Archaeology and Economic Development 2012

Institutional Structure of Sustainable Community Organizations

This paper will describe the organizational and operational features of community-controlled economic development ventures in two contrasting rural communities, one in Ireland the other in Belize.  The paper will illustrate the manner in which sustainable community organizations must adapt their institutional features to local conditions while incorporating general principles associated with successful self-managed community projects identified by scholars of common pool resources and community heritage tourism projects.   

The paper rejects “top-down” or “expert” design and management of community institutions in favour of supporting the creation of institutions at the local level that are consistent with local cultural, legal, political and economic conditions yet provide for financial and operational transparency, support robust participation, and facilitate adjustment to changing conditions. 

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