Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The concept of rural developme...
 Political and administrative...
 Productivity and welfare issue...
 Social scientists and rural...
 Research methods
 Institutional affiliations...
 Rural social science research in...
 Summaries : Agency papers
 Summaries: Resource papers
 Notes: Background papers

Group Title: Rockefeller Foundation : working papers
Title: Role of the social sciences in rural development
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Title: Role of the social sciences in rural development
Series Title: Rockefeller Foundation : working papers
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Rockerfeller Foundation
Publisher: Rockerfeller Foundation
Publication Date: 1976
Subject: Farming   ( lcsh )
Agriculture   ( lcsh )
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
    The concept of rural development
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Political and administrative considerations
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Productivity and welfare issues
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Social scientists and rural developers
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    Research methods
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Institutional affiliations of researchers
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Rural social science research in the less developed countries
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Summaries : Agency papers
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    Summaries: Resource papers
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    Notes: Background papers
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
Full Text
2S5 cO)








A Conference held at The Rockefeller Foundation, April 29-30, 1975

The Rockefeller Foundation

January 1976

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Main entry under title:

The Role of social sciences in rural development.

(The Rockefeller Foundation Working Papers)
Summaries of the discussions and papers from the
Conference on Social Science Research on Rural De-
velopment, held Apr. 29-30, 1975 at the Rockefeller
1. Underdeveloped areas--Economic policy--Con-
gresses. 2. Community development--Congresses.
3. Rehabilitation, Rural--Congresses. 4. Economic
assistance--Congresses. 5. Technical assistance--
Congresses. I. Conference on Social Science Re-
search on Rural Development, Rockefeller Foundation,
1975. II. Series: Rockefeller Foundation. Work-
ing papers The Rockefeller Foundation.
HC59.7.R59 338.91 75-40025

Published in January 1976 by The Rockefeller Foundation

Printed in the United States of America



Preface.............................................. xiii

The Concept of Rural Development .........................1

Political and Administrative Considerations...............4

Productivity and Welfare Issues............................ 8

Social Scientists and Rural Developers...................13

Research Methods ....................................... 17

Institutional Affiliations of Researchers................21

Rural Social Science Research in the Less
Developed Countries................................. 26

Summaries: Agency Papers.................................31

Summaries: Resource Papers............................... 40

Notes: Background Papers................................ 52

Agenda ............ ...................................... 55



122 Bank Street
Ottawa, Canada KlA OG4

Via delle Terme de Caracalla
00100 Roma, Italy

320 East 43rd Street
New York, New York 10017

808 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20577

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20433

P. O. Box 8500
Ottawa, Canada KlG 3H9

CH 1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland

Eland House
Stag Place
London SW1 England

lino Building 1-1
Uchisaiwaicho 2-Chome
Tokyo 100, Japan

1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

866 United Nations Plaza
New York, New York 10017

866 United Nations Plaza
New York, New York 10017

320 Twenty-First Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20523


ALMY, Susan W.
Program Associate
Social Sciences
The Rockefeller Foundation
1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

BELL, David E.
Vice President
International Division
The Ford Foundation
320 East 43rd Street
New York, New York 10017

BLACK, Joseph E.
Social Sciences
The Rockefeller Foundation
1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

Policy Analysis Division
The Canadian International Development Agency
122 Bank Street
Ottawa, Canada KlA OG4

CARROLL, Thomas S.
Economic and Social Development Department
The Inter-American Development Bank
808 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20577

COSTA, Emile
Rural and Urban Employment Policies Branch
Employment and Development Department
International Labour Office
CH 1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland

CUMMINGS, Ralph W., Jr.
Agricultural Economist
The Rockefeller Foundation
1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

Deputy Director
Social Sciences
The Rockefeller Foundation
1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

Division Chief
Economics and Sector Planning
Agricultural Office
Bureau for Technical Assistance
The United States Agency for International Development
320 Twenty-First Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20523

FRIEDMANN, Santiago I.
(Project Specialist, the Ford Foundation)
Department of Agricultural Economics
Universidad Nacional de Agricultura
Chapingo, Texcoco, Mexico

Program Secretary
Social Sciences
The Rockefeller Foundation
1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

GREEN, James
Consultant to the Assistant Administrator
Bureau for Technical Assistance
The United States Agency for International Development
320 Twenty-First Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20523

Development Economics Department
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20433

HANNA, Larry
Social Sciences and Human Services Division
The International Development Research Centre
P. O. Box 8500
Ottawa, Canada KIG 3H9


HARDIN, Lowell S.
Program Officer
International Division
The Ford Foundation
320 East 43rd Street
New York, New York 10017

HAVORD, Gordon
Technical Advisory Division
United Nations Development Programme
866 United Nations Plaza
New York, New York 10017

Programme Director
Overseas Development Institute
10-11 Percy Street
London W1P OJB England

KOTTER, Herbert
Human Resources Institute
Agrarian Reform Division
Food and Agriculture Organization
Via delle Terme de Caracalla
00100 Roma, Italy

Division Chief
Employment and Rural Development
Development Economics Department
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20433

LELE, Uma J.
East Africa Project
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20433

Research Economist
Office of Policy Development Analysis
Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination
The United States Agency for International Development
320 Twenty-First Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20533

MOORE, Lawrence
Technical Adviser
Social Development Division
United Nations
866 United Nations Plaza
New York, New York 10017

OLAYIDE, Samuel 0.
Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
Resources Management and Veterinary Science
The University of Ibadan
Ibadan, Nigeria

OSHIMA, Harry T.
(Representative of the Rockefeller Foundation)
Department of Economics
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City
The Philippines

RUTTAN, Vernon W.
The Agricultural Development Council
630 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10020

SILVER, Kalman H.
Program Adviser
The Ford Foundation
320 East 43rd Street
New York, New York 10017

Agricultural Economics and Management Adviser
Natural Resources Advisory Group
Overseas Development Ministry
Eland House
Stag Place
London SW1 England

SUTTON, Francis X.
Deputy Vice President
International Division
The Ford Foundation
320 East 43rd Street
New York, New York 10017

Deputy Director
Economic Research and Technical Appraisal Department
Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund
lino Building 1-1
Uchisaiwaicho 2-Chome
Tokyo 100 Japan

WEBER, Edward J.
Program Officer
Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Sciences
The International Development Research Centre
P. O. Box 8500
Ottawa, Canada KlG 3H9

WEN, Gerald
Institutional Development and Popular Participation Section
Social Development Division
United Nations Secretariat
866 United Nations Plaza
New York, New York 10017

WORTMAN, Sterling
Vice President
The Rockefeller Foundation
1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

YUDELMAN, Montague
Agriculture and Rural Development
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20433

Social Sciences and Human Services
The International Development Research Centre
P. O. Box 8500
Ottawa, Canada K1G 3H9


At the end of the 1974 Bellagio Conference on the Social

Sciences and Development, it was agreed that four further con-

ferences should be held to allow the exchange of more specific

information on past and potential research in the fields of

population, employment and income distribution, rural develop-

ment, and education in the developing countries. The first

three conferences have been convened at the Ford Foundation,

the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and

the Rockefeller Foundation respectively.1 This working paper

reports the proceedings and papers generated by the rural de-

velopment conference, hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation on

April 29-30, 1975.

As specified at the opening of the conference by Mr. Black,

the objective of the meeting was to provide a forum for informal

discussion among development funding agency representatives and

selected researchers on social science research priorities and

gaps in rural development, the present status of funding, training,

and manpower for research, and possible points of collaboration

1Reports are available for the February 1974 Bellagio conference
(The Social Sciences and Development, from the IBRD) and the
October 1974 Ford conference (Social Science Research on Popu-
lation and Development, from the Ford Foundation). The final
conference on education at the International Development Re-
search Centre was scheduled for October 27-28, 1975.


among agencies. The thirty-two participants came from six in-

ternational agencies, five national ones, two foundations, two

research institutes, and four universities; from Canada, Italy,

Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Switzerland, the United

Kingdom, and the United States. The majority were social scien-

tists in economics, anthropology, sociology, and political sci-

ence. Their concerns ranged from the immediately operational to

the purely theoretical.

The agenda and summaries of the conference papers are ap-

pended to this report. Recent social science analyses of the

rural development and research processes were assembled as back-

ground papers; nine researchers and twelve agencies prepared

analyses or descriptions of the process or use of rural social

science research in their institution or region. The conference

itself was not taped and what follows, unless in quotations, are

not the participants' actual words but a summarization of discus-

sions and papers. As the agenda was only loosely followed, most

topics covered in this report represent the summation of argu-

ments made at various times during the two days. The discussion

is arranged around the conceptualization of rural development

goals and processes, the influence df political and administra-

tive structures and policies on rural development research and

operational projects, research areas pertinent to productivity

and welfare programs, the interrelationships between social


scientists and rural development planners and implementers, re-

search methods, institutional affiliation of researchers, and

research training and coordination in the less developed coun-


December 1975 Susan W. Almy


In the conference guidelines the basic definition of rural

development was given as the process of increasing "welfare and

productivity of lower income rural people both on farms and in

towns." At the conference the participants disputed or modified

this definition in several ways. Mr. Silvert introduced the con-

cept of equity (or equal opportunity) as the major element of

well-being and claimed that societies which had successfully

sought equity for their rural populations (Cuba, Israel, China,

and the post-colonial United States) had raised agricultural pro-

ductivity as an unintended consequence, implying that direct gov-

ernmental attention to productivity was unnecessary or at least

inadequate. Mr. Stutley, at the opposite extreme, used the fam-

ine-stricken least developed countries to argue that concern with

equity or well-being beyond sheer survival is a luxury which de-

velopment agencies should not attempt until productivity programs

are well in hand. Mr. Wen objected that productivity increases

frequently did not result in welfare or consumption increases in

the rural areas and said that both goals should be pursued at once.

Mr. Silvert defined development as the "expansion of control

over social and physical environments," that is, greater organiza-

tional control. This increasing organization is manifested either

vertically or horizontally (Ford Foundation paper), through sec-

toral product- or service-oriented programs, such as agriculture

and health, or through an integration of several activities per-

formed by a single group, such as multi-purpose cooperatives or

district and national planning.

Community Development

Mr. Ruttan isolated community organization as the only real-

istic means to rural development. Most countries are not willing

or able spontaneously to provide adequate resources to the rural

poor for the initiation of self-sustained growth, so local organi-

zation, to obtain higher level resources and make the best use of

extant ones, must be the focus of development agency and researcher


Preference for productive or equity/welfare goals in rural

development was not tied to the explanations given for previous

failures of rural development models. There were frequent refer-

ences to the failure of the "community development" programs of

the 1950's and 1960's to provide all that had been expected of

them. Ms. Lele, Mr. Ruttan, and Mr. Carroll felt that the com-

munity development village workers (while they may have achieved

some progress toward creating local cooperative groups) had been

stranded with little or no access to technical knowledge or mate-

rials, nor (added Mr. Ruttan) to the knowledge or authority neces-

sary to create a new community institutional structure to better

use what they had. Mr. Bell explained.the failure in terms of

the lack of basic agricultural technology to improve productivity

and resources in tropical countries, technology which has since

been created. But Mr. Stutley and Mr. Green attributed the dis-

enchantment with community development to institutional factors:

bureaucratic interdepartmental jealousies (Mr. Stutley) and a

lack of understanding and anticipation of the power and acquisi-

tiveness of community elites as well as the failure to understand

and utilize existing rural social systems rather than imposing

other culturally non-congruent forms of development organization

(Mr. Green).

The Cyclical Model

Mr. Bell advanced a cyclical model of rural development pro-

grams. In the horizontal-coordination phase (e.g., community devel-

opment) developers transform or create institutions to integrate

the new technologies to traditional rural resources. This is fol-

lowed by a realization, from community-level observation, of new

technological problems caused or accentuated by the changes intro-

duced. A phase of sectoral technically oriented research programs

results in a breakthrough (e.g., the Green Revolution) and the

developers return their attention to the institutional restraints

on change. He called for the support, analysis, and dissemination

of a wide variety of public and private, large and small experi-

ments in rural development to speed up the development of effective

theory and methodology in transforming rural areas.


The conference participants agreed that a sine qua non of

the rural development process was institutional restructuring on

the local, regional, and national levels. (Although no one spe-

cifically mentioned the need for international restructuring,

several agencies pointed with pride to their recent policy changes

aimed to increase the flow of resources to the rural poor.)

Issues of Ethics

There was argument over the potential for successful rural

development in nations ruled by urban elites and over the moral-

ity or efficiency of expending resources in them. Mr. Carroll

divided national governments into those with strong, weak or spor-

adic, and no commitment to rural development, the level of which

commitment directly affected what could be done by outside lending

or granting agencies. Mr. Black and Mr. Moore took the pessimis-

tic but realistic position that in almost all countries the power

is urban-based and rural development receives only lip service;

politicians have a strong stake in making rural development sound

good but cost little. Mr. Wen and Mr. Ruttan commented on this

dilemma. Mr. Wen felt that very little could be done for rural

improvement without basic changes in agrarian structure and a

political commitment from the top (as in China and Taiwan), while

Mr. Ruttan urged extra-governmental and extra-national attention

to political and economic development at the local level so as to

bring a gradual shift in power from below.

Somewhat parallel concern was felt about the productivity

or morality of doing or funding rural research in countries with

no concern for rural development or with rigidly elitist govern-

ments. No one seemed willing to dismiss all possibility of such

research out of hand. Several agencies viewed research in urban-

elitist nations as "risk capital" expenditures which might pay

off by giving the country a head start in planning if the public

policy was revised. Mr. Silvert made a distinction between for-

eign-sponsored research to increase local-level resources to pro-

mote governmental overthrows (unethical) and research to increase

such resources to promote self-government (ethical).

The Need for Decentralization

Since governments are not likely to send massive resources

into the rural areas, development planning should be decentralized

to the local level where private or communal resources exist (Mr.

Ruttan). The participants agreed that decentralization of power

to lowest effective levels and respect for lower level desires

in the allocation of resources were important for efficient de-

velopment in the rural areas, as well as for equity. Ms. Lele

pointed out that variations in needs and resources across communi-

ties and regions were extreme; when in parts of Kenya where social

service provision was left primarily to local self-help groups it

led to a great deal of local resource mobilization. In contrast,

the Tanzanian attempt to make such provision through national-

level initiative did not always have a similar result. Mr. Olayide

and Mr. Green maintained that the best way to integrate develop-

ment programs was to assume that the rural community was itself

integrated and to plan government programs to fit local needs.

Mr. Green added that, on the international level as well, assis-

tance agencies should make an effort to respond to national re-

quests and fit into national plans rather than devise their

own programs in detail.

Pitfalls of Bureaucracies

Bureaucracy was seen as a major stumbling block. Mr. Fried-

mann suggested (in his paper, p. 12) that one should "study the

motivations of the staff and the rules and procedures of the in-

stitutions surrounding the rural communities trying to find there

reasons for the failure or weaknesses of rural development pro-

grams instead of seeking such reasons solely in the 'traditional'

rural culture."

Mr. Hunter pointed to the difficulty of creating and main-

taining incentives to serve rural development ends in bureaucra-

cies, beyond the limited areas and times served by pilot projects.

China overcame this, but for how long? Mr. Black wanted research

to be done on the possibility of transfer of successful patterns

such as China's to other societies and political structures. Mr.

Green suggested that local decision-making might be enhanced by

training project managers and supervisors in data collection and

analysis, interspersing short courses by social scientists

imported from national/international centers with application

of their learning to the needs of their projects.

The Role of Research

Recommendations for research direction were forbiddingly

general. Mr. Olayide maintained that localized economic, poli-

tical, social, and cultural data were necessary even before

planning began, to decide on the most efficient planning unit,

as well as for the general tailoring of programs to local re-

sources and attitudes. Institutional research was felt to be

unrealistic unless it included some attention to all levels of

influence on the unit of study, from individual conflicts of in-

terest to the international political economy.

Mr. Stutley pointed out that research on the planning pro-

cess inevitably involved publicizing the differences between

governmental ministries' words and actions, since no plan or

principle is ever executed in full. Governments and individual

bureaucrats seek to avoid such embarrassments by making planning

research politically difficult to fund or execute. Mr. Carroll,

Mr. Stutley, and Ms. Lele all mentioned the restraints and re-

visions that had to go into publication of any such research.

Because of such revision, the more important lessons learned

from the study are not passed on to the international community

and other governments and departments cannot benefit from it.

A methodological point was made by Mr. Silvert, who stated

that systems analysis deals only with single, internally coherent

systems, while rural development usually occurs through the re-

conciliation of competing different systems (landlords and small-

holders, traders and farmers). Thus most systems models are an

adequate framework. (Conflict theory was not discussed.)


Are increased productivity and welfare complementary? Which

should be attempted first, and which is the final goal? Ms. Za-

gorin argued that welfare programs (education, health, law, local

organization, transportation, and communications) should be plan-

ned only in relation to their contribution to the "general goal of

rural development," presumably rural economic growth and distri-

bution. Ms. Lele argued that, given the scarcity of resources,

the researcher or planner can find an adequate framework for con-

sideration of social services through its contribution to pro-

ductivity. The relationship wherein productivity is taken to be

subordinate to social services can work to the detriment of over-

all development and thus ultimately to services as well, as seemed

to have been the case for a time in Tanzania. Mr. Wen felt that

they should be pursued independently but simultaneously, while

Mr. Silvert argued that increased productivity would arise out

of equity and service provisions, which would encourage the local

community and the individual to organize his own economy to best



Regarding productivity, discussion brought an increasing

consensus (summarized by Mr. Bell) that agriculture was not and

could not be the sole basis for a viable rural economy, and could

not always be assumed to be the most important basis. Rural non-

agricultural employment such as in the kibbutz and commune have

to be developed integrally with agricultural production to avoid

urban overcrowding (Mr. K8tter). But, Mr. Kbtter added, this

creates problems for our present ideal models of the national

economic system: if rural regions are developed toward a type

of self-sufficiency how are they to be integrated into the nation?

Mr. Hunter pointed out that income maximization might not fit with

food self-sufficiency for the small farmer. In many places cash

crops such as coffee provide greater returns than food crops, and

replace food cultivation as the area develops. Mr. Leiserson sug-

gested that under current IBRD policies they would be likely to

support efforts favoring rural income rather than strict food in-


Social scientists have already contributed much useful work

in these fields. The most political contribution has been in in-

come distribution analysis (land reform, taxation, etc.), and thus

has been difficult to have applied by governments once completed

(Mr. Weber). Groups like David Norman's Rural Economic Research

Unit in Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, have successfully turned

market- and farm-level research to use for design of biological

research goals appropriate to the country's needs and resources

(Mr. Hardin). Others have looked at the distribution of expen-

diture at various income levels and in different cultures; Mr.

Oshima gave as a recent example Simon Kuznets' recent work on
life-cycle effects on consumption, later published by CAMS.

Rural Employment

The International Labour Office is now engaged in a research

program on rural employment which promotes interest in the topic

among planners in developing countries. Three regional surveys

have already been undertaken on the status of rural employment

research and institutions in Latin America, Africa, and Asia,

and twelve country studies by joint ILO/local research teams on

the effects of employment and rural development policies on rural

employment and income generation. Specific studies are now under-

way on the relationships of employment to mechanization, rural in-

dustrialization, rural-urban migration, rural institutions, and

land settlement. Three regional workshops will be organized to

submit the findings of this research to national planners so that

they can take them into account when designing national policies

for rural development and rural employment promotion. This has

S. Kuznets, "Demographic Components in Size Distributions of In-
come" in Income Distribution, Employment and Economic Development
in Southeast and East Asia (Papers and Proceedings of The Seminar,
sponsored jointly by The Japan Economic Research Center and The
Council for Asian Manpower Studies, December 16-20, 1974) publish-
ed July 1975 by the JERC of Tokyo and CAMS of Manila.

been found to be the best way of injecting social science results

into practical policy (Mr. Costa).

Mr. Olayide criticized the limitation of the ILO rural employ-

ment survey in Nigeria to suburbs of large cities. He felt that

such work should be based on study of the total local farm level

organization for production and consumption, such as is going on

in several university research programs in Nigeria.

Standards for Development

The Food and Agriculture Organization is planning a group of

case studies on the general status of agriculture in sub-national

regions, to cover all socioeconomic and technical elements and

the national and international influences on the regions. This

will be implemented by local research institutes with social and

biological scientists working together. They hope to derive gen-

eralizable agricultural planning principles from the common frame-

work (Mr. Kotter).

Harking back to the institutional discussions, Mr. Weber

hypothesized that the removal of power constraints might often

increase production more than any application of new technologies.

Social scientists, if they can derive mechanisms to end large

farmer dominance over small and small farmer isolation from the

larger society's resources, will have a great deal to offer to

increase aggregate production.

Mr. Silvert was interested in institutional changes from

the consumption side. Service organizations such as schools and

road systems can be used to encourage either sameness or diversity,

participation or exclusion from the wider society, and more clari-

fication is needed of the relationships between their structure and

those societal views.

Mr. Gulhati and Mr. Carroll called for more research on ac-

ceptable minimums. Mr. Gulhati said that present international

standards of health care, education, and the like were irrelevant

to rural needs and too costly to be provided to all localities by

a central government. Mr. Carroll thought a better understanding

of minimum acceptable income levels in various countries and re-

gions would assist in the setting of targets and projects for eco-

nomic development efforts.

The highest research priority for many was micro-level stud-

ies on the amount, variation, and sources of rural agricultural

and non-agricultural income. Small farmer income usually includes

a number of hard-to-cost welfare components and food and crafts

produced and consumed at home, as well as cash income from many

sources, and is very difficult to measure. But planning based on

present estimates of local resources will remain haphazard until

the funds are expended to gather and analyze such data and, hope-

fully, to create the methodology to gather it more efficiently.

Other priorities mentioned were for the development of models

of institutional modifications to permit greater rural control of

land, markets, and agricultural infrastructure and thus achieve ac-

ceptable levels of growth along with decent income distribution

(Mr. Carroll); for theory on the optimum balance of urban and

rural economic growth (Mr. Costa); for predictive research on

the numbers of individuals or communities likely to adopt a pro-

gram innovation to allow costing of service programs by planning

bodies like IBRD's (Mr. Yudelman); for research on the local mod-

ifications required in a package of innovations to promote maximum

adoption in a region (Mr. Friedmann), including sociocultural tail-

oring of innovations (Mr. Olayide); for detailed rural production

studies on size-scale relationships, agricultural labor bottle-

necks, supply structures and inventories, income levels, and stan-

dards of living (Mr. Olayide); for studies on the optimal organi-

zation of infrastructural services, their balance between country

and city, and the roles and forms of cooperative, private, and

public service organizations (Mr. Olayide); and for research on

the effects of literacy, health, etc., on production (Ms. Lele).


Theoretical framework, methods, and location of social scien-

tists with respect to rural planning and operating agencies were

much discussed. Mr. Friedmann pointed out that the social sciences

developed in an urban-industrial environment, and cannot be expected

3Although this is not true for anthropology, the researchers them-
selves frequently came from an urbanized background. Much of rural
sociology and agricultural economics developed in isolation from
their corresponding urban disciplines in response to agricultural
school needs (Ed.).

to produce theory and methodology adequate to rural needs without

considerable modification. However, he considered that a strong

base of trained national social scientists was a necessary pre-

condition to the development of applied rural studies. Mr. Oshima

and Mr. Sutton both stated that broad rural development programs

would fail without the data and analytic support of a good local

social science community.

Mr. Silvert, in his paper, argued that "prediction may not

be what should be expected of the social sciences. Instead, ade-

quate diagnosis with a comparative referent should be the desired

outcome" (p. 4). This is because the social sciences, while in-

creasingly rigorous and replicable in their methods, have not

produced a dominant theory of social change. Ms. Almy, in her

paper, pointed out that the dominant theory of economic change

in the West has suffered recent blows from the political-cultural

upheavals symbolized by the OPEC actions, and economists may have

to learn.to deal with the same lack of structure (p. 7). Mr. Sil-

vert went on to define the task of social science research as the

debunking of myths and the definition of solvable problems. Mr.

Ruttan added that research provides an inexpensive substitute for

trial-and-error learning by identifying and publicizing the reasons

for the failures and successes of previous development attempts.

But Mr. Carroll and Mr. Hardin still stressed the need to develop

true theory.

The Problems of the Social Scientist

Psychological difficulties were noted on both sides in the

attempt to use social scientists in development programs. The

academically motivated social scientists tend to select problems

and solutions that fit into their own research designs, and these

are seldom useful to national or agency policy (Mr. Carroll).4

For example, economic research is often underutilized by people

making operational decisions because it is too tied to the dis-

cipline's theories and pays insufficient attention to institu-

tional problems. Mr. Olayide said that researchers who did frame

their research in terms of national goals could not get published

in academic journals and thus earn university promotion. Mr.

Hunter said that researchers who simplified and generalized their

results to make them useful to policymakers earned only contempt

from their academic colleagues. Perhaps reflecting this dilemma,

social scientists are said to communicate their results badly to

agencies, even when they are employed by them (Mr. Gulhati, on

IBRD economists in the research branch). On the other side,

since a major role of social scientists in evaluation projects

and planning research is to demonstrate to the governments the

contradictions between their actions and declared policies, govern-

ment officials tend to resist and resent researchers (Mr. Stutley).

"Academics will always be standoffish and we will have to learn
to live with it," remarked Mr. Bell after a prolonged session
of complaints.

Other more maneuverable problems enter into the use of so-

cial science in rural development programs. Social scientists

are frequently called in by agencies either for remote planning

exercises far from the local scene and necessary data, or for

post hoc evaluation. Post hoc evaluators have the unenviable

choice of doing a whitewash or including analysis of failures

(which all projects will have in part) and earning censure from

the project staff for exposing them to their superiors. Mr. Hunt-

er claimed that anthropologists and geographers had been most

frequently forced into this position, usually without sufficient

prior experience of governmental agencies to be able to tell what

sort of criticism would be acceptable and influential in future

plans.5 Mr. Hardin criticized social scientists for avoiding in-

volvement in the difficult processes of program design and imple-

mentation while blaming the technical scientists for the mistakes

they make in risking such work. But Mr. Friedmann blamed the

managers.of the program frequently technical scientists who

first select and design projects and then invite social scien-

tists to justify their decisions. This practice alienates the

best social science researchers from applied work. There was

5Mr. K8tter, a sociologist, claimed that sociologists and related
social scientists get on better with technical scientists (agrono-
mists, etc.) than do pure economists; this was not followed up.

6He added that this was exacerbated for non-economists, who
usually are brought in by the economists and are requested
to contribute their skills within a conceptual framework and

obvious disagreement among the conference participants as to

whether the social scientists or the program operators and plan-

ners should receive the greater blame for the lack of utiliza-

tion of social science in design and implementation.

Mr. Havord commented that present social science research

seldom goes beyond the description of events to specify causes

or to prescribe mechanisms for change. Mr. Moore blamed this on

the lack of sufficient research staff in action programs.

Ms. Lele pointed out that research on major structural prob-

lems (land tenure, bureaucratic structure, etc.) was not easily

linked to national goals. Usually the government is not inter-

ested in radical reform, and would not approve of research that

might encourage it. But if convinced of the desirability of rad-

ical reform, the government usually takes the position of imme-

diate need for reform which frequently makes it impossible to

delay implementation until after design studies have been com-

pleted, and only past studies not tailored to the specific goals

(nor to the present situation) have to be used.


Mr. Hardin specified the steps of the research process as

"evaluation" (description of events), "diagnosis" (identification

of constraints on goal attainment), "prescription" (recommendations

a methodology defined by the economist. (More on this in section
3 of his paper.)

for resource allocation), and "theory" (conceptualization, gener-

alization). Most participants' expectations for dependable theory

were low, although several (Mr. Bell, Mr. Carroll, Mr. Hardin)

said that continuation of attempts to develop such theory was

important. As noted above, "prescription" was regarded as a

valuable but little-practiced activity, while "diagnosis" was

contorted into a post hoc exercise and "evaluation" was normal.

Mr. Green urged that baseline studies always be carried out before,

rather than during, the projects, to allow for the possibility of

drawing definite conclusions about the projects' effect.

Mr. Carroll thought that an important payoff to research

might come from investigation of the indirect or unplanned ele-

ments intruding on a program, which could later be incorporated

into planning (or averted) to increase future success rates. The

Inter-American Development Bank is successfully taking this ap-

proach in a series of interdisciplinary program evaluations (IDB

agency paper).

Topics considered appropriate for operational research cov-

ered a wide range. The Ford Foundation (agency paper) included

pleas for generalist rural research to identify the bottlenecks

to rural development which would bring a high return to interven-

tion, and for more micro-level data collection and analysis (build-

ing on anthropological skills) to feed an understanding of the

changed conditions brought by the new agricultural technologists

into macro-analysis and policy.

The Inter-American Development Bank (agency paper) is inter-

ested in establishing better criteria for project site selection,

minimal local conditions necessary for project success, and more

realistic project targets.

Ms. Lele, in her paper, included as priority research topics

the development of a model of the complementarities and sequencing

of sectoral activities requiring minimal data and simple analysis,

as well as descriptive diagnostic pre-studies and built-in moni-

toring of projects, comparative post hoc research on the economic,

technical, and administrative factors affecting objectives within

projects and localities, and analysis of the totality of govern-

ment policies to detect indirect influences on rural development.

Beyond Economics

The range of disciplines needed to adequately man a research

unit within an operational program was discussed but not settled.

The USAID agency paper best summarizes the discussion during the


Abstracting from problems of management and cost, it
may be desirable to assemble a research team to plan
a project for integrated rural development that in-
corporates the disciplines of anthropology, economics,
geography, political science, public health, and soci-
ology; with a depth of functional expertise in the
fields of agriculture, credit, demography, education,
ecology, industrialization, labor, macro-economic poli-
cy, marketing, natural resources, nutrition, political
organizations, public administration, public finance,
public health, social organization, and international
trade. Perhaps the most that can be said, a prior, is
that the planning of a rural development project will
suffer without a strong input from non-economists (p. 9).

The Ford Foundation agency paper prescribed a pre-study by

a team including social anthropology, economics, agriculture, nu-

trition, and perhaps others; an interim monitoring-and-feedback

team composed of a subset of these; and a return to full strength

for final evaluation (p. 13).

Drawbacks to Formal Methods

Most participants agreed with Mr. Cummings' statement that

formal questionnaire surveys and other traditional academic meth-

ods of data collection and analysis are often too expensive in

time and money for research units designed to influence on-going

programs. Mr. Cummings also warned that only studies which had

been carefully thought out in advance could achieve prescription

as well as description. In the Plan Puebla (Mexico) the major

evaluation surveys took too long to analyze and were too descrip-

tive in nature to provide information to the project staff which

would lead to revision. Two rapid and less accurate surveys on

service organizations and fertilizer distribution and a method

for indirect estimates of maize yields were more useful in this

respect (Mr. Cummings' paper, pp. 19-20).

Rapid-research methods were frequently referred to. Mr.

Davidson said that rapid-survey techniques should be used simul-

taneously with broader, lengthier, and presumably more accurate

research. Mr. Oshima wondered if national census bureaus could

be altered to collect data more pertinent to local development

needs, and proposed pilot projects to investigate and demonstrate

utilities of collecting various data in this fashion. Mr. K8tter

wished to train villagers to collect data for project staff and

to develop simple evaluation techniques and train non-scientist

project staff in them. Mr. Leiserson hoped to approach the ques-

tion analytically, by deriving the minimal data necessary to de-

sign and monitor different types of projects. Mr. Green suggested

that there was enough unpublished experience with rapid-survey

techniques, invented to fit immediate needs in different parts of

the world, to provide ample material for a conference and book

that would both publicize the techniques and award their design-

ers the recognition denied by the academic world.


The participants seemed to be in agreement that evaluation

procedures should be built into the implementation stage of

rural development projects, to allow for the revision of the plans

in mid-stream. There was little definition of the circumstances

under which the evaluation staff would be distinct from the oper-

ational or would be composed of social scientists, but everyone

seemed to anticipate at least some occasions when this would be


7The Research and Training Network of the Agricultural Develop-
ment Council dealt with this topic in three regional conferences
(Rural Data Seminars) in 1974-75, and is now editing the results
for publication late in the year. Unfortunately this did not
come up at the present conference (Ed.).

Mr. Moore referred to the efforts of the United Nations'

Secretariat's Social Development Division to devise and test a

methodology to measure social progress for continuing program

feedback on the national level. The measure, first developed

for a Venezuelan agrarian reform project, has been revised and

applied in Brazil, Panama, and Honduras. He commented that gov-

ernments may eagerly adopt an evaluation procedure at the start

and then refuse to implement its recommendations because they

seem too troublesome or expensive; thus the evaluation of evalu-

ation cannot be done until several years after the evaluation


Mr. Carroll discussed the joint IBRD/IDB efforts to build

an on-going evaluation component into the billion-dollar Mexican

integrated rural development program; Mexico is interested in

such an in-house unit but is reluctant to set up a potentially

openly critical unit over which the international agencies would

have partial control.

Mr. Wen felt that social scientists could make a viable con-

tribution in evaluation by paying closer attention to governmen-

tal objectives and resource limitations in their recommendations.

Mr. Davidson added that this positive contribution was more like-

ly to come from local researchers than from foreign ones.

Mr. Friedmann asserted that social scientists would not take

the trouble to produce recommendations for needed structural

changes in project organization unless they were given some

control and responsibility in the project. Several others Mr.

Stutley, Mr. Cummings (in his paper), and Mr. Bell also called

for the full integration of operational staff with social and

technical scientists in all stages of experimental projects. But

Mr. Ruttan voiced a doubt that expensive social science profes-

sionals would be better used in local-level projects than in re-

vision of the regional and national bureaucracies that administer

and warp the instructions of the national planning board.

Social scientists in planning positions within agencies were

referred to only briefly. Mr. Leiserson mentioned that the IBRD

economists (especially through the work resulting in Redistribu-

tion With Growth ) were influential in the Bank's decision to at-

tack rural poverty on a multi-sectoral (integrated) front rather

than only through sectoral programs on credit, irrigation, etc.

The African rural development study was designed after careful

identification of the problems which were most urgently faced by

the operational staff of the IBRD, and as a consequence the recom-

mendations of the study have had a great deal of impact in the Bank.

The Inter-American Development Bank (agency paper) has carried

out five interdisciplinary evaluation studies on their agricultural

loan programs, using both in-house staff and consultants. The

studies have been valuable in revealing failures and occasionally

Hollis Chenery et al., A Sussex Institute of Development Studies/
IBRD joint report, London: Oxford University Press, 1974.

in pinpointing remediable problems, but often indicated institu-

tional weaknesses at the national level that the IDB is powerless

to affect. Their continuing studies have therefore been modified

to aim at specification of reasonable targets and minimal condi-

tions which must obtain in the country or region to allow an ac-

ceptable probability of success (Mr. Carroll).

Academic Affiliations

It was expected that the majority of social scientists would

remain in academia. Mr. Carroll felt that government-employed

scientists are too much hampered by censorship of research designs

and results, but that research done totally separate from the

action agency lacks realism, applicability to rural development

needs, and often is not put to use. Mr. Sutton said that the best

location of the researcher (in academia, government, or research

institute) was dependent on the problem and the country and should

be decided by the local representative of the assistance agency.

Although it was little mentioned in the conference, combina-

tion research and operational institutes were discussed by four

of the participants in their papers. Mr. Friedmann argued for a

participatory role for the social scientist in rural development

programs, pointing out its importance for the education of the

social scientist and the development of program staff and bene-

ficiaries (pp. 12-14). Mr. Olayide advocated a joint research

effort by socioeconomic and agricultural research institutes and

university extension services (p. 27), arguing from the Nigerian

system of operation of state extension services through the uni-

versities, with the extension agents taught and supervised by

faculty researchers. Mr. Oshima acclaimed the similar model de-

veloped by the International Institute for Rural Reconstruction,

in which a group of social and technical researcher-teachers back-

stop a network of multi-purpose village extension workers, who

collect data as well as operate projects. The optimal model, he

proposed, would also include a policy-oriented theoretical re-

search component (pp. 33-35). Ms. Almy pointed out that applied

research institutes often had trouble retaining good staff because

of the greater security and prestige of the university teaching

positions, and suggested combining the status of graduate degree

teaching of applied researchers with supplementary training for

project field staff and applied research in a single development


When social scientists are outside government or agency em-

ployment, the benefit of their research is often lost to the non-

academic world. Mr. Costa, as noted earlier in the section on

productivity issues, recommended a series of joint conferences

and invitations to the government planners to help in the design

and supervision of the research. Mr. Friedmann recommended a reg-

ular seminar series at a university or operating agency in which

government officers, field staff, and social and technical scien-

tists would exchange data, problems, analytic methods, and theories.

Mr. Havord said that the United Nations Development Programme had

recently introduced a system of periodic "tripartite reviews," at

which project personnel present and discuss their results, experi-

ences, and difficulties at regular intervals with the national

governments, the intermediary contract agencies, and the UNDP, in

addition to preparing final written reports.


Most of the Third World countries lack large and well trained

social science establishments from which to draw research assis-

tance for development projects or policy design.9 Although every-

one agreed with this and with the need for such assistance, the

lending institutions and some national assistance agencies felt

that the development of such establishments could not be included

within their programs for economic or rural development. Instead

loans or other assistance to universities are made quite separately

to requesting countries, which may or may not try to use the uni-

versities for development ends. Personnel within national assis-

tance agencies do act as liaisons with educational divisions or in-

dependent research institutes, however. Mr. Takase, for instance,

is helping to plan a regional agricultural development research

network for Southeast Asia to be funded by another Japanese agency.10

9The International Labour Office agency paper announced the prepar-
ation of three regional surveys of less developed country research
institutes and independent scholars doing research on rural prob-
lems, to cover topics, gaps, and local research capabilities.

1Different from the rural development administration research net-
work described in Inayatullah's paper (Ed.).

The foundations and research agencies present stressed the need

to develop local research capacity through formal training and

research networks. Ironically, participants from this group were

usually more optimistic about the present capacity of less devel-

oped country researchers to undertake development assistance than

were those from the lending and national assistance agencies.

A History

Mr. Sutton outlined the history of social science involvement

in national development. Rattray, Meek, and other anthropologists

were the first to help administrators on an expert basis, being

called in to assist with changes in land tenure in the West's colo-

nies. After World War II applied anthropologists became identified

with colonialism or imperialism and were excluded (or excluded

'themselves) from administration. At the same time the economists

emerged from a "damned-nuisance category" to a position in which

administrators felt dependent on them. At present there begin to

be enough indigenous researchers to help their governments; fewer

external researchers are likely to be used, unless the present

international agency fad for evaluation requires more social sci-

ence manpower than is available locally. The Ford Foundation is

now drastically reducing its funding of non-local researchers,

and has found that some Third World countries (Iran and Brazil)

are increasing local funding support of social science research.

Mr. Olayide added to this that, because of the Nigerian oil boom

and growing strength of Nigerian academic resources, the Ford

Foundation is decreasing its support there; he commended them for

following this decision with the use of Nigerian scholars to bring

technical assistance to other African countries, through special

conferences and visiting professorships.

Several people contradicted Mr. Sutton's appraisal of ade-

quate indigenous research capability. Mr. Cummings and Mr. Stut-

ley said that good less developed country researchers were heavily

overworked by external agencies, and in danger of neglecting lo-

cally-defined research. Mr. Bell and Mr. Green disagreed with

this danger, saying that the better researchers were sophisticated

enough to weigh the various requests and refuse those not fitting

into their interests and time allocation. Mr. Gulhati and Mr.

Leiserson stated that the IBRD does not use local researchers for

topics likely to get them into trouble with their governments for

giving unpopular advice, and depended heavily on its own staff

and international consultants for local supervision and work re-

quiring greater methodological and analytic precision.

Training Social Scientists

The training of social scientists has lagged behind that of

technical scientists in the developing world (Mr. Havord). Mr.

Ruttan claimed that a research project which did not include a

training component was wasteful, but several people wanted to

modify his statement. Mr. Yudelman was of the opinion that there

might be a trade-off between research and training within a sin-

gle project. Mr. Davidson wanted the agencies to help establish

social scientists outside the government structure. And Mr. Sil-

vert pointed out that researchers trained in projects which are

not in line with national goals may find their skills useless

when the international agency has left.

Coordination of research efforts across countries and insti-

tutions is particularly important where well trained scientists

are few and far between. The networks created for this purpose

range from the multi-sectoral worldwide research clearinghouses

established by the Overseas Development Institute program and un-

der consideration by the Food and Agriculture Organization after

a World Food Conference resolution, through topic-specific infor-

mation exchanges such as Dale Adams' Ohio State University credit

research network, to comparative research programs planned among

,a number of universities within a region (the Committee on Asian

Manpower Studies, the Joint Studies on Latin American Economic

Integration, the Program of Social Research on Population Problems

in Latin America, the 1960's Inter-American Committee on Agricul-

tural Development (land tenure studies), and the Michigan State/

USAID rural employment program in West Africa.)

Mr. Olayide listed network benefits as the development of

local staff capabilities, the appropriate use of expatriate re-

searchers, their relative cheapness (researchers being paid out

of their regular university or institute salaries ), wider

11This does not hold true for Latin American and Asian networks,
because most university salaries in these regions do not pro-
vide adequate recompense for full-time work (Mr. Davidson).

dissemination of results, greater ease of publication, and com-

parative analysis. But he criticized the tendency of some net-

works to restrict flexibility in time and money budgets needed

in case of local accidents and delays, and to center results on

an academic and international level so that scholars failed to

tailor their recommendations to local situations and to urge

them on their governments; he therefore recommended inclusion

of government staff on network boards or teams. Mr. Friedmann

also pointed out that sponsors or initiators of networks fre-

quently try to impose their own research priorities and design

on local researchers without adequate consultation in advance

of full planning. Mr. Sutton added to the list an advantage to

the donor agency of provision of guidance on funding priorities

through comparable research.

On information networks, Ms. Almy's paper pointed to the

danger that the proliferating networks in the same regions on

similar topics would defeat the original purpose of exchange be-

tween institutions and scholars with differing views and experi-

ence. The Ford Foundation grantees and staff in Latin America

working on rural development problems maintain an informal seminar

for information exchange that includes representatives from opera-

tional as well as more academic projects.


The Canadian International Development Agency has establish-

ed a special task force to recommend the most effective CIDA ap-

proach to problems of production increases in the renewable re-

sources sectors, food supplies, and rural development, through

both action and research programs. Most of CIDA's projects in

rural development have so far been sectoralized, i.e., have fo-

cused on one sector of activity such as food production, infra-

structure building, cooperatives, and the provision of social

services. The Agency is now striving to move toward a more "in-

tegrated" approach that combines a number of activities. The

need for extensive programs of applied research is well recognized

by CIDA, together with that of comprehensive analysis of environ-

mental, social, and economic factors as part of project planning.

The Agency employs a number of Canadian social scientists, and

seeks the participation of those from developing countries when-

ever possible. Support for training in Canada is gradually being

replaced by that at the local or third-country level.

The Food and Agriculture Organization, of course, bears di-

rectly on rural development. The Human Resources Institute serves

to carry out short-term research in the social sciences at the

request of member governments, act as analyst and repository of

data collections, and design and carry out long-term topical re-

search. They use their own staff, consultants, and local institutes.

Since 1970 they have coordinated global research on agrarian and

production structures, credit, training, and home economics. The

first of these included fifty country studies, four regional con-

ferences, and one global conference. They are now planning a

series of integrated rural development case studies to work out

policy for action programs of direct assistance to the rural poor.

The Ford Foundation has supported both agricultural sectoral

program development and localized integrated planning and action

programs for twenty-five years. Recently a primary emphasis on

sectoral programs has been complemented by experiments with agri-

cultural technology based coordinating programs at the local level.

Local-level participation and local-power relationships are fre-

quent concerns. Micro-level research, group interaction, and pol-

icy, planning, and management research are critical foci for social

science contributions to rural development. Indigenous researchers,

replicable effects, networks, and feedback into action programs

should be encouraged. The Foundation's social science research

and training grants have been primarily urban or national in ori-

entation, especially in Latin America, but grantees have included

the rural areas in rural-urban comparisons and in land reform re-

search. The bulk of strictly rural research supported has been

agricultural. In several countries they have helped to train

groups of agricultural economists. They prefer structural and

policy analysis to interference in the running of field projects.

Recently there has been a trend to support micro-economic and

anthropological research. Although research-and-training grants

have stressed economists, they have made several to management

science, anthropology, and political science across the Third


The inter-American Development Bank from its inception has

been interested in the alleviation of rural poverty. Sectoral

programs have become more "integrated" in approach and loans

have gone increasingly to cooperatives rather than individuals.

They support some rural social research, both through national

and regional economic planning agencies and through contracts,

on agricultural credit, policy, and other special topics for re-

gional seminars. In-house staff and consultants design projects

and work on occasional operational problems, and are conducting

a series of evaluations of the socioeconomic effects of past loans

in irrigation, land settlement, credit, and marketing. A similar

evaluation study and program design for integrated rural develop-

ment in the Andes was contracted to FAO, and in the 1960's they

supported the land tenure network of the Inter-American Committee

for Agricultural Development. They work through local research

institutes and researchers and a few external consultants.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

emphasizes the eradication of material poverty through productive

income-raising activities, with health, education, water, etc.,

secondary. Integration of projects into present national struc-

tures is an increasingly important factor. Although earlier re-

search attention was given to agricultural and other sectoral

rural economic issues, in the last two years research has been

planned to focus on rural development. They are now preparing

general economic research on modernization of traditional soci-

eties, rural motivations, rural resources, and local adaptation

of agricultural technology. The Development Research Centre in

its research on the analytics of rural change is developing for-

mal models of the rural development process for application in a

variety of socioeconomic circumstances. Work has also been start-

ed on improved methods for the design, monitoring, and evaluation

of rural development projects. They are also engaged in analysis

of FAO census data, and employment, income, and migration data

from several sources.

The International Development Research Centre supports social

science research on development problems affecting rural peoples

through the division of Social Sciences and Human Resources. Pro-

jects include studies of rural-urban relations, including migration

and the impact of national and regional development plans, and re-

search designed to promote the effective administration of devel-

opment programs and analysis of institutional and human capacity

for rural modernization. Most social science projects involve a

working network of less developed country researchers established

to permit collaboration on a regional and global basis. Research

projects are designed by less developed country researchers and

local policymakers and managers. A wide range of social science

disciplines is involved, often within a single project.

The International Labour Office's World Employment Programme

has taken on a specifically rural unit in the last five years.

The amount and causes of rural poverty are little known despite

much theorizing based on strictly localized data. The ILO plans

to collect baseline and continuing data on rural laborers' incomes,

and to stress technical assistance (and back-up research) to re-

vise national policies affecting rural employment rather than lo-

calized pilot projects. Most of their work is done jointly by

ILO staff and local researchers, some by either alone. National

rural manpower and employment surveys have been done in many coun-

tries, as well as research and experimental pilot schemes to study

the impact of rural development programs on employment and migra-

tion. Research is also being completed on a wide variety of

specific factors affecting rural employment.

The Overseas Development Ministry of the United Kingdom, as

an assistance agency, aims at inter-governmental technical and

financial assistance to productivity-oriented projects of local

governments. (Some health- and population-oriented work is done;

most projects are agricultural.) The ODM stresses technical as-

sistance research, such as project preparation and evaluation,

but provides some institutional support to relevant social science

programs in British and some less developed country institutes.

They contract most evaluation work not done by themselves to Brit-

ish academic and commercial consultancy institutions. Their pri-

mary support goes to economists and agricultural scientists but a

significant minority of evaluations are contracted to teams includ-

ing other social scientists.

The Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund of Japan is a govern-

mental lending agency, and as such provides loans and technical

aid to other East Asian governments for development programs. The

OECF carries out its own project-oriented and theoretical research,

the latter building on data collected through the former. One of

their consultants is developing socioeconomic indicators to evalu-

ate social welfare projects. They plan to look simultaneously at

the physical, institutional, and socioeconomic (primarily economic)

factors influencing rural development.

The Rockefeller Foundation provides partial financing and

technical assistance to agricultural- and health-oriented rural

development programs, as well as to a number of university-based

integrated pilot projects and to a few socioeconomic researchers

working on policy- or project-oriented themes in population,

migration, employment, and agriculture. Development-oriented

research is stressed in institutional support to a handful of

less developed country universities and their research institutes.

A few staff agricultural economists are supported in national

small farmer agricultural development programs. Most external

rural social science research support goes to agricultural econ-

omists and to local institutions and researchers, but a small in-

house staff covering a range of disciplines undertakes a continu-

al monitoring of rural development projects.

The United Nations Development Programme funds national, re-

gional, and global technical cooperation projects, in accordance

with the priorities identified in "country programmes" established

with governments. Most of these have an operational rather than a

research orientation, although many include some social research.

Their support of the international agricultural institute network

has included funding of the adoption studies series by institute

economists. Their major rural development socioeconomic research

project has been the 1971-74 global program on the "Social and

Economic Implications of the Large-Scale Introduction of New Va-

rieties of Food Grains," carried out by the UN Research Institute

on Social Development. Most UNDP-financed projects are carried

out for UNDP by specialized agencies of the United Nations.

The United Nations Social Development Division carries out

research on trends in, and approaches to, integrated rural devel-

opment programs, with special emphasis on institutional develop-

ment and popular participation. It also provides advisory ser-

vices, through the United Nations Development Programme, the World

Food Programme, and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF),

to governments in the same topical areas. Major recent concerns

have included the development of a methodology for systematic

monitoring and evaluation of the impact of developmental programs

on the intended beneficiaries and techniques for promotion and

training for popular participation at the national level.

The United States Agency for International Development has

been shifting its attention from sectoral programs to increased

productivity and incomes of the rural poor, and recently to other

aspects contributing to integrated rural development. Of all USAID

research, about one half is proposed jointly by in-house staff and

outsiders, one quarter each by either alone. One half is carried

out by U.S. universities and the rest by other U.S. institutions

or foreign-based contractors. Most projects have included a local

researcher or institution, and they plan to increase this number

in the future; almost all research publications resulting are trans-

lated into the local language. Contracts have been made for col-

lection and analysis of data on policy and planning issues related

to agriculture, rural employment, economic systems, local partici-

pation, and the role of women; studies are planned on adoption,

regional development models, migration, policy complementarities

of production and equity, survey of past rural development research

for usable generalizations, and projects in collaboration with lo-

cal researchers on the rural landless or mini-farmers. Country

project staff carry out evaluations and monitoring, and in re-

cent years they have added an economist and an anthropologist

as permanent evaluation staff to two such programs; they plan to

expand this experiment. Because many of their contracts go to

faculty in universities with less developed country links, the

research often contributes to training.


These papers were prepared on request for the conference.

Complete papers should be solicited from the authors.

Susan W. Almy, "Social Science Research: Contributions to

Planned Rural Development." An anthropologist wrote on non-econ-

omists in rural development agencies. Now that we have moved

back from sectoral programs toward a more integrated ideology

the need for experts on the interrelationships among human spheres

of activity and on the restructuring of human organization is more

urgent. Social scientists have been used primarily for post hoc

evaluation, and should be brought into program design and monitor-

ing. More permanently employed agency social scientists are need-

ed to complement the areas of expertise and ignorance of the aca-

demics and part-time consultants. Difficulties of agencies with

non-economist social scientists include poor identification of

disciplinary specializations, lack of recognition of social sci-

ence inventions as such, and a cultural antipathy to the idea of

professional intervention in social systems, especially their own.

Difficulties of social scientists with agencies include the last-

made point, lack of time to complete investigations to their sat-

isfaction, the need to undertake additional administrative and

political tasks if their recommendations are to receive a serious

hearing, and the comparison with a more secure, leisurely, and

prestigious life in academia potentially open to them. Combination

of accredited graduate training of applied researchers with re-

search contract work and short-term courses for project personnel

in one institute is recommended to provide maximal prestige and

security with development orientation. Permanent career positions

for non-economist social scientists in agencies and establishment

of a single network bulletin to bring together rural development

research and translate it into non-scientific terms for project

and policy staff are also recommended.

Ralph W. Cummings, Jr., "The Puebla Project." An agricultural-

ly-based rural development program outside of Puebla is evaluated

with respect to its social science contribution, considered to be

substantial. The project began in 1967 under CIMMYT auspices and

Rockefeller Foundation funding to experiment with the increase of

small farmer maize yields through new agronomic technology and to

train national leaders in the new methods. The local staff was

composed of three to four agronomists, five technical assistance

agents with communications training, and a coordinator and an eval-

uator (both usually with social science backgrounds). Faculty

from the National School of Agriculture at Chapingo assisted as

consultants and in periodic surveys, and the School has recently

assumed responsibility for the continuation of the project, as

well as assisting with the government's national extension of the

program. The project team worked through small farm agronomic trials

and organizational analysis, developing localized recommendations

for maize cultivation, group-credit and crop-insurance systems to

operate through the banks, changes in implementation of govern-

ment fertilizer and maize price policies, and small farmer groups

active in reforming the local agricultural institutions. Farmer

and service agency reactions were continually monitored and two

short surveys of service agency performance and fertilizer distri-

bution were carried out. In addition, in 1967-68 and again in

1971, a larger sample of farmers were interviewed about technical,

economic, and communications practices; the data from these larger

surveys fed into project evaluation. A third survey may be carried

out this year. The full paper contains data on the agricultural

and economic changes that took place during the project, gathered

from the farmer surveys.

Santiago I. Friedmann, "The Role of Social Science Research

in Rural Development: A View from Mexico." In Mexico, as has

been the case in most other countries, the contribution of social

scientists to rural development has been minimal. Reasons can be

found in the belief among agencies that the problem was essentially

technical and rather simple, and in the inadequacy of social science

concepts, theories, and methods for dealing with rural poverty.

But now the recognition of limitations and failures of previous

approaches, the existence of a basic institutional capacity for

training and research in the social sciences, and the history and

variety of past actions coupled with the magnitude of the resources

presently committed to rural development, give grounds to hope

that in Mexico the way is open for a new start by social scien-

tists, policymakers, program managers, and citizens. The neces-

sary changes in subjects and style are discussed in section 3.

He stresses the need for complementing the distant and critical

observer (excellent in denouncing shortcomings but poor in pro-

viding solutions) by a participatory and committed social scien-

tist. "For the social scientist input to be useful it is neces-

sary that he and the program managers and beneficiaries become

educated on each other's worlds so that the social scientist's

activity of study and analysis refers to aspects that are rele-

vant to the rural development process and his results can be util-

ized by managers and beneficiaries of rural development programs."

The social scientist, as a part of the professional team in charge

of the rural development program, will no longer be limited to

measuring economic gains and costs associated with an irrigation

project or advising on the design of a "concientizacion" program

to make the local people accept a new technology. Instead, or be-

sides, she/he will try to understand the decision-making process

and the aspirations of the potential beneficiaries so as to util-

ize the resources of the program in a way that will maximize the

improvement in their well-being as measured by them. Foreign fund-

ers involved in network research programs should focus their actions

oh enhancing local responsibility for problem identification and

research design and implementation.

Guy Hunter, "Social Science and Development: Analysis and

Action." A brief note following up his presentation to the ODI/

Reading Conference (cf. Background Papers). In using social sci-

ence results, we are caught in a dilemma between macro-theory and

macro-planning on the one side and micro-survey and research re-

sults on the other. The former is dangerously generalized, and

even more dangerously an abstraction from reality (the economic

man of the macro-economists or the political man of macro-politi-

cal theory like Marx). The latter is too expensive in skilled

analysts, and is over-complex for administrative use. Of the two,

micro work at least deals with local realities and the heterogen-

eity of local environments. Sample micro-studies should eventu-

ally lead to better formulations of action guidelines. But action

has to simplify from the results of academic analysis, and feed

into the data all questions of feasibility, manpower, costs, and

the like; it cannot too directly follow the path taken by the social

scientists. It may be that government's job is not to prescribe

action in detail, but to provide an environment and support within

which farmers and local officials can develop their own solutions,

aided by social scientists working at the local level.

Uma Lele, "Social Science Research in Rural Development: Les-

sons from the African Experience." This paper is based on the Afri-

can Rural Development Studyl2 carried out within IBRD 1972-74 to

12Uma Lele, Design of Rural Development, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
Press, 1975.

collect information on economic and social rural development

(especially participation of lowest income groups), to point out

research gaps, and to design guidelines for IBRD rural develop-

ment programs in Africa which would take into account local fi-

nancial, personnel, and institutional resources. One possible

role of social scientists is in development of analytic frameworks.

Major organizational issues include relative priorities in resource

allocation across different sectors of the economy and social ser-

vices, their sequencing, and choice of policy and institutional

changes maximizing resource effectiveness. The answers to these

questions depend on the economic and sociopolitical structures of

the society, and thus a rigorous framework for analysis of rural

poverty across all environments and factors is exceedingly diffi-

cult. Much of the necessary data is poor or nonexistent, the so-

cial scientists capable of such complex work are few and reluctant

to work under agency guidance, and policymakers are reluctant to

accept solutions involving radical structural change. An opera-

tionally significant theory of rural development must strive for

simple assumptions and empirical applicability, appropriate vari-

ables, and simple testing of hypotheses with a minimum of data

capable of rapid and reliable collection. A second and more

immediately feasible role of social scientists is partial analy-

sis of a few critical factors and their interactions in given

sociopolitical frameworks. This line of work should emphasize

rapid information dissemination to decision-makers. A great deal

of such literature already exists in Africa, but fragmented and

scattered among government, agency, and university collections.

The most useful form of research at present is that aimed to pro-

mote the effectiveness of implementation of given policy goals

(rather than goal selection), through analysis of overall policies

to determine inconsistencies, background data and analysis for

better planning and implementation in specific programs and places,

and monitoring and evaluation of programs.

Samuel O. Olayide, "Stimulating Integrated Rural Development

Through Research."13 "Rural development involves effectively

tinkering with variables such as rural population, employment,

income, resource inputs, productivity, landscape, etc., to effect

a continual maximisation of welfare." Despite discussions on

quantification of productive resource utilization, rural enter-

prise output and productivity, provision of adequate food and

fiber, rural underemployment and unemployment and incomes, and

rural-urban migration, little is known about them or their place

in rural structure and process. In response to this, there are

five long-term rural development research-and-extension pilot proj-

ects being carried out by university departments and research

units in Nigeria, covering agricultural, health, and literacy

13Available as Rural Development Paper No. 18 from the Department
of Agricultural Economics and Extension of the University of
Ibadan, Nigeria.

services and working in cooperation with state extension services

and planning boards. Findings have included rural enterprise un-

der-capitalization, lesser capital and labor efficiency of large-

scale enterprises, skewed income distribution within and between

rural and urban areas, and prevalent lack of rural access to de-

cision-making or government services. Sociocultural (i.e., values),

economic, administrative, and institutional problems all need fur-

ther research. Social science research should be tied to specific

development goals, relevant to planners and policymakers as well

as researchers, linked to developments in the international aca-

demic community, applicable to the solution of specific problems

in rural communities, and complementary adding up to an interdis-

ciplinary macro-analysis of rural development as a whole. Village

surveys, evaluation of programs, guided and monitored change proj-

ects, and macro-economic policy research must all be undertaken

by social and technical researchers working or at least planning

together. Socioeconomic units inside university agricultural re-

search and extension programs have proven themselves good locations

for applied research.

Harry T. Oshima and Gerard Rikken, "Social Science Research

on Rural Development."14 In its present form, primarily a review

of operational rural development programs, here omitted unless

ChCurrently under major revision by the authors.

connected to a social science component. Social science research

in Southeast Asia on rural development is scattered and fragmen-

tary. One long-term research program is that of the International

Institute for Rural Reconstruction, which maintains community de-

velopment projects through multipurpose extension workers in a

number of communities and carries out experimental projects in

production, education, health, and self-government and research

on them. Some universities have also started "social laboratories,"

combining demonstration, training, and research in agriculture and

rural development. Most are small-scale and poorly financed. Uni-

versities and semi-governmental and international institutes such

as the Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction in Taiwan, the So-

cial Science Institute in Thailand, the International Institute of

Social Studies in Indonesia, the International Rice Research Insti-

tute, and UN and foreign assistance agencies have been the loci of

most rural development research. We cannot begin to think about a

theoretical framework for rural development until we have more stud-

ies on the process of change in specific projects and programs, com-

plete with adequate baseline studies. We know a lot about rural

income and production constraints but need more coordinated work

on why the recommended institutions to overcome these fail so of-

ten, and why the peasants so often resist the changes. What are

the roles of health, education, institution-building, and self-

government of villages with respect to productivity and rural de-

velopment? We may need institutions comparable to the international

agricultural institutes to test institutional changes; the IIRR

is one such model but needs a theoretical policy-oriented slant

as well. Micro-level research is necessary because of the dif-

ficulty of collecting much of the necessary data at the national

level through surveys. Multidisciplinary historical study of

successful rural development in China, Taiwan, and Japan may be


Kalman Silvert, "Rural Development as a Social Science Prob-

lem." Despite the vaunted urban orientation of Latin American

social scientists, their concern with nation-building brings them

into rural and ethnic studies as well. Besides the macro-research

of economists and demographers there is much literature on rural

municipalities, Indian populations, and village life. But much

of this work does not clearly fit the needs of agricultural and

rural development agencies. "Comparative knowledge of the condi-

tions for and processes of institutional change would seem to be

the minimum one should ask of the community of social scientists."

But such comparison and the inductive approach to theory is seldom

carried out and may not be obtainable for theoretical goals, but

only to provide a basis of common-sense guidelines for the prac-

titioner of development in the particular area. Prediction is not

a probable result of social science; rather, diagnosis with some

comparative material. Within theory, the urban-rural dichotomy,

the modern-traditional dichotomy, the economy as process or

institution, the cause and effect of reality and belief system,

and the nature of social laws are in dispute. The reemergence of

concern with conflict, ascription of meaning, and multi-lineal

change is important. Even for diagnosis, social science research

must touch on values and power, and thus becomes controversial;

but social science progresses on controversy.

Sterling Wortman, talk on Rural Development in the People's

Republic of China. This took place during the first luncheon and

was drawn on for administrative-political arguments several times

in discussion. A team of U.S. plant scientists spent a month in-

vestigating the Chinese agricultural system. They were struck by

the good crops, the uniformity of agricultural practices and yields

within each locality, and the determination at all levels to run

the communes on a business basis combining full employment, pro-

fits, savings, and reinvestment. Cultivated land was limited and

all farming highly intensive. Twenty to thirty household production

teams operate single plots in common and make day-to-day decisions

on cultivation, with technical advice from higher levels. House-

hold income is based on worker hours and team production, giving

an incentive to maximize production and hold down non-earning de-

pendents through birth control. The brigade provides a primary

school, clinic, and small machinery and crafts factories, while

the commune provides higher level services and factories and the

major decision-making authority at the local level. Technicians

and managers are required to work with, and learn from, the peas-

ants, and seem quite interested to do so. Commune, brigade, and

production team are all based on traditional community groupings.


These papers were collected from previous conferences and

recent or forthcoming journal issues and books on the basis of

their interest to the conference theme.

Gelia Castillo, "Social Science Research and Rural Develop-

ment: The Philippines Experience." In The Social Sciences and

Development, IBRD (Washington, D.C.) 1974. A summary of Filipino

research institutes and their rural development activities.

Carl Gotsch and David Heaps, "Report of the Seminar on

Rural Development and Employment" in the Ford Foundation report

on the Seminar on Rural Development and Employment, Ibadan, April

9-19, 1973. Notes on extant rural development approaches and

agency and social science contributions to their improvement.

(Cf. also Carl Gotsch in Edgar Edwards, ed., Employment in Devel-

oping Nations, New York: Columbia University Press, 1974.)

Lowell S. Hardin, "Some Tentative Propositions Concerning

Rural Development in the Less Industrialized Nations," presented

at the Cornell University Workshop for Extended Rural Development

in Asia, November 23, 1974. A status report on Ford Foundation

rural development policy, oriented to technological change plus

research on the human constraints and techniques for non-violent

institutional change.

Reed Hertford, "A Report of the Sasaima Seminar on Rural

Development" (Ford). Status report on rural development thinking

of the Foundation's Latin American staff and grantees.

Guy Hunter, "The Choice of Methods for Implementation,"

presented at the Second International Seminar on Change in Agri-

culture, Reading, England, September 9-19, 1974, as a central

framework. Variables which must be specified as part of planning

for rural development in differing societies, and the need to de-

velop communications among upper and lower officials, private en-

terprise, and local populations.

Inayatullah, "Draft Outlines of Research and Management De-

velopment Programmes in the Field of Rural Development for 1974-

75" from his Asian Centre for Development Administration in Kuala

Lumpur, March 1974. Organization and methods for comparative re-

search network on management problems and solutions at policy and

program levels in Southeast Asia.

David W. Norman, "Inter-Disciplinary Research on Rural Devel-

opment: The Experience of the Rural Economy Research Unit in

Northern Nigeria," Overseas Liaison Committee Paper No. 6, April

1974. Status and activities of an applied research institute deal-

ing with small farmer agricultural problems both at the micro-

level feeding into the national agricultural research apparatus.

Niels Rl8ing, Joseph Ascroft, and Fred wa Chege, "Innovation

and Equity in Rural Development," paper presented at the 8th World

Congress of Sociology, Toronto, August 1974. Adaptation of diffu-

sion research to affect rural development policy and implementa-

tion; the active participation of social scientists in an agricul-

tural development project.

Vernon W. Ruttan, "Integrated Rural Development Programs: A

Skeptical Perspective," draft of paper to appear in the Interna-

tional Development Review in late 1975. Against administrative

integration, rural development attempts under extractive politi-

cal regimes or with overly expensive human/technical resources -

draws together theories of urban-industrial growth poles, induced

technical change, and institutional change to weigh possibilities

of integrated development.


April 29, 1975:

9:00 a.m.

9:30 a.m.

Social Science Research on Rural Development:
Priority Areas

Announcements and Opening Statement
Joseph E. Black

Research and Planning for Rural Development
Within National and Cultural Contexts


10:30 a.m.

Joseph E. Black
Thomas Carroll
Guy Hunter

Research on Agricultural Production and Total
Income in Rural Areas: Problems of Distribu-
tion of Income

Lowell Hardin
Edward Weber
Santiago Friedmann

11:30 a.m.

12:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m.

Research on Rural Employment, Industry, Migrant
Labor and Trade



Lowell Hardin
Emile Costa
Samuel Olayide

Speaker: Sterling Wortman
Topic: "Integrated Rural Development in China"

Research on Social and Economic Infrastructure:
Formal and Non-formal Education, Health, Courts,
Administration and Community Organizations, Trans-
portation and Communications


3:30 p.m.

Ruth Zagorin
Uma Lele
Herbert Kotter

Integrated Rural Development Programs and Policies:
Management and Political Considerations


Ruth Zagorin
Kalman Silvert
Georges Bourgoignie


April 30, 1975:

9:15 a.m.

Support for Social Science Research for Rural

Support for Regional and National Institutional
Research: Governmental, Academic, Institute,
and Individual Research Contracting, Training
and Grants


11:00 a.m.

Montague Yudelman
Frank Sutton
Gordon Havord

Development of Local Capacity for Social Science
Researchers for Planning and Project Implementa-
tion and Evaluation

12:30 p.m.

2:00 p.m.



Lehman Fletcher
James Green
Mark Leiserson

Summarization and Future Cooperative Arrangements

Chair: Kirby Davidson
Summarization of Conference: David Bell
Consideration of Plans for Future Consultation
and Collaboration


4:30 p.m.

The Rockefeller Foundation
Board of Trustees

Cyrus R.Vance, Chairman
John H. Knowles, President

W. Michael Blumenthal
Robert H. Ebert
Robert F. Goheen
Clifford M. Hardin
Ben W. Heineman
Theodore M. Hesburgh
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.
Clark Kerr
Lane Kirkland
Mathilde Krim
Bill Moyers
Jane Cahill Pfeiffer
John D. Rockefeller IV
Robert V. Roosa
Nevin S. Scrimshaw
Frederick Seitz
Maurice F. Strong
Paul A. Volcker
Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.

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