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Social Capital and Joint Forest Management Programme: A Comparative Study on Female-headed and Joint Forest Protection Committees in West Bengal

Sarker, Debnarayan and Das, Nimai (2004): Social Capital and Joint Forest Management Programme: A Comparative Study on Female-headed and Joint Forest Protection Committees in West Bengal. Published in: Journal of Rural Development , Vol. 25, No. 4 (2006): pp. 537-563.

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Abstract

Under a framework for the measurement of social capital at the local decentralized institutions related to three sample female forest protection committees (FPCs) and three joint FPCs, where most of the members live below poverty line and are dependent on food-livelihood security from forest resources, in Bankura district of West Bengal, this paper examines whether social capital is important for the successful development outcomes in female FPCs compared with joint FPCs where women’s involvement is insignificant. This study suggests that the level of social capital is higher for all female FPCs because there already exists the tradition of community solidarity and more developed network of relationships based on cultural norms, absence or poor presence of traditional ascriptive hierarchies, endemic factionalism and common identity that contribute in building an inner dynamic of the development of social capital.

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