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Community Driven Development: Inclusion through Innovation

The World Bank
Kecamatan Development Program meeting in West Java. Photo courtesy Scott Guggenheim.
In 1998, the World Bank Group approved the Kecamatan Development Project (KDP) in Indonesia.  The KDP was a pioneering project, and one of the first to incorporate the practice of Community Driven Development [CDD]. By combining traditional and new approaches, CDD is a concept that gives societies and individuals choice in the creation of development programs and a say in the decision-making process.

The World Bank
Cover of "Origins of Community Driven Development". Click to access the publication.
Scott Guggenheim, one of the architects of the KDP, has written, Origins of Community-Driven Development: Indonesia and the Kecamatan Development Program, in which he discusses the project through the lens of his personal experience.  In this publication, Guggenheim draws on over 25 years as an anthropologist working in international development, especially community-led development.

“As someone now old enough to not only be called a founding father of community-driven development but also someone so past his expiration date that he now teaches courses on it, I thought it would be useful […] to write down a personal history of how I came to apply core concepts from anthropology, history, and sociology to one of the big challenges of the twentieth century, the role that poor people could and should be playing in modern development.”
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Scott Guggenheim

Scott Guggenheim joined the Bank Group in 1983, one of the cadre of professionals specializing in anthropology rather than the economics side of social sciences.  After working on resettlement issues, he moved to the Bank’s Jakarta office where he remained for 14 years.  This was a critical moment in World Bank Group and development history, a time that saw the Bank reacting to growing global challenges to development by bringing in new skills, strengthening other sectors besides economics and finance.

The World Bank
Correspondence from Indonesia National Planning Agency to Guggenheim, July 14, 1998 (30146228). Click to view the entire record.
Guggenheim reflects upon the creation and growth of CDD.  It was founded on an interdisciplinary approach, at the intersection of anthropology, sociology, and the philosophy of economics and development.  He addresses working in the field, explaining the importance of understanding how things translate from the expectations of Bank projects to the realities on the ground.  He notes the importance of adaptability and marrying technical knowledge with in-person, local field experiences.

"From a development project standpoint, some of KDP’s most innovative ideas involved things like dramatically simplifying contract formats, or disbursing against village plans rather than requiring paid receipts for bags of cement or contractor’s reports. From an anthropological perspective, the most innovative parts were actions such as locating planning within the hamlet (dusun), proposal development at the village, and then decision-making in the sub-district (kecamatan), the historical, economic, and symbolic meeting point for all of the communities." - Scott Guggenheim

The World Bank
World Bank Timeline of Social Development Events. Click to view the entire timeline.
A Social Development Timeline accompanies the paper. The timeline tracks the changes in, and evolution of, the field of Social Development at the World Bank Group.  Beginning in the late 1960s, it explores how elements of culture, society, and context came to be included in development work. 

For audio-learners, Guggenheim sat for the first episode of the Development Reflections audio series, discussing his paper and his time in the Community Driven Development field.  In his chat with the WBG’s Chief Archivist Elisa Liberatori Prati, available at the top of this page, Guggenheim gives a brief overview of working on the Kecamatan program and CDD projects, and lessons learned.  He provides valuable insights into the need for people of different backgrounds and different outlooks to work together.  In his reflections, Guggenheim advises that it is imperative for development practitioners to know and understand history, so we may learn and do better, rather than repeat mistakes.

The publication is being released as part of the Office of the Chief Archivist's new Development Reflections series, which focuses on examining the Bank Group’s past to help inform present development practitioners and influence the design of future operations.