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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Popular Participation in NGO Sustainable Development Projects in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Peten, Guatemala

Author: Krull,Bryan Churchill
Author Background:
Date March 2000
Type Dissertation
Journal Title: Dissertation-Abstracts-International,-A:-The-Humanities-and-Social-Sciences
Volume/Pages 60(9)3550-A-3551-A
Subject Matter Community Development; International
Abstract Popular participation in NGO sustainable development project has received incomplete treatment in the literature. This dissertation offers a more participant-based view of participation. Popular participation is analyzed in four NGOs and eleven participating communities within USAID's Mayarema Project in the Maya Biosphere Reserve of the Peten area of Guatemala. The results dispute conventional treatment of the nature of popular participation; decision-making processes are found to be complex, involving issues of risk, trust, and utility. The effects of popular participation on development and conservation are analyzed. While participation's effects on local development have been uneven and incomplete, NGOs have been able to achieve important conservation goals through popular participation in sustainable development projects. This finding supports the assertion that NGOs are more accountable to international donors and their conservation interests than to project beneficiaries and their development concerns. NGO and community characteristics are analyzed to determine general factors which impact the development potential of popular participation.