Document Type : علمی
Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
The use of local organizations and institutes is one of the management approaches in rural communities that in certain periods of the history of rural development is considered. In this regard, rural municipality cooperatives have been formed in many areas and have been played highly effective role in facilitating services of rural municipality. Therefore, current research aimed to investigate the role and function of rural municipality cooperatives in rural development in Golestan Province.
2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
Rural management, by definition, is a process in which organizations and institutions are shaped to meet the objectives of the rural community and, in fact, organizing and conducting community and rural environment occurs. Within this general definition, the aims such as rural modernization and improving the physical environment, guiding and monitoring the process of rural development and improving living and working conditions for rural management could be considered. With establishment of rural municipalities in addition to rural council, as legislator and approval of rural development programs, executive management of village affairs was laid to rural municipalities. So, rural municipalities as non-governmental organizations, which administrate rural affairs under the supervision of local villagers and Islamic Councils, have important duties in the field of public affairs. Moreover, the rural municipality’s cooperative is a voluntary association for collective action of rural administrator in taking the needs of the construction, services, economic and socio-cultural as well as promoting and developing rural areas. Rural municipality’s cooperative with a few basic purposes were formed, one of which improve the livelihoods, health and well-being of the villagers. The second objective is contributing to economic self-sufficiency and strengthening rural municipality and the third goal is the creation of productive and sustainable employment in rural areas which is a very important purpose of this cooperatives. In the final conclusion with regard to the economic and developmental benefits associated with rural municipality’s cooperative, most important activities of this cooperation can include implementation of rural development projects, providing engineering and consulting services in the village, helping rural municipality in services and civil activities, providing equipment for the private sector to carry out construction activities and services, creating network to gather crops and livestock and industrial production of rural people and implementation of economic projects to maintain and exploit natural resources of rural areas.
Statistical population was 830 of rural administrators who had membership in municipality cooperatives of Golestan province. Sample size (n=118) was determinated by Cochran's formula. The sample was selected by cluster sampling technique within 9 rural municipality cooperatives. Validity of the research questionnaire was confirmed by 3 experts from Golestan municipality cooperatives and faculty members. Calculated Cronbach alpha coefficient as indication of questionnaire’s reliability was equal to 0.928, 0.840, 0.901 and 0.908 for main part of questionnaire, including civil, economic services and socio-cultural function respectively.
Results of ranking items related to each function showed that "participation in the construction and improvement of rural housing" regarding civil function, "investment to improve agricultural and industrial production" regarding economic function, "leveling the rural streets" regarding service function and "training managers familiar with the conditions of the village and local organizations" regarding social-cultural function had a high priority. One sample t test results showed that the municipality cooperatives have no role and effect on rural development. Friedman test results showed that the impact of functions are not different and have equal priority. Results of independent sample t-test showed that municipality cooperatives in the central district of each county have better functions. Kruskal-Wallis test to compare the performance of the municipality cooperative based on years of establishment showed that cooperative with longer years of establishment have better performance in all the four functions. Kruskal-Wallis test results to compare the performance of the municipality cooperative among counties showed that Gorgan county has high performance in civil and services function while Kordkoy county has high performance in socio-cultural and economic function
Limitation/strategies: The focus of this study was to examine the role and function of rural municipality cooperatives in taking rural development, so it is expected that future researches investigate identification strategies to improve the performance of role and functions of the cooperatives.
According to the findings, collaboration rural demarche to provide the required machinery, transfer of development projects and providing specialized workforce, support in financing from the district council, coordination of all rural councils and rural municipalities with cooperatives, establishment of funding, insurance, planning for effective communication and consultation meetings between cooperatives in county, province and country to improve the role and functioning of cooperatives is effective. Moreover, understanding the role and function of rural municipality cooperatives in rural development in Golestan province and providing recommendations for improving the performance of this type of cooperatives are originality and value of this research.