Poverty reduction and local arenas: community level intermediation and exclusion of externally provided resources and management
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Antwerp :University of Antwerp, Institute of Development Policy and Management, 2004
IDPM-UA discussion paper , 2004/3
University of Antwerp
Most rural development interventions consciously or unconsciously make use of local intermediation mechanisms in their endeavour to combat poverty at the local level. At the same time, how these local intermediation mechanisms occur in practice exerts an important infl uence on the functioning of external development interventions, particularly who enters and who is excluded from the provided resources. However, local intermediation cannot be completely controlled by an external intervention. As an interface between two different worlds, it results from the interaction between an externally designed institutional structure and the existing local structures. Sustainable poverty reduction, however, requires the opening of local political structures in favour of the politically excluded. This makes it important to understand how and to which extent external interventions can steer local intermediation, in an endeavour to change local political structures. Using the data of a survey in 33 Nicaraguan rural villages the paper identifi es both structural and design variables that determine local intermediation and its infl uence on exclusion from aid fl ows. Special attention is paid to the local legitimacy of local leaders, the reliance on local brokers and the exclusion of the poor.