Influence of Social Capital on Implementation Process of Guidance Plans in Khaf County

Document Type : Research Paper


Associate Professor, Geography and Rural Planning, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran


Formulation and implementation of Guidance plans in the last three decades has changed the physical landscape of rural settlements. Participation is undoubtedly a major factor in the success of rural development projects. It is expected to increase the level of social capital in rural areas and to add contributions to this project. This paper is an attempt to assess the influence of social capital in the process of implementing Guidance plan in rural areas. In addition, the spatial distribution of the correlation between these two variables will be assessed in the study area. Thus, the results can be employed as a basis for further studies, planning, and policy making in rural areas, especially in Khaf County.
In terms of the aim, this study is an applied research and in terms of methodology it is a descriptive- analytical. Some parts of data have been collected through field studies and questionnaires and the other parts like the theoretical-conceptual framework, documentations and the census data have been collected through library research method. According to the findings of census conducted in 2012, this county includes 68 rural areas with a population of 65494 people. The guidance plan was carried out in 21 rural areas. From the villages that 10 years have passed since the implementation of Guidance plan, 10 villages with 4348 household have been selected as sample of the study. To estimate the sample size, we applied Cochran sampling method with a confidence level of 95% and the error probability of 6.3%. A total of 233 people were questioned. In this study, simple random sampling method was applied. After data collection, and processing them in ArcGIS and SPSS, made data analysis for explanation of research question.
The main question in this study is how effective has been the villager's social capital on the implementation process of guidance plans in rural areas? Hypothesis under study is designed to answer the question: "Villagers Social capital has been effective on the implementation process of Rural Guidance Plans."
In spatial analysis, a direct relationship has been observed between Social Capital of rural people and implementation process of Rural Guidance Plans, with the value of 0.379 at a significance level of 99%. There is a correlation between Villagers Social capital and their participation in the implementation process of Rural Guidance Plans with IQ 0.158 at 99% significance level. On the other hand, there is relatively a weak correlation with coefficient of 0.16 at a significance level of 90% between villager's participation and implementation process of Rural Guidance Plans. Between Villagers Social Capital and implementation of Guidance Plans in four villages such as Sedeh, Razdab, Mehrabad, and Borabad there is also a significant positive correlation. The results of the multivariate regression model, only variables of awareness and social cohesion P-Value greater than 0.05, reveals that the effect of these variables are not significant in the model. Therefore, the variable of social trust in the village is the strongest predictor of success in implementation process of Rural Guidance Plans. With regard to participation of villagers in the process of Guidance Plan, villages have been classified into two groups with high and low participation. Based on this index the two groups can be determined, respectively, at 0.104 and 0.300. This suggests that Social Capital has explained from 10 to 30 percent of the variability.
With the investigation of Villager's Social Capital influence on the success of Rural Guidance plans in the study area it can be argued that, Villager's Social Capital variables have a positive impact on the implementation of Rural Guidance plans. Social Trust with influence of 27.6% has explained as the largest and Social Network with influence of 13.1 as the lowest variability. According to the villagers participation involved in the procurement process and implementation of Rural Guidance Plan, the villagers are categorized into two groups with high and low participation. There is significant difference in the impact of Villager's Social Capital, so that in villages with low participation, the only meaningful indicator is social trust, while the groups share villages with high indices of Trust. Cohesion and Social Networks also explained 30% of variability. Finally, we can say that Villager's Social Capital has fairly significant impact on the success of implementation process of Rural Guidance Plans in the study area and, therefore, the research hypothesis is confirmed.
Recommended actions to improve the Villager's Social Capital and to increase their participation in the implementation process of Rural Guidance Plans for achieving more success in this area include:

Strengthening rural social capital by increasing their social confidence, improvement of their knowledge of the law, their talents and capabilities and benefits of participation in the community through education, media and infrastructure to build and strengthen organizations and civil society organizations in the village.
Formulation of plans and rural development programs based on the needs and priorities of rural people and encouraging them to participate in the design and development process.
Note that some components of Social Capital in the rural areas are not good enough to promote the appropriate levels in rural development planning priorities
And so on.