Agriculture and Human Values 23 (4):513-527 (2006)

Village communities are not homogeneous entities but a combination of complex networks of social relationships. Many factors such as ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, and power relations determine one’s access to information and resources. Development workers’ inadequate understanding of local social networks, norms, and power relations may further the interests of better-off farmers and marginalize the poor. This paper explores how social networks function as assets for individuals and households in the rural areas of developing countries and influence access to information and benefits from research and development. A case study of such networks in Phieng Lieng village, in the northern mountains of Vietnam, provides evidence for the need for the efficient delivery of extension services and research and development interventions at the micro level
Keywords Agricultural extension  Household assets  Marginal farmers  Northern Vietnam  Participatory development  Social network
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DOI 10.1007/s10460-006-9013-5
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