Problem

Incomplete utilization of external relations


Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Underused relations with non-government sector
Unused socio-economic interdependencies
Unrecognized potential of community interdependence
Undeveloped agency relationships
Undeveloped liaison leverage
Ineffective community leverage
Insufficient lobbying
Nature:
The various sectors of society are becoming more interdependent: urban and rural; economic and social; local and global. Local development, especially, is increasingly dependent upon the combined support of both public and private sectors at the regional and national levels. However, small communities tend to be looked upon, and to accept the role of, recipients, exclusively dependent upon the public sector of a larger jurisdiction. Such a role deprives residents of the humanizing activity of bearing responsibility for developing their own local advocacy, and reinforces their powerlessness. In small villages, communication with outside powers occurs on an individual, personal basis without the strength or influence of community consensus. Attempts to work in cooperation with existing public and private structures almost always result in residents being overwhelmed by the apparent sophistication and expertise required to follow unfamiliar and therefore seemingly complex procedures. When the public sector acts (as it must) on the basis of priorities which understandably do not always include those of the small community, residents only see unrealized promises. There is a resultant reluctance to seek benefits which are available; and possibilities of relating to private sector resources or of developing resources within the community are seldom taken advantage of, due to a continuing unawareness of new resources.

Many rural communities seem to use only a part of the supportive network which is potentially available to them, all requests for help being directed to bureaux, departments and agencies of various government bodies to the exclusion of private support sources. Such requests often do not receive a positive response because many villages have too small a population to fit the guidelines established for public development programmes, which must serve the needs of the whole district or nation and necessarily emphasize larger population centres. A second factor is that the public officials who are contacted tend to be those known personally to the village leadership. This does not allow for the intricacy and breadth of transaction which are necessary to deal with the public sector of any nation in the world today. As a result, residents are resigned to managing without basic facilities such as running water.

Claim:
Until the framework of economic and social support, especially involving companies, foundations, and influential individuals, is used more fully, the people in small rural villages will continue to be frustrated in their efforts to develop their communities.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
24.04.2000 – 00:00 CEST