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Research Areas
  • Crop production,
  • Agrarian economy

The regional development programs promoted by the national governments and international multilateral agencies, like the World Bank and the Inter American Development Bank, are oriented to public policies under which public goods, like public services and infrastructures, are supplied to underdeveloped regions, many in Latin America. More a more evidences are pointing to the fact that success of these programs depends in a good part of externalities, which are related to the changes in the form of networking and values among the stakeholders in the territory. These externalities are defined as the Social Capital. As externalities, they are not directly evaluated in the projects economic and social impact, but accepted to exist and the planners of the projects do acknowledge the importance of social networking, although never assessed. The spatial effect over the rural territories regulates the employment as much as other production factors for the industry. The population will journey to the areas where work is more available but that movement is limited by the local geography. Technology and geography are key factors in the employment evolution, and by that of economical growth. The objective of the research project described in this paper is to measure and assess the social capital of a given regional development project, and to compare the social capital results with those of the benefits according to the drafted project framework agreed upon the multilateral agencies and the region authorities. The regional program selected is the ?Programa de Desenvolvimiento da Zona da Mata? (PROMATA) in the State of Pernambuco Brazil, under the sponsor of the Inter American Development Bank. The PROMATA project, ended in 2010, was big (over $ 100 M) and was designed to induce development in which community resources were to be mobilized, with the intention of getting the stakeholders involved as proponents and protagonists of social change in their territories. That social based bottom-up framework was a very interesting opportunity to observe the social capital component given the profile of the project. The research was carried out with the project just finished, so permanent changes in the social network and values could be observed. Some difficulties still present precluded the use of a large interview sampling, so intentional interviews had to be implemented with a reduced number of people in the region. In that case, a questionnaire capable of measuring the opinion, versus the traditional tally recording, was implemented using the Item Response Theory and the Guttman scale. The social capital was intended to be analyzed using scaled Woolcock matrix. Woolcock uses two strategy matrix (2x2), one for the Macro relations (state- society) and other for the Micro relations (society-community). Each scale in the matrix is normalized from cero to one. The results were obtained using Multiple Correspondence Analysis and Principal Components, producing the needed scales to measure the social capital according to Woolcock matrix. PROMATA, is considered a success case in Brazil, in part because of its social networking approach. However when the social capital was analyzed there were areas of state-society and society-community relations not in agreement with the results reflected by the economic-social benefits evaluation at the end of the project. Secondary research like expert interviews proved the social capital results not to be mistaken. This unforeseen externality is the social capital effect.
International Conference on Applied Business Research ICABR2014
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Proceedinsg of International Conference on Applied Business Research ICABR2014

Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Sistemas de producción y protección vegetal sostenibles
  • Departamento: Economía Agraria, Estadística y Gestión de Empresas