Development connections: The hedgerow model
This is chapter 3 of the book "Rethinking Sustainability: Power, Knowledge and Institutions" by Jonathan M. Harris (ed). Effective development usually must involve both the elite and the most needy within any particular society—these two groups being seen not as polar types but as the opposite ends of a spectrum that runs continuously between them. The form of that involvement must include connections that allow for the free exchange of information between the two ends of the spectrum. These connections must also facilitate flows of power and physical resources. It is sometimes assumed that these must be asymmetrical flows, going primarily from those who have the greatest access to power and other resources, to those who have least access. However, within this overall context, under certain circumstances there is development value in flows that are equalized by the market—where the poor either pay for what they get, or sell what they make at a market price. All of these flows have the best chance of occurring when the connections are made via intermediaries—social entities who generally have less access to resources than the elite, but more than the most needy.
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