Network Analysis and Appraisal of Social Capital of Beneficiaries for Rural Sustainable Development (Case Study: Bazijan Village, Mahalat County, Markazi Province)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Reclamation of Arid and Mountainous Regions, Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture & Natural Resources Campus, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Extension & Public Participation Bureau, Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization, Tehran, Iran.

3 PhD Candidate, Department of Reclamation of Arid and Mountainous Regions, Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture & Natural Resources Campus, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.


Social capital is a fundamental prerequisite for local sustainable development and social empowerment. The present study is an attempt to analyze the bonding of social capital of local beneficiaries in the Bazijan village of Mahalat County. Regarding the importance of adaptive co-management and reinforcement of social capital, the trust and participation ties of beneficiaries need to be explored. Accordingly, these aspects were investigated through network analysis questionnaire and direct interviews with all local beneficiaries (present as rural development micro-groups). It was found that the level of trust, participation, cohesion, and social capital elevated from a low state prior to project implementation to an optimum level post project implementation. The speed of trust and participation transfer among actors also increased following project implementation. This project also led to a higher unity among individuals such that social empowerment was realized desirably in this village. Thus, it can be asserted that the implementation of this project resulted in a higher bonding of social capital, which further results in less social seclusion, higher social welfare, and extensive collaboration of residents.


Alston, M., (2002). Social Capital in Rural Australia. Journal of Rural Socity, 12(2), 93-104. doi: 10.5172/rsj.12.2.93
Bastani, S., & Raeesi, M., (2011). [Network analysis method: the use of the network approach in the open source community (Persian)]. Journal of Iranian Social Studies, 5(2), 33-59.
Bhagavatula, S., Elfring, T., Van Tilburg, A., & Van De Bunt, G. G. (2010). How social and human capital influence opportunity recognition and resource mobilization in India's handloom industry. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(3), 245-260.
Bodin, Ö., Crona, B., & Ernstson, H. (2006). Social networks in natural resource management: what is there to learn from a structural perspective [Internet]. Ecology and Society, 11(2). Retrieved from
Bullen, P., & Onyx, J. (1999). Social capital: Family support services and neighbourhood and community centres in NSW. Glebe: Australia Local Community Services Association.
Cárcamo, P. F., Garay-Flühmann, R., & Gaymer, C. F. (2014). Collaboration and knowledge networks in coastal resources management: how critical stakeholders interact for multiple-use marine protected area implementation. Ocean & Coastal Management, 91, 5-16. doi: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2014.01.007
Dughayi, M. (2013). [Motivational strategies of public collaboration in local sustainable development (Persian)]. Paper presented at the Congress of Architecture, Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, Mashhad, Iran, 26 December 2013.
Ebrahimi, F., Ghorbani, M., Salajegheh, A., & Mohseni Saravi, M. (2014). [Social network analysis of local stakeholders in action plan for water resources co-management (Case study: Jajrood River in Latian watershed, Darbandsar village) (Persian)]. Iranian Journal of Watershed Management Science and Engineering, 8(25), 47-56.
Farahani, H., Eynali, J., & Abdoli, S. (2013). [Evaluate the role of social capital in the development of rural areas (Case Study: Mashhad district Mighan city of Arak) (Persian)]. Journal of Applied Researches in Geographical Sciences, 13(29), 27-50.
Fukuyama, F. (2001). Social capital, civil society and development.Third World Quarterly, 22(1), 7-20.
Ghafari, G. R., & Tajaldin, M. B. (2005). [Identify the components of social exclusion (Persian)]. Social Welfare Quarterly, 5(17), 33-55.
Ghafari, Gh., & Omidi, R. (2011). [Quality of life (Persian)]. Tehran: Shirazeh Publication.
Ghorbani, M. (2014). [The report of national project: social network analysis; modeling, policy-making and implementation of natural resources co-management (Vol. 1) (Persian)]. Tehran: Tehran University Press.
Ghorbani, M. (2015a). [Iranian pattern for collaboration and empowerment of local communities using social network (S.N.C.E.L.P) (Persian)]. Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference on Natural-Caltural Heritage for Sustainable Development in Rural Areas, Rasht, Iran, 27-29 May 2014.
Ghorbani, M. (2015b). [Monitoring and evaluation toolkit of social and policy networks in local community empowerment and integrated landscape management (Persian)] (Report paper). Tehran: University Tehran Press.
Ghorbani, M. (2015c). [Analysis and assessment of social–policy networks in grassroots association, institutions and sustainable development funds; Sarayan district, South Khorasan, RFLDL project (Persian)]. Tehran: Tehran University Press.
Ghorbani, M., Azarnivand, H., Mehrabi, A. A., Bastani, S., Jafari, M., Nayebi, H. (2013). [A new approach in policy-making and planning collaboration management of natural resources (Persian)]. Journal of Range and Watershed Management, 65(4), 553-68.
Hanneman, R. A., & Riddle, M. (2005). Introduction to social network methods. California: University of California Riverside.
Jatel, N. (2013) Using social network analysis to make invisible human actor water governance networks visible–the case of the Okanagan vallay (PhD thesis). Columbia: British Columbia.
Kazemian, Gh., & Shafia, S. (2014). [Evaluate the relationship between social capital development in the neighborhood of informal residents Bapayary new Shemiran (Persian)]. Journal of Social Sciences, 11(2), 1-24.
Luhmann, N. (1988). Familiarity, confidence, trust: problem and altervatives. In D. Gambetta (ed.), Trust: Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations (pp. 94-107). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Mousavi, M. N., Ghanbari, H. & Esmaelzade, Kh. (2012). [Analyzing the relationship between social capital and sustainable development of urban areas of West Azarbaijan Province (Persian)]. Journal of Geography and Development, 10(27), 1-18.
Mousavi, M. T. (2006). [Social collaboration, one of the components of social capital (Persian)]. Social Welfare Quarterly, 6(23), 67-92.
Newig, J., Günther, D., & Pahl-Wostl, C. (2010). Synapses in the network: learning in governance networks in the context of environmental management. Ecology and Society, 15(4), 24. Retrieved from
Phi Khanh, H. L. (2011). The role of social capital to access rural credit: acase study at Dinh Cu and Van Quat Dong village in coastal of Thua Thien Hue province, Vietnam (MA thesis). Retrieved from Epsilon Sveriges Lantbruks Universitet Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Archive for Student Projects).
Plickert, G., Cote, R. R., & Wellman, B. (2007). It's not who you know, it's how you know them: Who exchanges what with whom? Social Networks, 29(3), 405-29.
Pretty, J., & Ward, H. (2001). Social capital and the environment. World Development, 29(2), 209-227.
Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: the collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon & Schuster Publication.
Rahimi, Balkanloo, Kh. (2014). [Feasibility ssessment of the sustainability of land by using a combination of social network analysis and performance analysis of prospects. Case study: Semnan Province (Persian)] (MA thesis). Tehran: Tehran University.
Rahimi Balkanlou, Kh., M. Ghorbani, M. Jafari, & Tavili, A. (2014). Analysis of the local stakeholders’ network, social capital and cohesion in landscape co-management (case study: Changi rangeland Kalateh Roudbar-Damghan) (Persian)]. Journal of Watershed, 68(1), 47-64.
Rezaie, M. R. (2013). [Evaluating the economic and institutional resilience of urban communities to natural disasters using PROMETHE technique (Persian)]. Journal of Disaster Management, 2(3), 25-36.
Riahi, V., Jamshidi, A. R., Jamini, D., & Cheraghi, R. (2013). [An evaluation of social capital and its influencing factors among villagers of Kermanshah province (case study: Uramanat Region) (Persian)]. Journal of Research and Rural Planning, 4, 1-6.
Salari Sardari, F. A., Beiranvandzadeh, M., & Alizadeh, S. D. (2012). [Role of social capital in local sustainable development (Persian)]. Hoviate Shahr, 19(8), 77-88.
Salari, F. (2014). [Modelling and network analysis of water Governance in Razin Watershed, Kermanshah (Persian)] (MA thesis). Tehran: Tehran University.
Salmani, M., Taghipour, F., Ramezanzade, M. & Jalili, P. Z. (2008). [Investigation relationship between social capital and efficiency (Case study: Saffron producers of Ferdows county) (Persian)]. Journal of Geography and Regional Development, 4(2), 23-45.
Scott, J. (2000). Social network analysis. London: Sage Publication.
Sepehri, M. M., & Riahi, A., (2010). [Using social network analysis to extract knowledge management system in knowledge-based organizations (Persian)]. Journal of Science and Technology Diplomacy, 3(2), 81-94.
Shafia, S. (2010). [Relationship between informal settlements citizens with local sustainable development (Persian)] (MA thesis). Tehran: Allameh Tabataba'i University.
Shafiei, M., Abdolhoseini, M., Yari, A., Kargar, A., & Pouyafar, A. M. (2013). [Natural resources participatory management and rural development planning in arid and semi-arid regions (Persian)]. Mashhad: Shoara Publication.
Shirvanian, A. B., & Najafi, B. (2011). The role of social capital on welfare and rural Poverty Reduction : a case study of irrigation and drainage network of Doroudzan. Iranian Agricultural Economics Society, 5(3), 25-53.
Siwar, C., Alam, M. M., Murad, M. W., & Al-Amin, A. Q. (2009). A review of the linkages between climate change, agricultural sustainability and poverty in Malaysia. International Review of Business Research Papers, 5(6), 309-21.
Stein, C., Ernstson, H., & Barron, J. (2011). A social network approach to analyzing water governance: The case of the Mkindo catchment, Tanzania. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 36(14), 1085-092.
Stern, M. J., & Coleman, K. J. (2015). The multidimensionality of trust: Applications in collaborative natural resource management. Society & Natural Resources, 28(2), 117-32.
Suzuki, E., Takao, S., Subramanian, S. V., Komatsu, H., Doi, H., & Kawachi, I. (2010). Does low workplace social capital have detrimental effect on workers' health? Social Science & Medicine, 70(9), 1367-372.
Tanhaei, H., Hazrati, Z. (2014). Theoretical studies of social capital in Iran, Journal of Behavioral Sciences , 2(3), 29-52.
Taylor, J. (2002). Sustainable development: A dubious solution in search of a problem. Massachusetts, Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute.