Congresos y reuniones científicas
An Alternative Strategy for Community Development, The Case for Costa Rica
Conferencia; The Middle Atlantic Graduate Student Conference on Latin America; 2002
Institución organizadora:
The Johns Hopkins University
It is necessary to focus the problems that inhibit or delay the development of Latin America in order to take measures in the correct way. Inequality, poverty and unemployment are serious problems affecting the developing world in this new era of globalized markets. A sound market can be built only on the solid foundations of a society rich in human and social capital. A society whose members are properly educated and formed in the knowledge and use of social and professional skills. This can happen only if they organize within their communities and when they are genuine owners of their own enterprises in an ‘economy of solidarity.’ There is not such a thing as a universal solution for all groups affected by unemployment and poverty. Each of these sectors requires solutions customized to their specific necessities, past experiences, and organizational styles. Otherwise, the implemented solutions would be bound to fail. This study proposes the solution given by the strategy known as the Organization Workshop Method, or OW. The final purpose of the OW is to create grass root community empowerment. This is to be done by means of both, creating social capital and building organizational capabilities in the targeted community that in turn will stimulate locally designed projects capable of creating employment and income, based on the organized actions of groups and communities. Organizationally the Organization Workshop is a large-scale empowerment and a democratic self-management strategy based on communal cooperative enterprises and investment on the part of local communities. Participants in the OW are capacitated (empowered by the acquisition of organizational and practical skills as well as of capabilities to conduct successful enterprises) while developing a commonly held stock of information and financial resources necessary to create successful cooperative enterprises. Capacitation takes place through a cooperative process of analyzing problems, designing and carrying out solutions. This paper studies the OW method in the context of the Atlantic Region of Costa Rica where it will next be implemented.