The role of social capital in agricultural development projects

In this thesis, I show that trust and group participation of households, defined as social capital, has an important role in the evaluation of development initiatives targeting agricultural innovation.

Promovendus dr. FC (Fedes) van Rijn
Promotor EH (Erwin) Bulte
Organisatie Wageningen University, Development Economics, Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS), Wageningen Economic Research

wo 14 mei 2014 13:30 tot 15:00

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen

I empirically investigate these relationships in two types of development initiatives. The first initiative is the implementation of agricultural research through the Integrated Agricultural Research for Development approach implemented in eight countries in Sub Saharan Africa through so-called “Innovation Platforms”. The second type of initiative is implementation of sustainable coffee certification schemes in Vietnam.

Asking respondents whether they think that “most people can generally be trusted” does not yield useful data.
Fédes C. van Rijn

Based on the analysis I draw three conclusions. First, social capital is associated with agricultural innovation. Second, development initiatives can influence social capital. Third, the existing level of social capital is associated with the success of development interventions. However, the effect was not necessarily positive and depends greatly on the dimension of social capital. These conclusions are important for the increasing number of policies, programs and project that include beneficiaries in the design, management and decision making process.

Women can break through the glass ceiling more easily when they stop understating their qualities.
Fédes C. van Rijn