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Organizational Capability of Local Societies in Rural Development: A Comparative Study of Microfinance Organizations in Thailand and the Philippines

Discussion Papers


by SHIGETOMI Shinichi
February 2006


The importance of organizing local people for development work is widely recognized. Both governmental and non-governmental agencies have implemented various projects that have needed and encouraged collective action by people. Often, however, such projects malfunction after the outside agencies retreat from the project site, suggesting that making organizations is not the same as making a system of making organizations. The latter is essential to make rural organizations self-reliant and sustainable. This paper assumes that such a system exists in local societies and focuses on the capacity of local societies for creating and managing organizations for development. It reveals that (1) such capability differs according to the locality, (2) the difference depends on the structure of the organizations that coordinate people's social relations, and (3) the local administrative bodies define, at least partly, the organizational capability of local societies. We compare two rural societies, one in Thailand and the other in the Philippines, which show clear contrasts in both the form of microfinance organizations and the way of making these organizations.

Keywords: local organization, rural society, rural development, Thailand, Philippines,microfinance, local administration
JEL classification: O18, O53, Q00, Z13

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