Q17- Losses in Community Assets: the Mother is Suckling(?) from the Baby!

In Q16 I quoted Gregory Bateson,

    “The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between the way nature works and the way man thinks.”

Accordingly, the next six blog posts Q17 to Q22 will apply the expanded KM framework to several major world problems:

    — Underdevelopment of communities and countries
    — Corruption
    — Threat of nuclear war
    — Sustainable development in local communities
    — Israel versus Hamas and Hezbollah
    — Global financial crisis.

Before we address our first problem of underdevelopment of communities and countries, let us apply the expanded KM framework to communities:

Assets of Communities

Assets of Communities

At the conference on “Knowledge Architectures for Development” sponsored by the Singapore Management University last March 2008, we presented a paper on “Knowledge for Poverty Alleviation” or KPA framework. This framework uses the expanded KM framework. We showed that successful anti-poverty projects can be explained better using this framework. We also showed how the KPA framework can be used in looking at the flow of assets to/from a typical rural town in the Philippines:

  • The brightest secondary school graduates, their valedictorians and salutatorians, migrate to Manila (loss of human capital);
  • Mineral and timber resources are harvested mostly by Manila-based or companies based in developed countries (loss of natural capital) but little of the economic proceeds return back to the community. The Regalian Doctrine (state ownership of public natural resources) continues to support and perpetuate this sucking of natural resources from small rural towns to Manila or to developed countries abroad;
  • A small fraction of taxes collected by the national government returns back to the community in terms of public services and infrastructures (drain in fiscal resources);
  • Local branches of Manila-based banks are more deposit-takers than business lenders (net flow of private savings to Manila);
  • Scientists and researchers from outside come in to study the geological, biological, sociological, cultural and other assets of the community, and publish the results outside or bring the geological, biological and cultural specimens for personal or commercial uses outside the community often without the knowledge and permission of local people (biopiracy, siphoning of sociological knowledge, stealing cultural artifacts, geological exploration without FPIC or “free, prior and informed consent”).
  • Manila residents who are more knowledgeable of government procedures obtain titles/patents to local land ahead of unwitting local people who had been in traditional possession of land for decades (“land grabbing”).

All these are happening all the time and in most rural Philippine communities, yet most people hardly notice it! (because they do not have the mental model, the expanded KM framework, which enables seeing). How fantastic and unbelievable that so many people cannot see!

Galtung is right. Manila is draining assets from rural Philippine communities! The mother is suckling from the baby!

What do you think?

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6 Responses to “Q17- Losses in Community Assets: the Mother is Suckling(?) from the Baby!”

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