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 NGOs, 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.
Esbern Friis-Hansen is a Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark
Janki Andharia is a Professor and Dean at the Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India
Godfrey Suubi is a Socio-Economist at the National Agricultural Research Organisation, Uganda