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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The World Bank and social capital: Lessons from ten rural development projects in the Philippines and Mexico


Social capital is widely recognized as one of the few sources of capital available to the poor, yet the processes by which development policies a¡ect the accumulation of that social capital are not well understood. TheWorld Bank, through its funding of development projects, affects the institutional environments for the accumulation of such social capital. The question is how to determine whether that institutional context is enabling, and to what degree. This paper compares ten recent World Bank-funded rural development projects in Mexico and the Philippines to explore how the processes of project design and implementation in£uence the institutional environments for the accumulation of horizontal, vertical, and intersectoral forms of pro-poor social capital. The findings have conceptual and policy implications for understanding the political dynamics of creating enabling environments for social capital accumulation by the poor.

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