Towards a local socio-institutional analysis of anti-poverty interventions: a critical review of methods and researchers
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Antwerp :University of Antwerp, 2004
IDPM-discussion paper , 2004:4
University of Antwerp
We try to construct a bridge between an institutional perspective on poverty and poverty interventions (Bastiaensen, De Herdt & Vaessen 2002) and a more operational screening instrument to be used for a local socio-institutional analysis of anti-poverty interventions (LSIA). While reviewing existing research approaches, we discuss three fundamental issues that need to be taken into account in order to develop a more operational instrument for a socio-institutional analysis of development interventions. The first point is that poverty analysis should focus on the local level, since the final poverty effects of intervention clearly play at this level. This requires an appropriate understanding of what is meant as the local level, an issue we will deal with in both economic and sociological terms. Second, we must acknowledge that a locality is a pluriform social landscape whose dynamics are co-determined by interdependent but autonomously deciding actors of different kinds and with different interests and worldviews. The third and final issue is that one should be sufficiently aware of the role and position of the researchers. In the process of generating and interpreting information, researchers are discursively interacting with local actors in their institutional environments. As we will see, the problem for the researchers is not unlike that of the development experts.