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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, THE
Doing Business As Name:Washington University
PD/PI:
  • Glenn D Stone
  • (314) 935-5239
  • stone@wustl.edu
Co-PD(s)/co-PI(s):
  • Matthew W Abel
Award Date:01/10/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 5,613
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 5,613
  • FY 2020=$5,613
Start Date:05/15/2020
End Date:04/30/2021
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Doctoral Dissertation Research: The impacts of public policy on rural social organization
Federal Award ID Number:1949012
DUNS ID:068552207
Parent DUNS ID:068552207
Program:Cult Anthro DDRI
Program Officer:
  • Jeffrey Mantz
  • (703) 292-7783
  • jmantz@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:CAMPUS BOX 1054
City:Saint Louis
State:MO
ZIP:63130-4862
County:Saint Louis
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Washington University
Street:1 Brookings Drive
City:St. Louis
State:MO
ZIP:63130-4862
County:Saint Louis
Country:US
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

Rural development and agricultural extension form crucial components of government programming in countries with large agricultural economies. Efforts to harmonize national growth strategies with the interests of small-scale family farmers have led to rapid changes in the quantity and quality of policies available to rural populations. These include public infrastructure projects, subsidized credit programs, land reform efforts, and payments for ecosystem services. While the successes and failures of individual initiatives are well-known to planners and development practitioners, the ability of farming communities to adapt their economic, productive, and organizational strategies to the changing priorities of state development policy is less well understood. Does increasing access to public subsidies and extension services encourage farmers to decrease or increase investments in production? Does it allow farmers to increase investments in household and community infrastructure? And what are the social impacts of repeated government interventions over time? Do communities collaborate to exchange information and build organizations surrounding the administration of public policies? Or do rapid changes in government development policy generate conflicts as local leaders monopolize knowledge of and control over key public resources? In addition to supporting the training of a graduate student in anthropology in the methods of empirical, scientific data collection and analysis, findings from this research will provide insights into the way changing state policy impacts community organization over time and will therefore have significant implications for planners and practitioners working in both domestic and international development. This research will be conducted in farming communities in an estuary region where contending pressures from conservationists, landowners, and other stakeholders have created a complex policy landscape that has undergone rapid changes over the past three decades. This will provide an apt setting to study community-level responses to changing government development interventions. Moreover, the investigator's prior experience in the region will furnish crucial local support. The investigator will focus on the estuary's traditional riverine communities. These communities have historically drawn on extended family networks to mobilize relatives to pursue small-scale farming and agroforestry activities along floodplains but have recently become to targets of several overlapping government policies. Research will involve the collection of interviews with state development agencies, histories of local associations formed by farmers, and census data from four rural villages. Using this data, the investigator will explore whether wealth inequalities, secondary occupational status, affiliation with religious organizations, or access to extended family networks are more important factors in farmers' ability to gain access to public development funding and successfully navigate changing government policies. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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