Can the World Bank Build Social Capital? The Experience of Social Funds in Malawi and Zambia
Social funds have been one of the main manifestations of the World Bank's move toward promoting projects with a participatory orientation. Supporters of social funds argue that participation in social fund activities builds community social capital. Critics of the Bank's use of social capital argue that it ignores power structures but these critics have focused on the Bank's research rather than its operations. This paper examines 'social capital' in a project context: social funds in Malawi and Zambia. In contrast to the model of collective action suggested by proponents of social funds, it is shown that the nature of community participation is indeed shaped by existing power and social relations. Project identification and execution is led by a small number of people in the community, usually the head teacher in cooperation with the PTA and traditional authorities. The community is then mobilised using the traditional structures of village headmen. Most community members participate actively in making bricks, but passively in decision making. However, this process should be seen as an institutional adaptation to what social funds offer, not elite capture. Most community members are satisfied with the outcome, although the chosen project is not what they would have chosen themselves. Given these processes, social funds do little to build social capital but instead, appear to be users of existing social capital.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 44 (2008)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/FJDS20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/FJDS20|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:44:y:2008:i:8:p:1145-1168. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.