rural development is a strategy designed to improve the social and economic status of people living in the rural areas (Rivera, 1980). After three decades in rural development work, this simple definition is still the most common and acceptable definition as it mentions two important keywords social and economic. They must go hand in hand, even the laymans definitions are centered on these two words which is adequate income to feed the family, a decent house, education for the children, good health, and a safe place to live in. Katar Singh (1986) cited Robert Chambers definition (1983) of rural development as the overall development of the rural areas with a view to improve the quality of life of rural people. It is a comprehensive and multidimensional concept, including the development of agriculture and allied activities, village and cottage industries and crafts, socio-economic, infrastructure, community service facilities, and, above all, the human resources in the rural areas. Thus, rural development includes all aspects of human life in the rural areas as it can be described as a work in progress, a process of transformation, a moving target and a continuing desire to be better. It involves the development of the poorest sector of society, the sick, depressed, unemployed, less-educated, misinformed, and the disadvantaged. Can we really

3 help them, what are our roles, are we stakeholders of development can government help them? or just observers and on lookers? A whole day may not be enough to explore all the definitions of rural development, but what is clear is rural development covers the change, growth, the transformation and development of rural life which include: education, health, nutrition, housing, domestic water source, peace and order, governance and political structure, social welfare, religious beliefs, agrarian reform, agriculture and forestry, post-harvest technologies, fisheries, irrigation and drainage, communication and transportation, sources and level of technology, technology transfer, private sector, associations, cooperatives, micro, small, medium and big businesses, processing, trading and marketing, music, culture and arts, eco-tourism, and most important the dreams and aspirations of the people living in the rural areas. It is so encompassing to the point that you and I may be wondering of where to start and where to end. Are you now clear of the concepts and coverage? Or overwhelmed and confused. Do not be discouraged but instead be inspired and thankful that you are still around given the opportunity to be part of this noble task of serving humanity. You can not change the world overnight, but what is important is your strong desire and a committed heart to involve yourself in this huge task of rural development.

Characteristics of Rural Development


RD is basically a mandate of government One of the primary tasks of all governments is to improve the welfare of their constituents particularly those in the rural areas which in many countries are the majority of the population. As the word rural, it is always associated with the agriculture sector which is primarily the producers of food for the country. The rural areas are major parts of the nation as this sector can never be ignored. As many governments always expressed their concern of the rural poor as the winning agendum and pillars of their development propaganda in any election. RD has wide coverage or scope As mentioned earlier in the definition and concepts, RD covers the totality of life in the rural area. Economic, social, political, cultural, environmental, agrarian reform, science and technology, waste management, forest and natural resources, climate change, communication and transportation, energy, and infrastructure development. Now, where to start the development initiatives? Who will lead? Who will design the development framework and serve as the architect of rural development? Who will be involved?

RD requires holistic approach Since RD covers many areas, many expressed that a holistic development framework and strategy must be formulated. This must be guided by a strong philosophy of people first and foremost. Although, it will take years to develop an area, every political administration must be guided by a clear vision and goals to achieve in every stage of development which they can manage and control. RD involves partnership As done in many Asian countries, government can not do it alone as the new US President Barack Obama said I can not do it alone but together, yes we can. Government, the people or civil society and private sectors have to work together for the common good guided by the Christian values and respect for the human dignity regardless of color, religion or beliefs, education, economic status and political affiliation. RD is anchored on the culture of the people Every country or nation for that matter has its own unique culture that must be nurtured, developed, protected and respected through the years of its development journey. Modernization is a part of life, however as a people we must not forget our own unique culture and values which make us different from the rest of the world. The rate of development in many cases is influenced by the peoples culture whether material and non-material culture. Simple housing project for the minorities or other groups must consider the style of living in order to attain occupancy of the housing project. There was a case that the intended group of families abandon and did not occupy the houses built-free for them by government officials with different culture. RD is working together and sharing resources This statement comes from a former professor and a university president of Nueva Viscaya State University Dr. Marcelo M. Roguel Sr. who stressed the meaning of integration of efforts, complementation of resources whether human and material resources, unified goals and objectives and using a common strategic plan to achieve our goals. Development is not done alone by one person or group, we need others to work with us since resources are not always available and they are in the hands and control of other groups or agencies. Easier said than done, to work with others is not easy even you are covered by legal documents like memorandum of agreement or memorandum of understanding. Every group or agency has their own mandate and every agency wants to clamor for their own accomplishments and claim honor and glory.

Philosophy and Principles of Rural Development


Definition of Philosophy Philosophy is a study that seeks to understand the mysteries of existence and reality. It tries to discover the nature of truth and knowledge and to find what is of basic value and importance in life. It also examines the relationships between humanity and nature and between individual and society (The World Book Encyclopedia, 1988). We may delve on the multitudes of definitions and concepts of philosophy, what is clear and common in most definition of philosophy is the continuing search and love for wisdom on what man is doing in his life and environs. Philosophy is a form of inquirya process of analysis, criticism, interpretations and speculation. However, through the years of scientific study, analysis and experiences, the philosophers and group of intellectuals and people with wisdom ahead of us formulated and developed statements of philosophy in their particular field which we learned and used today. Every discipline, organization or institution has its own statement of philosophy which through the years was handed down from generation to generation, However, this statement can be changed by the organization and people themselves if this philosophy does not apply and work in a particular period of time. These are some definitions of philosophy from the Oxford Dictionary (1996): a) use of reason and argument in seeking truth and knowledge of reality especially knowledge of the causes and nature of things and of the principles governing existence; b) a particular system or set of beliefs; and c) personal rule of life. You are invited to explore other concepts and definitions for deeper understanding of the term philosophy. From the above mentioned definition, we can deduced that statement of philosophy is anchored on human natures understanding, level of knowledge, experiences, what a group of people would like to achieve, peoples culture influenced by their religious beliefs, ecosystem and their long years of recorded history which can never be ignored. Philosophy is a product of mans deep seated beliefs, experiences and learnings that they believe shall guide and light the path of a person or group in the performance of their tasks in life and for the good of mankind. It is like a beacon light that we believe and follow in our daily lives. In the field of rural development, there are so many statements of philosophy as there are people working in and for development. Every leader of a nation, an organization, an elected local government official, appointed head

6 of government or private agencies and institutions have formulated statement of philosophy anchored on philosophic ideas in order to give focus, directions and unification of efforts. It is really very logical, realistic and acceptable that we should have policy and philosophical statement which everybody in the organization must accept, believe and work for. This may seem impossible but in all our differences in the organization, there must be a common and unifying philosophy that we must follow. If a person or group does not agree and follow, they have to get out of the system or the organization and join another system which they believe in or put up their own working system. In a democratic society, people has the freedom to be in a group where they are happy living and working. Every leader, implementer or philosopher in rural development has a system of doing things anchored on philosophic ideas and purposes of doing rural development work. This portion shall present philosophic ideas which can help in formulating appropriate, workable, realistic, humane, God-centered, people-centered, balance, equitable and universal statement of philosophy. 1. Rural development is first and foremost directed toward the development of man and society. This statement is based on the Christian tenet that man is Gods creation and commanded to preserve, protect and develop all God creation on earth. Man can only do this mandate if he has the knowledge and resources to do so. 2. Rural development is a continuing process of improving the economic, social, cultural, political, spiritual and environmental aspects of the target communities. Leaders often commit mistake of doing all these, since resources are scarce, prioritization is important and phases of development can be designed. 3. Rural development is a kind of planned change which developed a grand design or a comprehensive development plan for the benefit of the greatest number of society. 4. Rural development considers existing resourcesnatural, physical, human, financial, technical and institutional. These are basic as we always start where we are now and decide where we are going and strategize how to get there. 5. Rural development is thinking local but acting global. This is now the realities of life, that our problems are not just in the Philippines but we are influenced by the outside world. The climate change is now a global concern which require a unified global actions from all countries of the world. 6. Rural development must be anchored on sustainable development giving due respect to the protection of Gods gift of creation the natural resources ----land, water and air. Almost all our problems today are caused by mans interventions and destruction of the forest, water resources and the chemicals emitted in the air causing global warming.

7 7. Rural development is political in nature. It is highly directed, influenced and planned by the people in government. The greatest mistake a nation or a community can make is to elect people in government whose inner and foremost desire is to be powerful and wealthy no matter what. Its is the animalistic nature of mans supremacy over the rest of society not the humanistic nature of being holy and giving service and love to humanity. 8. Rural development is cultural and it is influenced by the peoples religion or beliefs and what they would like to achieve. Culture is a way of life by a given society and no development efforts shall succeed without considering the culture. 9. Rural development is desired and acted by the people themselves a group development target. Any change in the individual, group or society must come from within, the desire to develop themselves, the motivation to achieve a higher level of development. People have their own desires, ambitions and purposes in life. If development scenario does not answer these goals, there will be chaos in society. 10. Rural development involves modernization of society where computer technologies are now in existent. In the future, there are other technologies coming up which planners and implementers must be able to adapt according to peoples needs and wants.

Principles of Rural Development


Principles are guides in our daily lives, in our work, community, and in the organization. These are some of the principles in rural development which have been used, accepted and believed by many practitioners. Principles we believe in are manifested in our actions, words expressed, projects we implement, procedures and processes we follow and the values we adhere to. As many people say, principles are universal but people are not.

RD Programs in a Democratic Society


1. RD programs are based on existing resources and responsive to human and community problems and needs.. 2. RD programs are desired, initiated, planned and implemented by the people themselves with assistance and guidance from government officials. 3. RD programs are funded by government funds with counterpart funds from the people or the community. 4. RD programs are anchored on the development plan of the province, district, city or town. 5. RD programs are comprehensive involving all aspects of human lives. 6. RD programs are directed for the welfare of the majority who are in need of government support and services. 7. RD programs utilize local leadership and organized groups in program planning and implementation.

8 8. RD programs are implemented in cooperation, complementation, or in partnership with the private sector. 9. RD programs considers local culture and wisdom in matching them to appropriate technological developments. 10. RD programs must be comprehensive, flexible and adapted to human needs and wants.

RD Methods and Approaches


1. RD utilizes tested, appropriate and variety of methods and approaches. 2. RD methods and approaches are culture bound. 3. Education and training play important roles in the transformative process of development. 4. RD is interdisciplinaryutilizing various fields of specialization such social, technical, economic, environmental, engineering, political, organizational and others. 5. RD needs integration of efforts of various players. In our society, each agency of group is mandated only to work on specific area with some limitations. 6. RD requires working with people of various interest and needs, 7. RD plans must be written and translated into a workable strategic plan which are approved, funded and advocated for implementation. 8. RD program requires serious monitoring, documentation and evaluation.

RD Core Values
1. Sustainable 2. Purposive 3. Collaborative 4. Innovative 5. Challenging 6. Excellence 7. People-centered 8. Effective 9. Efficient 10. Environmental Protection 11. Makatao 12, Makadiyos 13. Makakalikasan 14. Makabansa

Scope of Rural Development


The scope of rural development is very broad as it encompasses the totality of human life such as: 1. Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and Natural Resources Management 2. Micro, Small and Medium Scale Industries 3. Irrigation Development

9 4. Domestic Water Resource Development 5. Power and Energy Utilization 6. Educational Programs and Services 7. Health Programs and Services 8. Credit and Financing Institutions 9. Nutrition Programs and Services 10. Human Rights 11. Religious and Spiritual Development 12. Sports and Recreation 13. Tourism Development 14. Environmental Protection 15. Forest Management 16. Trading and Marketing 17. Local Governance 18. Cooperative Development 19. Values Development 20. Infrastructure Development 21. Agrarian Reform

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