Harnessing Community Self-Help: Some Lessons from Rural England
Local Economy, 2002, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 136-146.
Posted: 26 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2002
Attempts to harness community self-help currently tend to follow the ‘third sector’ route of developing existing community-based groups. The aim of this paper is to evaluate critically this approach. Drawing upon case study evidence from rural England, existing community-based groups are displayed to be primarily sociability vehicles for higher-income populations. In consequence, if community self-help is to be harnessed to improve the material circumstances of lower-income populations, a ‘third sector’ approach is inappropriate. Instead, a ‘fourth sector’ approach is shown to be required that develops acts of one-to-one reciprocity. The paper concludes by outlining some possible initiatives to implement this policy approach.
Keywords: Informal sector, household work practices, livelihoods, economic development, England
JEL Classification: H26, J46, K42, O17
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation