INTERGRATED RURAL DEVELOPMENT-PROGRAMS: A SKEPTICAL PERSPECTIVE Vernon W. Ruttan
Agricultural Development Council, Inc.
After more than a decade of relative neglect rural development has again emerged near the top of the agenda in development policy. The President of the World Bank has pledged his organization to direct its resources toward improving the productivity and welfare of the rural poor in the poorest countries. The U.S. Congress has instructed the U.S. aid agency to direct its effort toward "meeting the basic needs of the poorest people in the developing countries.2
In the developing world .the new concern with rural development
represents, in part, a reaction against the distortions produced by-t~e production-oriented.development efforts of the 1960's, which were in turn a reaction against the economic failures of rural development programs of an even earlier vintage. There are, however, major differences in the rationale and orientation between the rural development programs being initiated in many developing countries in the 1970's and those of the 1950's.
Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the Coloquium on "New Concepts and Technologies in Third World Urbanization," University of California (Los Angeles), May 17-18, 1974, and to a seminar at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, April 4, 1974. This draft has benefited from the comments of the participants in the two seminars and from comments by David Brown, Robert Evenson, Arthur Mosher, John Mellor, Wilbur Maki, Richard Niehoff, Edward Soja, Robert Stevens.
In the 1950's the major concern was to induce rural people to substitute rational economic calculation for the dictates of custom and tradition. In the 1970's the concern is to achieve greater equity in the distribution of the gains from economic growth between urban and rural areas and between economic and social classes within rural areas.
These shifts in development thought have, however, had relatively little impact on the lives of most rural people. Large elements of the rural population have not shared at all in the impressive gains in agricultural and industrial production that have been achieved in many developing countries over the last several decades. In many areas the welfare of substantial elements of the rural population, particularly the landless, has declined both relatively and absolutely.3 Most of the world's rural people continue to live in environments, and in economic and political circumstances, which are intolerable to them and which should be intolerable to the larger societies of which they are a part.
While welcoming the renewed concern with the welfare of rural pbo~le this inquiry was initiated with considerable skepticism regarding the potential achievements of rural development programs. Indeed, it represents an attempt to disprove a long standing personal hypothesis to the effect that rural development does not represent a viable project, program or plan objective.4
It would be possible to devote a good deal of effort to the development of a workable definition of rural development or of rural development programs. Such discussions have a tendency to dicotomize around the issue of whether the objective of rural development is to increase agricultural production or to increase the well-being of people living in rural areas.
Activities directed primarily toward single objectives, such as a crop production campaign, the organization of cooperative credit institutions, the extension or improvement of rural roads,'the control of malaria or cholera, or the adoption of family planning, are not included under the rural development program rubric even though their successful implementation does contribute to the wealth or welfare of rural people. This definition excludes, therefore, a number of widely publicized programs such as the
intensive agricultural districts program in India, and the Puebla Project .in Mexico*. 6 Rather than pursue this issue further in this paper, I refer you to the several works of Arthur T. Mosher on this topic 7 and to Table Al.
Rural Development Program Experience
The experience with attempts to implement rural development programs in poor countries, and in the poorer regions of the developed countries, does not inspire confidence in the capacity to achieve either the equity or the productivity goals that have been set before us in the new policy commitments and directives.
The aid supported community development efforts initiated in many countries in the early 1950's (in India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, for example) were by the mid-1960's in serious trouble.8 These programs had been based on the assumption that the mobilization and development of community resources -- human and physical -- motivated by the multipurpose village worker and supplemented by credit and limited grants of materials would lead to the modernization of rural society. Program commitments to self-determination at the individual village level, where resistance to change by the traditional leadership was most strongly entrenched, tended to weaken the independence of the village level worker and to emasculate the reform objectives of the program. Nevertheless, the programs did result,-in some areas, in highly visible symbols of development -- roads,-schools, water supply, community centers. The community development programs were least successful in, efforts designed to expand the economic base needed to support rural development -- in introducing changes in farming practices that were capable of increasing agricultural productivity or in efforts to generate employment and income through expansion of village industries. Neither the communities themselves nor the village level worker had access to the materials in which high
productivity technologies~were embodied or the knowledge or authority to institute more efficient institutional performance. 9
In many countries the establishment of new communities has been viewed as a more promising route to rural development than the reform or modernization of old communities. This has been, particularly true in many Latin American countries where development of new lands on the frontier has remained technically feasible. It has also seemed a promising alternative in some areas of Southeast Asia -- in Malaysia, the outer islands of Indonesia, and the Cagayan Valley and Mindanao in the Philippines. But the record has typically been one of limited accomplishment or outright failure. In his review of the experience of 24 tropical land development projects in Latin America, Nelson concluded that, "few spheres of economic development have a history of, or reputation for, failure to match that of government-sponsored colonization in humid tropical zones. ,,OHe found that the probability of failures was directly rel-ated to the level of government participation in the organization and management of the project. Spontaneous colon-' ization was uniformly more successful than directed or semi-directed colonization. The government was much more effective in the role of organizing specific services or transportation facilities to service spontaneous settlement. And access to markets, including, highway development, appeared to be the most pervasive factor characterizing successful settlement projects (Table A)
The Comilla Rural Development Project
The examples cited above are typical of the experience which led in the 1960's, to widespread disillusionment with the effectiveness of many comprehensive regional and. rural _development programs. Yet these, and similar experiences, represent an incomplete, and perhaps even biased perspective on the broadly based or "integrated" rural development efforts. There are a number of widely cited examples of successful rural or community development projects which have made effective contributions to the income and welfare of rural people.12 A number of these efforts have been patterned at least in part on the experience of the village development program of the Bangladesh (formerly Pakistan) Academy for Rural Development. 13
The Academy was established in 1959 as a training center for public officials responsible for rural development programs with the primary objective of helping the officials put to more productive use the administrative and technical skills they had, and of aiding them in-the acquisition of new skills needed in rural development.14 The program evolved out of an effort by the Academy staff to understand rural development processes in Comilla District, where the Academy is located, and to utilize development activities in the Comilla villages as a laboratory for the training activity. The program, involved three elements: (a) development of a two-tiered, village and thana, cooperative system; (b) inducing. cooperation among public agencies in labor intensive resource development efforts -- particularly irrigation, drainage and roads; and (c) development of the capacity of local government to coordinate and direct the efforts of departments responsible for civil administration and development (agriculture, water, health, education, and others).
The program was clearly successful in terms of the generation and diffusion of technical and institutional change, and in improving the welfare of rural villages in the Comilla Thana. The cooperatives proved capable of generating modest savings and in partially replacing traditional moneylenders as a source of credit. They also became effective channels of technical information about rice production practices, health practices,, and farm and cooperative management between the villagers and the technicians located at the Thana center. Many of the cooperatives also proved capable of managing capital investments such as tube wells; handling the distribution of inputs such as fertilizer, insecticides and seeds; and of organizing services such as tractor plowing. Roads, irrigation, and drainage were improved. In areas where such changes occurred the value of farm output increased; the incomes of owner and tenant cultivators grew; and land values rose in response to the greater productivity and higher incomes. And the experience gained in the Comilla Thana did have. an impact on rural administration and development in a number of otberThanas in East Pakistan.
After independence the Government of Bangladesh announced that the Comilla project would be utilized as the model for a national rural development program that would extend to all 413 of the nation's Thanas. Yet the content of the model that is being extended could be described more accurately as a cooperatives development program than a rural development program. And in 1974 the current Vice Chairman of the Academy appeared to be committed to a model of rural or village development that was considerably less intensive in its use of professional and technical inputs than in the original Comilla Project.
A review of the Comilla, and a number of other rural development projects, does lead to a modification of the hypothesis stated above. It clearly has been possible in a number of situations where high levels of professional inputs directed by dedicated or inspired leadership has had access to external resources, to mobilize village level resources to accelerate rates of development in specific rural communities.
Modification of the earlier hypothesis does, however, still leave us with an unresolved puzzle. Why is it relatively easy to identify a number of relatively successful small scale or pilot rural development projects but so difficult to find examples of successful rural development programs? Where does one go for the insight needed to understand the reasons for the relative success of many rural development projects and the failure of rural development programs?
There are three bodies of literature which represent useful components of an attempt to develop a more comprehensive model designed to provide insight into the morphology of rural development projects, programs, and processes. These include (a) the urban-industrial impact hypothesis ,
(b) the theory of induced technical change; (c) the new models of institutional change drawing on the literature on institution building and on the economics of bureaucratic behavior. The urban-industrial impact hypothesis helps to clarify the relationships between the development of rural areas and the development of the total society of which rural areas are a part. It is particularly useful in understanding the spacial dimensions of rural development -- where rural development efforts are likely to be most successful. The induced technical change provides a guide to what must be done to gain access to efficient sources of economic
growth -- the new resources and incomes that are needed to sustain rural development. The models of institutional change provide insight into the possibilities and limits of how to organize rural institutions to utilize the human and physical resources available to rural communities. The Urban-Industrial Impact Hypothesis
The literature on the relationship between urban-industrial and rural development has its origins in the early efforts of Von Thunen to determine both the optimal intensity of cultivation and the optimal farm organization or combination of farm enterprises. 15 In the United States the implications of urban-industrial development for agricultural development were outlined by T. W. Schultz in the early 1950's.
The Schultz perspective can be stated in a series of three hypotheses:
"(1) Economic development occurs in a specific locational
matrix.... (2) These locational matrices are primarily industrialurban in composition.... (3) The existing economic organization
works best at or near the center of a particular matrix of
economic development and it also works best in those parts of
agriculture which are situated favorably in relation to the center."16
Schultz was particularly concerned with the development of a hypothesis that would explain the failure of agricultural production and price policies to remove the substantial regional disparities in the rate and level of development of rural areas in the United States. The rationale for the urban-industrial impact hypothesis was developed in terms of more efficient functioning of factor and product markets in areas of rapid urban-industrial development.
Formulation of the urban-industrial impact hypothesis generated a series of empirical studies designed to test both the validity of the empirical generalizations and the factor and product market rationale.17 The effect of these studies has been the development of a model of rural development in which the rural community is linked to the urban-industrial.
economy through a series of market relationships: (a) The product market through which the commodities produced in the rural sector are transmitted to theurban sector and through which incomes are generated in rural areas; (b) The markets for purchased inputs through which move the.capital and operating inputs, in which the new technologies are embodied, that the rural economy obtains from the industrial sector;
(c) The-labor market through which labor is allocated between the rural and urban sectors and among economic and household activities in each sector; (d) The credit and land markets through which both land and non-land assets are reallocated both between and within the urban and rural sectors; (e) The market for consumer goods and services through which rural families achieve access to or are excluded from the patterns of consumption which characterize urban families. In developing countries the markets for consumer goods and services represent an important source of change in the transition from subsistence to market agriculture.19
It is clear that both the rate of growth of the urban economy and the efficiency with which the intersector product and factor markets transmit the sources and products of productivity growth among sectors place important constraints on the possibilities-of development in rural areas. Rural development in France was inhibited for a century by the stagnation in demand associated with slow growth-of both population and per capita income. Neither the product market nor the labor market functioned as dynamic sources of rural development. In contrast the availability of an expanding market for livestock products in the United Kingdom was an important factor in Denmark's successful rural development
experience. The rapid economic growth in rural areas affected by the new cereals-fertilizer technology, in Taiwan and the'Indian Punjab, reflects the capacity of the factor markets to deliver to rural areas the high-payoff technical inputs suited to local factor endowments. The urban-industrial impact hypothesis is also consistent with the
results reported by Nelson (Table A2) on-the sources of success and failure of colonization efforts in Latin America. It represents the implicit theoretical foundation for a number of proposals to organize rural development efforts around new towns, and urban-industrial growth centers or growth poles.21V
The only formal test of the urban-industrial impact hypothesis with which I am familiar in a developing country is the intensive analysis by Nicholls in the State of Sao Paulo (Brazil) for 1940-50.2 Prior to 1900 the growth of Sao Paulo was closely associated with the coffee boom that extended from 1840 to 1940. After 1940 there were clear indications that urban-industrial development was beginning to exert a differerit-ral impact on labor productivity in agriculture by facilitating the flow of capital into and the flow of labor out of agriculture. The urbanindustrial impact was limited, however, due to the locational impact of resource based opportunities for development and the failure of the Brazilian Government to invest in the research capacity and services necessary to permit the agricultural sector in Sao Paulo to respond effectively to growth in the urban-industrial sector.
The implications of the urban-industrial impact model are not
entirely congenial to the new rural development ideology. Development
processes in the contemporary rural community in a developing society can not be isolated from development processes in the larger society. Even the most intensive rural development efforts are unlikely to succeed if rural development is viewed as an alternative rather than a complement to urban-industrial- developments. Yet, acceptance of an urban-industrial impact or "growth-pole" strategy clearly implies differential rates of development among areas. This may be consistent with efficient use of development budgets. But it may also be accompanied by intensification of social and political stress. Perhaps an even more serious problem is that no one really knows how to-make the growth poles grow!
Induced Technical Change
The design of a successful rural development strategy involves a
unique combination of technical and institutional change. The ability of rural areas to respond to the opportunities for economic growth generated, by local urban-industrial development, or by the expansion of national and international markets, depends on the capacity for adaptive responses on the part of cultural, political and economic institutions to realize the growth potential opened up by new economic opportunities. And it depends on the capacity to transfer, adapt or invent technical innovations capable of generating substantial new income flows in response to the new economic opportunities resulting from expansion of inter-sector factor and product markets.,
During the early stages of economic development the capacity of
rural areas to successfully respond to the opportunities for growth 'that are potentially available to them depends critically on the achievement of rapid technical change leading to productivity growth in agriculture. Significant growth in agricultural productivity can rarely be realized. by the reallocation of resources within traditional agricultural systems. The capacity to respond to growth opportunities becomes available primarily through technical changes embodied in new and more efficient inputs better crop varieties, cheaper plant nutrients, and more efficient sources of power --capable of releasing the constraints on growth of agriculturalI output.
A critical limitation on the capacity of rural areas in most
developing countries, and in many of the backward rural areas in the highly developed countries, is the location-specific character of much' of agricultural technology. This limits the gains that can be realized by the simple transfer of agricultural technology from areas of high to areas of low productivity. A necessary condition for sustained productivity growth in agriculture is the institutionalization of experiment station capacity capable of producing a continuous stream of ecologically adapted and economically efficient technology -- consistent with resource endowments and relative factor prices -- for each commodity of economic significance in each agricultural region.
The evidence is relatively clear that alternative paths of technical change in agri culture can be made available (Figure A3). Technology can be develope d to facilitate the substitution of relatively abundant (hence cheap) factors for relatively scarce (hence expensive) factors. The constraints imposed on agricultural development by an inelastic supply of land may be offset by advances in biological or biological and chemical technology (as in Japan). The constraints imposed by an inelastic supply of labor may be offset by advances in mechanical technology (as in the United States).
Failure to invest in the experiment station capacity necessary to effectively loosen the constraints imposed by resource endowments can effectively limit a region's-'capacity to respond to new economic opportunities. The effect of such failure during the initial stages of development is that the agricultural sector fails to become a source of the new income streams needed to generate growth in rural communities
and in the regional economy. The effect of such failure during the later stages of development is a widening gap between economic well-being among rural areas and between urban and rural areas. The result is the emergence of stranded populations -- people left behind -- in the Appalachias, the Mezzogiorono, Northeast Brazil, the Deccan Plateau, and other lagging regions.
Models of Institutional Innovation
The stress in the last two sections on the role of inter-sector factor and product markets, and the rol e of technical change induced' by market forces which reflect regional resource endowments, should not be taken to imply that rural development can be left to an "invisible hand" that directs either technical or institutional change along an."efficient path"'.
Improvements in the welfare of rural people in poor countries, and in poor regions, will require institutional innovations which effectively link urban and rural areas through a series of non-market, as well as market, relationships. These non-market relationships focus primarily on (a) the investment in rural people and in the amenities that are necessary to improve both productivity and the quality of life in poor communities --particularly in. the areas of education and health, and (b) modifications in the institutional infrastructure necessary to enable rural people to mobilize both the economic-and political resources that are potentially available to them.
The returns to investment in the capacity of rural people is shaped by development. 24Almost allI rural people in poor countries enter the
development process with very little formal schooling. Most are illiterate. As development proceeds the capacity to respond to more efficient new inputs in production and to better possibilities in consumption increases the value of the abilities acquired from schooling. As the economic and social environment becomes more complex the contribution of education to the capacity to decode and interpret new technical and economic information and to make allocative decisions in both production and consumption activities rises. Education also affects the ability to utilize the information channeled through the labor market to decide whether to migrate or remain in the rural community.
The institutional organization and the educational and health
standards employed in developing countries have typically been borrowed from countries with quite different human resource endowments and economic opportunities. The effect has been -the adoption of educational and health systems characterized by relatively high costs to both the individual and society. In many countries the result is to impose personal and fiscal burdens that are beyond the capacity of the family, the community, or the state. There is a strong need for institutional innovations that sharply. increase the efficiency of resources devoted to improvements in the quality of the human agent -- in schooling and health.25
There is a similar need for institutional innovations in the
efficiency of the markets through which rural people obtain access to credit, to land, and to the material inputs in which new technologies are embodied. There has been much discussion in the development literature on biases and imperfections in factor and product markets --on middleman
monopoly and monopsony.26 The markets through which political resources are brought to bear to influence institutional performance in rural areas are often even more imperfect -- more biased against rural people -- than the credit and product markets. The lack of access by the poor majority in rural communities to the instruments of local government that would enable them to provide either economic or political rewards for effective performance -- by the extension, irrigation, education and health bureaucracies -- reduces the incentive for efficient bureaucratic performance.
With few exceptions the literature on institutional change does not seem particularly useful as a guide to the design of institutional innovations which are capable of sharply increasing the returns to investment in institutional change. One body of literature that does seem to me most helpful is that on "institution building." This literature has evolved out of an effort, primarily in the field of public administration, to provide technical assistance agencies with an effective methodology for external intervention to induce more-effective institutional performance.27 A major inference from this literature is that it has been easier tb ~nstitutionalize an organization whose operations are primarily concerned with the use of a well-developed methodology or technology than an organization that is not technology-centered. Where relatively "closed system" technologies are available, the behavior they require for successful introduction and management are particular to their operations -- and not to the sociocultural system at large. The Gezira Scheme, built around the technologies of irrigation and cotton production, represents an example. Where no closed system technology is available effective institutionalization has been exceedingly difficult to achieve.
A basic weakness of the integrated rural development approach is that policyor program objectives are adopted for which no readily available closed system technology or program methodologies are available. Integrated rural development can be described, perhaps not too inaccurately, as an ideology in search of a methodology or a technology.28
An additional body of literature on which it is useful to draw in attempting to understand the process of institutional innovation is the emerging literature in political science and in economics on bureaucratic behavior. This involves an attempt to extend the micro-economic theory of the firm and of the consumer (a) to model the relationships between the public or semi-public organization (or bureau) and its environment, and (b) to analyze the consequences of these relationships for public' choice and for the generation of budgets and the supply of bureaucratic services or other output. The effect has been the development of an "economic" or "rational" theory of bureaucratic behavior as an alternative to an "organic" or "altruistic" model.29
A major implication of the formal models developed thus far is that, given the "markets" in which they operate, bureaus will be successful in capturing a relatively large share of the economic gains generated by their activities.30 This ability of the bureaucracy to capture a relatively high share of the gains generated by their activity, in the form of staff expansion or official corruption may be relatively low where the demand for their services is relatively elastic or relatively high where the demand for their services is relatively inelastic. 31
A second set of inferences deals with the mobilization of group
behavior. Olson, in particular, has shown that in the "public goods" market there are severe constraints on the capacity to mobilize collective action. 32A major implication of this second line of investigation is the importance of a proliferation of voluntary organization -- the sources of demand for public services -- around activities which generate private gains. It is further argued that the performance of the market for public services is improved by decentralization on the supply side,.
A clear implication of this literature is that the efficient delivery of bureaucratic services to rural communities must depend on effective organization at the community level. Rural communities must be sufficiently well organized to interact effectively with the delivery agencies in the establishment of priorities. And they must be able to mobilize sufficient political resources to be able to prdvide incentives for efficient bureaucratic performance or innovation. Yet a major implication of both' Ollon's theoretical analysis and the history of Present movements is that such. organiza .tion is extremely difficult to achieve. 33'34
A less obvious implication of the literature on institutional innovation, but one that is consistent with my own experience, is that efficiency in the'delivery of bureaucratic services will depend on innovations which enable the market and non-market systems to utilize relatively low quality human resources. More specifically --neither rich nor poor societies can afford to'have relatively affluent technicians provide services for poor
people. Few societies have yet been able to design systems that enable them to insist that highly educated people provide services to people with
sharply lower levels of education. And poor people are generally reluctant to seek services when differences in class and income are excessive. The sharp disparity in educational opportunities available to girls and the limited use of women in agricultural programs and rural services represents a particularly heavy burden on rural development in many countries.3
The insights opened up by the urban-industrial impact hypothesis, the theory of induced technical change, and the models of institutional innovation do contribute to a modest advance in both the capacity (a) to understand the rural development program failures and the rural development project suc ,cesses outlined earlier in this paper, and (b) to design more successful rural development programs in the future. Examination of contemporary rural development experience within the framework of these three bodies of literature leads to a number of fundamental conclusions regarding the factors which condition the success of rural development efforts.
The success of many of the rural-development pilot projects has been due to the relative intensity of the human resources devoted to organization, management, and technical assistance. 37When an attempt was made to generalize the pilot project as the model for a national or regional rural development program the intensity of human resource input could notbe maintained. Furthermore,'access to the higher decision making levels of government and the administrative fre edom to. tailor programs precisely to local natural and human resour ce endowments and capacities and to priority development problems that is often available to directors of pilot projects is frequently sacrificed to administrative convenience when the projects are generalized in the form of provincial or na tional programs. Highly centralized administration of national programs makes it difficult to carry out the experiments with program content and delivery methods that are essential if rural development programs are to meet the diverse needs of r ural areas. 3
There is a useful analogy with earlier attempts with agricultural. development programs designed to increase crop yields by applying higher
levels of fertilizer inputs to traditional crop varieties. Under high level of management it was possible to obtain modest yield increases. But the rate of return that the average farmer could achieve was low and acceptance of technical change was slow. When new varieties characterized by steeper (i.e., more efficient) response curves became available the rate of return from "improved practices" rose dramatically and extension workers no longer had to try to persuade farmers to use fertilizer. It seems apparent that the gains from even the pilot "integrated" rural development projects will remain low until technical and institutional innovations that permit much greater efficiency in the use of the human resources devoted to such programs become available.
A second inference that emerges from this review is that the
resources devoted to integrating or coordinating the development and management of physical and institutional infrastructures are likely to have a relatively low return. The absence of any well-defined rural 'r community development technologies around which professional capacity or resources can be organized or institutionalized casts considerable doubt on the viability of integrated rural development efforts. However, it is possible to organize efforts which expand the resources available to rural people and which contribute to the efficiency of production and consumption activities in rural areas. It is possible to provide farmers with more productive seeds and fertilizers. It is possible to improve transportation and communication between rural and urban areas. It is possible to organize schooling in such a way *that it contributes to the efficiency of rural people as both producers and consumers. It is
possible to train even poorly educated health and extension workers the skills that enable them to deliver productive technologies and services to rural areas. And it is possible to make these services available by locating them in the communities where rural people live and work.
A third factor which conditions the success of rural development efforts is that by and large the opportunities for village development depend to a substantial degree on the availability of more efficient technologies and more efficient institutions. These resources become available to rural communities through intersector factor and product markets and through the development of bureaucratic resources at the national and regional level. The potential gains that can be achieved in the absence of expanding commodity markets and more efficient factor markets are limited. The ability of rural communities to respond to such opportunities when they do become available depends on technical and institutional innovations which also become available from sources outside the community. Even the capar-ity to organize the political resources necessary to achieve access to or enforce efficiency in thedelivery of bureaucratic resources typically depends on reforms leading to reasonable equity in the distribution of economic and political resources and to the availability of social and legal instruments which permit communities to effectively organize their economic and political resources toward common objectives. Much of the emphasis that has been placed on the priority of land reform for the success of rural development efforts is based on the perception that great disparity in the distribution of economic and political. resources makes it extremely difficult to design rural development program activities which can command a broad basis of community support or that can benefit one social class or economic interest without weakening or bypassing others.
This attempt to interpret recent development experience has led to some modification of my earlier skepticism with respect to the value of rural development ideology as an integrative framework for rural development programs. The review also leads me to a series of five generalizations with respect to program ideology and design which are essential to the viability of any large scale rural development effort:
First, rural development program activities must be organized around activities and services that have relatively well-defined technologies or methodologies and objectives. It is important to rural communities that such activities and services be simultaneously available, but not necessarily administratively- integrated. 39
Second, rural development program activities must be organized to utilize the relatively low quality (and inexperie nced) human resource endowments that are available in rural areas. They must be extensive rather than intensive in-their use of high-cost human capital, at both the planning and implementation stage~s.
Third, effective implementation of rural development programs-isto a substantial degree, dependent on the development of the institutional capacity to mobilize the limited political and economic resources available to the disadvantaged in rural communities. In societies in
*which rural administration is organized with a strong control orientation and in which economic policies are primarily directed toward the extraction of a surplus from rural areas, the political and economic conditions necessary for rural development will rarely be met.
Fourth, the problem of welfare in the rural areas of most developing countries remains more a problem of the level of output per person than of distribution. The search for new sources of income growth must continue to be sought in both technical and institutional change.
Finally, the structural characteristics of most rural communities, and of the societies of which they are a part, will continue to prevent them from obtaining access to many of the development opportunities which are potentially available. Rural development programs will rarely be able to mobilize the political and economic resources necessary for massive structural reform. We can expect that the development of rural areas will continue to be characterized by unequal rates of development between rural and urban areas, among rural areas, and among classes within rural areas.
Elements in Various Integrated Projects of Agricultural or Rural Development
A B C
Overall Agricultural Project Activities Types of Integrated
Development Agricultural Projects
I Research 1. Markets for Farm Products
1! Agricultural development
2. Retail Outlets for Farm Inputs projc
3. Production Credit
II Producing or Importing 4. Extension Education
5. Local Verification Trials
6. Farm-to-Market Roads
III Rural Agri-Support
Activities Nonagricultural 2. Rural development projects
with an agricultural com7. Rural Industries potent (selections from
IV Production Incentives 8. Rural Public Works among B 1 1.3)
9. Community Development
10. Group Activities-Recreation-, al, Cultural
V Land Development 11. Home Life Improvement
Extension Services 5. Rural development projects
12. Health Facilities without an agricultural cora13. Family Planning Programs ponent (selections from
VI Training Agricultural 14. Schools among B 7-13)
Technicians 15. Local Government
16. Religious Activities
Source: A. T. Mosher, "Projects of Integrated Rural Development."
The Agricultural Development Council, Inc., 630 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10020, December 1972. p3.
clTable A2. oi Allet ling Poerlor ime mI pic.iial land Ievelopnnt
Table A2 ... ..
S inge ol devel~pincntI and niiltur .-f Ihv performance impact
Pioneer (C'onsolidation (Gr.owth
Fleiments influencing Suc- Neu- Vail- Sue- Neu- Fadi- Suc- Neci I ailI paject performance cess tral ure ccss tral ure cess tral ire
Directed X* not applicable not applicable
Semidrcted not applicable X not applicable
Splnialinecc X* X X*
Access X* X* X
Feeder X* X* X*
Maintenance X X X
Existence of a national plan X X X
Existence of resource
inventory X X X
Existence of project
feasibility study X X X
Application of colonist
recruitment procedures X X not apph, able
Forest industry X* X* X
Rural development activities
Research X X X
Extension X X X
Credit X X X
Marketing services X X
Cooperative promotion X X X
. Titling X X X
Housing X X X
Water supply X X X
Community development X X X
enterprises X X X
-small holdings X X X
Promotion of urban centers
(infrastructure and concentration of services, industry,
and population) X* X* X*
Establishment of standard
minimum unit (10-15 ha) X X X
Subdivision in variable sizes X X X
Reorganization and consolidation of minifundia not applicable X X
"Package" projects X* not applicable not applicable
development X* X* X*
Association of agroindustry and rural
development not applicable X* X*
Association of commercial
enterprises and small
holdings X X X
*Highi impact on success or failure.
Source: Michael Nelson, The Development of Tropical Lands:
Policy Issues in Latin America (The Johns Hopkins
University Press, Baltimore, 1973). p270-271.
j 6.0 1965
1935 1965 DENMARK
Lu 4.0 GERMANY
,v //" ~1950 / /F
1880 1945 1965
S2.0 .- 19U.K 1965
< 1.0 ,
<0.1 i I I I i
1 5 10 50 100 200
AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT (WHEAT UNITS) PER MALE WORKER Historical growth paths of agriculture development in the United States, Japan and Germany, 1880-1965, and Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom. 1870-1965. and Canada, 1941-65.
1. Robert S. McNamara, "Address to the Board of Governors" (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Washington,
September 1973). During 1974 the IBRD conducted a major staff
review of bank policies on rural development. The result of the study are summarized in Rural Development: Sector Policy Paper (Washington: International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development, February 1975).
2. U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mutual Development and
Cooperation Act of 1973 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing
Office, July 20, 1973), p. 15.
3. For an impressive documentation of the long-term failure of rural
population to share in the gains from economic growth in Indonesia
see Clifford Geertz, Agricultural Involution: The Process of
Ecological Change in Indonesia (Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1963). For more recent evidence see William L. Collier, Gunawon Wiradi and Woentoro, "Recent Changes in Rice Harvesting
Methods," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Vol. IX, No. 2
(July 1973), pp. 36-46; Sajogyo, Modernization Without Development
in Rural Java, Bogor Agricultural University (mimeo), 1973.
4. V. W. Ruttan and J. K. McDermott, "How Effective is the Rural
Development Program," Farm Policy Forum (Iowa State University Press, 1958), pp. 25-31; L. T. Wallace and V. W. Ruttan, "The
Role of the Community as a Factor in Industrial Location," Papers and Proceedings of the Regiopal Science Association. Vol. 7, 1961,
pp. 133-142; .V. W. Ruttan and L. T. Wallace, "The Effectiveness
of Location Incentives on Local Economic Development," Journal
of Farm Economics, Vol. 44 (November 1962), pp. 968-978.
5. Dorris D. Brown, Agricultural Development in India's Districts
(Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1971); Norman K. Nicholson, "Rural Development Policy in India: Elite Differentiation and the
Decision-Making Process," Department of Political Science,
Northern Illinois University, Dekalb (Paper presented to International Political Science As-sociation, August 1973).
6. Richard Brunner, The Puebla Project (The Agricultural Development
Council, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y., June 1970).
7. A. T. Mosher, "Projects of Integrated Rural Development," (The
Agricultural Development Council, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York,
N.Y., December 1972). See also A. T. Mosher, Varieties of
Extension Education and Commnunity Development (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University, New York State College of Agriculture.,
Cooperative Extension Publication No. 2, 1958); A. T. Mosher,
Creating a Progressive Rural Structure (The Agricultural Development Council, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y., 1969);
A. T. Mosher, To Create a Modern Agriculture (The Agricultural
Development Council, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y., 1971).
8. For the background on the origins of community development in India
see Albert Mayer, McKim Marriott and Richard L. Park, Pilot
Project, India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1959).
For evaluations of India's community development experience
see John P. Lewis, Quiet Crisis in India (Washington, The
Brookings Institution, 1962), pp. 155-162; John W. Mellor,
Thomas F. Weaver, Uma J. Lele and Sheldon R. Simon, Developing
Rural India: Plan and Practice (Ithaca: Cornell University Press,
1968), pp. 33-41, 75-81; Guy Hunter, The Administration of Agricultural Development: Lessons from India (London, Oxford
University Press, 1970); Edgar Owens and Robert Shaw, Development
Reconsidered (Lexington, Mass.: D. C. Heath, 1972), pp. 21-25.
9. The Gezira Scheme. in Sudan represents a major exception to the
generally disappointing rural development program experience.
During the initial stages of the scheme, economic and technical
objectives were given a high priority relative to other objectives.
In spite of its success the Gezira Scheme has not, perhaps
because of its colonialist origins, received wide attention as a model for other rural development efforts. For an excellent
discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the Gezira Scheme
see Arthur Gaitskell, Gezira: A Story of Development in the
Sudan (London: Faber and Faber, 1959).
10. Michael Nelson, The Development of Tropical Lands: Policy Issues
in Latin America (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press,
1973), p. 265.
11. These same generalizations also seem valid for the location of new
industrial estates. See Louis Lefeber and Mrinal Datta-Chaudhuri,
Regional Development: Experience and Prospects in South and
Southeast Asia (Paris: Mouton, 1971), pp. 16, 172-174, 175-184.
12. There are several useful annotated bibliographies and literature
reviews on rural development: United Nations Department of
Economic and Social Affairs, Popular Participation in Development:
Emerging Trends in Community Development (New York: United Nations,
1971); Tekola Dejene and Scott E. Smith, Experience in Rural
Development (Washington: American Council on Education, Overseas
Liaison Committee, August 1973).
13. See, for example, John M. Cohen, "Rural Change in Ethiopia: The
Chilalo Agricultural Development Unit," Economic Development
and Cultural Change, Vol. 22 (July 1974), pp. 580-614.
14. For the history of the Comilla Project see Arthur F. Raper, Rural
Development in Action (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1970);
M. Nural Haq, Village Development in Bangladesh (Bangladesh
Academy for Rural Development, Comilla, 1973); Akhter Hameed
Khan, "The Comilla Projects--- A Personel Account," International
Development Review, Vol. 14, No. 3 (1974), pp. 2-7; Robert.D.
Stevens, "Three Rural Development Models for Small-Farm Agricultural Areas in Low Income Nations," The Journal of Developing
Areas, Vol. 8, No. 3 (April 1974), pp. 409-420.
15. See.Joosep Nou, Studies in the Development of Agricultural Economics
in Europe (Uppsala: Almquist and Wiksells, 1967), pp. 184-230,
for a history of the impact of Von Thunen's work on economic
thought. Also, H. D. Dickson, "Von Thunen's Economics,"
Economic Journal, Vol. 79 (December 1969), pp. 894, 902.
16. T. W. Schultz, "A Framework for Land Economics -- The Long View,"
Journal of Farm Economics, Vol. 33 (May 1951), pp. 204-215;
T. W. Schultz, The Economic Organization of Agriculture (New
York: McGraw-Hill, 1953), p. 147.
17. Vernon W. Ruttan, "The Impact of Urban-Industrial Development on
Agriculture in the Tennessee Valley and the Southeast," Journal of Farm Economics, Vol. 37 (February 1955), pp. 38-56; Anthony
M. Tang, Economic Development in Southern Piedmont, 1860-1950:
Its .Impact on Agriculture (Chapel Hill: University of North
Carolina Press, 1958); William H. Nicholls, "Industrialization,
Factor Markets, and Agricultural Development," Journal of
Political Economy, Vol. 69 (August 1961), pp. 319-340; Dale E.
Hathaway, J. Allen Beegle and W. Keith Bryant, People of Rural
America, 1960 Census Monograph (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1968); Martin T. Katzman, "The Von Thuenen
Paradigm, the Industrial-Urban Hypothesis, and the Spatial
Structure of Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural
Economics, Vol. 56, No. 4 (November 1974).
18. Vernon W. Ruttan, "Agricultural Policy in an Affluent Society,"
Journal of Farm Economics, Vol. 48 (December 1966), pp. 1110-1120. 19. Stephen Hymer and Stephen Resnick, "A Model of an Agrarian Economy
with Non-Agricultural Activities," American Economic Review,
Vol. 59 (September 1969), pp. 493-506.
20. William W. Wade, Institutional Determinants of Technical Change and
Agricultural Productivity Growth: Denmark, France and Great Britain,
1870-1965 (Ph.D. Thesis, Graduate School, University of Minnesota,
21. See, for example, S. M. Shah, "Growth Center as a Strategy for Rural
Development: India Experience," Economic Development and Cultural
Change, Vol. 22 (January 1974), pp. 215-228; Frank C. Miller,
Old Villages and a New Town: Industrialization in Mexico (Cummings
Publishing Company, Menlo Park, California, 1973); Christopher
Salter, Chinese Experiments in Urban Space: The Quest for an Agrapolitan China, paper presented to the Colloquium on "New
Concepts and Technologies in Third World Urbanization," University of California (Los Angeles), May 17-18, 1974; Frank G. Mittelbach,
New Towns: Prospects for Innovation, paper presented to the Colloquium on."New Concepts and Technologies in Third World
Urbanization," University of California (Los Angeles), May 17-18,
22. William H. Nicholls, "The Transformation of Agriculture in a SemiIndustrialized Country: The Case of Brazil," The Role of Agriculture in Economic Development, ed. Erik Thorbecke (New York:
Columbia University Press, 1969), pp. 311-378. See also G.
Edward Schuh, "Comment," Ibid, pp. 379-385.
23. For an elaboration of the "induced technical change" model see Hayami
and Ruttan, Agricultural Development: An International Perspective
.(Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1971).
24. Theodore W. Schultz, "The Education of Farm People: An Economic
Perspective," (Department of Economics, University of Chicago
[mimeo], 1973); Arnold C. Harberger, "Investment in Men Versus
Investment in Machines, The Case of India" in C. Arnold Anderson
and Mary Jean Bowman, eds., Education and Economic Development
(Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1965), pp. 4-50.
25. For two studies which explore the possibility of achieving greater
efficiency in the organization and delivery of education and
health services see Philip H. Coombs and Manzoor Ahmed, Attacking
Rural Poverty: How Nonformal Education Can Help (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974); John Bryant, Health and
the Developing World (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969). 26. C. R. Wharton, Jr., "Marketing, Merchandising and Moneylending: A
Note on Middleman Monopsony in Malaysia," Malayan Economic Review,
Vol. 7 (October 1962), pp. 24-44; Kurt R. Anschel, Russell H.
Brannon, and Eldon D. Smith, eds., Agricultural Cooperatives
and Markets in Developing Countries (New York: Praeger, 1969). 27. William J. Siffin, "The Institution Building Perspective: Properties
Problems and Promise," Institution Building: A Model of Applied
Social Change, D. Woods Thomas, et al. (eds) (Cambridge: Schenkman,
1972), pp. 113-148. For an annotated bibliography of the institution building literature see Melvin G. Blase, Institution
Building: A Source Book (Michigan State University, East Lansing:
Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities, Inc.,
28. The ideology of rural development has been described by Dr. Y. C.
James L. Yen in terms of four goals of rural reconstruction:
(a) livelihood, (b) education, (c) health, and (d) group activities.
Y. C. James Yen, "International Institute of Rural Reconstruction
and Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement," in Harry Bayard
Price, ed., Rural Reconstruction and Development (New York: Praeger,
1967), pp. 19-32; For an examination of the interplay between ideology and technology in rural development see David J. Vail,
"Technology for Ujamaa Village Development in Tanzania," (Program in East African Studies, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public
Affairs, Syracuse University, forthcoming, 1975).
29. The seminal work in this body of literature is Anthony Downs, An
Economic Theory of Democracy (New York: Harper, 1957), pp. 3-35.
See also James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock, The Calculus of
Consent (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1962); Mancur Olson, Jr., The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the
Theory of Groups (New York: Schocken Books, 1968); Anthony Downs,
Inside Bureaucracy (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1966); William
A. Niskanen, Jr., Bureaucracy and Representative Government (Chicago
30. William A. Niskanen, "The Peculiar Economics of Bureaucracy,"
American Economic Review, Vol. 58 (May 1968), pp. 293-305.
31. For a test of the Niskanen model see W. Keith Bryant, "An Analysis of
the Market for Food Stamps," American Journal of Agricultural
Economics. Vol. 54 (May 1972), pp. 305-325; "An Analysis of the
Market for Food Stamps: Correction and Extension," American
Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 54 (November 1972) pp. 689-693.
32. Mancur Olson, Jr., The Logic of Collective Action, P. 48. See
also James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock, The Calculus of
Consent, pp. 43-62.
33. Solon Barraclough, "Farmers Organizations in Planning and Implementing
Rural Development" in Raanon Weitz, Rural Development in a Changing World (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1971), pp. 364-390. 34. John F. Speight, "Community Development Theory and Practice: A
Machiavellian Perspective" Rural Sociology, Vol. 38, No. 4 (Winter 1974), pp. 477-490. The difficulties of achieving
effective organization for change at the local level led Speight
to conclude that "directed change must come from outside the
community" (p. 479).
35. Christopher L. Salter, "Chinese Experiments in Urban Space," points
out that the efficiency in the use of low quality human resources
has represented a major feature of rural development in China.
He also points to the unique capacity of the Chinese system to achieve decentralization in administration under conditions of
highly centralized program goals and to the success in establishing new "agrapolitan" growth centers in the interior as
important achievements of Chinese rural development.
36. Ester Boserup, Woman's Role in Economic Development (New York: St.
Martins Press; London:.George Allen and Unwin, 1970).
37. I am indebted to conversations with Uma Lele and John Mellor for turning
my attention to the issue of intensity of the human resource input
in rural development. This perspective is outlined more fully in
Uma Lele, African Rural Development Study (Washington: IBRD,
38. Arthur T. Mosher, "Administrative Experimentation as a 'Way of
Life' for Development Projects," International Development
Review, Vol. 9, No. 2 (June 1967), pp. 39-41; Inayatullah, "An Analysis of the Emergence of a Rural Development Innovation in
Comilla, Bangladesh," (Kuala Lumpur: Asian Centre for Development
Administration, February 1975). For a useful case study of the
,effect of administrative rigidity on program development see
Orlin J. Scoville, "Rural Development in Thailand: The ARD Program,"
The Journal of Developing Areas, Vol 9, No. 1 (October 1974),
39. Shoaib Sultan Khan, "Daudzai Project: A Case Study" (Peshawar:
Pakistan Academy for Rural Development, January 1975), pp. 16-18;
A. T. Mosher, 1972, p. 2.