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Civil society, community participation, and the search for sustainable development
Geiser, Urs
In: SDPI [Sustainable Development Policy Institute]. editor. 2003. Sustainable Development and Southern Realities - Past and Future in South Asia. Sustainable Development Policy Institute, City Press, Islamabad, Pakistan, pp. 197-211. Order from: Pakistan Research Group
The Tajik Pamirs: Towards pluralism: Challenges for governance and civil society
Breu, Thomas
The Tajik Pamirs: Challenges of Sustainable Development in an Isolated Mountain Region: The present publication provides a summary of the outcomes of the Pamir Strategy Project (PSP). It portrays life in the Pamirs, along with development challenges and options, and presents practical and participatory approaches that can lead to sustainable mountain development. In addition, this publication outlines the lessons learnt within the PSP by presenting and evaluationg methods and apporaches such as participatory village studies, multi-level stakeholder workshops for strategy development, knowledge generation processes, and Geographic Information Systmes as decision support tools for sustainable mountain development. In: Breu T, and Hurni H, editors. The Tajik Pamirs. Challenges of Sustainable Development in an Isolated Mountain Region. Bern: Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, pp 45-46. Download
Floods in Pakistan: Socio-political and 'techno-nature' challenges - a first glance
Geiser, Urs
The floods are among the worst disasters that hit Pakistan and its people. And they pose a whole series of incredible challenges to the country's citizens, administration, political parties, civil society, and academia. In the following sections, we mention just a few of them, being aware that there are many more to be tackled. We start with issues of emergency aid delivery and coordination, moving to challenges of raising funds amidst Pakistan's "bad image", then gradually moving towards questions regarding the causes for the disaster, and capabilities to cope with them. Download
The post-conflict Trojan horse: Upsurge of urban crimes as a challenge to state building
Ghimire, Safal
In: Upreti BR, Sharma SR, Pyakuryal KN, Ghimire S. (eds). The Remake of a State: Post-conflict Challenges and State Building in Nepal. Kathmandu, South Asia Regional Coordination Office of the Swiss National Centere of Competence in Research (NCCR North-South) and Human and Natural Ressources Studies Centre (HNRSC), pp. 211-239. The discussion in this chapter assesses, interprets and analyses the syndromes of urban crime as one of the post-conflict challenges for state building. It eyes upon the issues of crime from the angle of post-conflict security. The chapter gives attention to the increasing bureau-political tensions, and by the use of delineating the functions and malfunctions of police administration also to the loopholes to be corrected as well as the strengths to be accelerated. Download
Donor-driven participatory forest management and 'Local Social Realities': Insights from Pakistan.
Shahbaz, Babar
This paper analyses a participatory forest management initiative in the milieu of local social realities (such as customary forest use, power relations and livelihood concerns) and the actors who are part of these realities. The paper shows that the donor-driven decentralisation of forest management did not consider traditional practices of forest use, nor did it attempt to engage customary institutions and local civil society in the process. Though new institutions (joint forest management and Village Development Committees) have been established for implementation of participatory forest management and land use plans at the village level, the paper shows that responsibility delegated by the state to these institutions concerns protection of the forests rather than management. A mismatch between local livelihood concerns and the institutional change process is also revealed. In: Geiser U, Rist S, editors. Decentralisation Meets Local Complexity: Local Struggles, State Decentralisation and Access to Natural Resources in South Asia and Latin America. Bern: Geographica Bernensia, pp 249-273. Download
State, politics and civil society: A note on the experience of Kerala.
Ramakumar, R.
This paper discusses the historical experience with civil society and decentralisation in the State of Kerala, India. The paper tries to address three separate, but related, questions: firstly, what conclusions can we draw from the literature on the conditions for the success of civil society organisations in social transformation? Secondly, what are the lessons that the history of Kerala provides on the potential and role of social movements in the development process? Thirdly, how has the interface between civil society organisations and democratically elected institutions changed with the increased decentralisation of power to local people in Kerala? In: Geiser U, Rist S, editors. Decentralisation Meets Local Complexity: Local Struggles, State Decentralisation and Access to Natural Resources in South Asia and Latin America. Bern: Geographica Bernensia, pp 275-310. Download
Civil society need not speak English
Geiser, Urs
"In Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province, international donors found it difficult to find non-governmental organisations relevant to their purposes. Because donors were uncomfortable with the local conditions and regional traditions, they simply overlooked possible contacts." Magazine for Development & Cooperation 2006, Vol. 33, Issue 8-9, pp. 326-328 Available online from: Magazine for Development & Cooperation
Larval Actors, Uncertain Scenarios and Cryptic Scripts
Dilla, Haroldo
In: Tulchin JS, Bobea L, Espina Prieto MP, Hernández R, Elizabeth Bryan E, 2005. Changes in Cuban Society since the Nineties. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, pp. 35-51 Download PDF from the Wilson Center: English version / Spanish version
Cuban Civil Society
Dilla, Haroldo
If we define actors (social, political, economic) as groups having a distinctive public profile and defined interests vis-à-vis the system they seek to preserve, replace, or simply change, then it is extremely difficult to speak of actors in Cuba. Because of the way in which Cuban society has evolved over the past several decades and the unique characteristics of its political system, the emergent actors referred to here (those that have appeared in the past decade as a result of a changing society) are all larval, with little or no organization, and scripts so surreptitious as to be incomprehensible to the uninitiated.... NACLA 2006, 39, pp. 37-43 Available online for purchase from: NACLA