Policies and Planning Approach: Challenges and Opportunities for Local Stakeholders' Empowerment and Sustainable Development (Case Study: South and South-East Villages of Tehran)

Document Type : Scientific Articles


Shahid Beheshti University


Purpose- The present study aims to examine the challenges and opportunities for local stakeholders' empowerment related to rural planning in Iran. In general, the current approach of planning process from making decision to implementation and monitoring is based on instrumental rationalism approach, irrespective of the villagers’ viewpoints. Urban – Rural divided planning has created some challenges for sustainable rural development and opportunities for improving environmental-ecological and socio-economic indicators, which have been ignored.
Design/Methodology/Approach- Less attention has been paid to local stakeholders' empowerment in planning methods and procedures, which is regarded as an obstacle for the promotion of the indicators related to sustainable rural development. The present study was based on a descriptive – analytical method. Correlation test and multivariate regression were used to provide a meaningful framework. Library and field studies were used for data collection. Library method was used to understand the impact of policy implementation and planning approach on the socio-economic empowerment of local stakeholders for their socio-economic participation in sustainable rural development and the study of previous research experiences and other countries on appropriate planning. The statistical population of the study is 124 villages in south and southeast of Tehran. Random sample size for completing the questionnaire of local authorities at village level, using Cochran formula and its adjustment formula for small statistical population, with 95% confidence level and probability of 0.05 and prediction of variance S2 0.25 = sample size of 54 villages was achieved. In these 54 villages, 450 questionnaires were completed according to size by specifying sample size in each village .The validity of the research questionnaire was conducted by experts in organizations. The reliability of the questionnaire through Cronbach's alpha was 0.801. 
Findings- The results indicated that local stakeholder's generative empowerment is important although unproductive empowerment is increasingly overcoming. In addition, the possible effects of this process have been identified. Thus, problem-oriented planning is necessary for formulating a community-based approach optimally and strengthening social capital, which is not based on current instrumental rationalism approach. Thus, for the best planning with a community-based approach and the reinforcement of social capital, the group to convene is needed in the process and problem-oriented planning is important. This is inconsistent with the techno centrism rationalism approach.


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