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dc.contributor.authorRuna Sarkar
dc.description.abstractThere is a growing understanding among developmental economists that social capital is a major contributor to the factors of production that determine economic development. However, owing to the inherent ambiguities and imprecision associated with the concept, while much attention has been focused on defining social capital better and understanding its effect on economic wellbeing, the process of social capital creation and destruction remains poorly understood. There is some consensus that social capital is greater when individuals are embedded within a dense network of social ties so that cooperation can be monitored and rewarded by others, or when there is affection amongst individuals that promotes altruism and expectations of future reciprocity. In Indian agriculture, traditionally, any change in agricultural practices is driven by consensus arrived at by a network of village elders. However, with increased mobility into urban areas as well as the increasing reach of formal institutions, these networks appear to be weakening. Using information and communication tools, we endeavor to strengthen as well as widen these communities of practice and transform them into digital knowledge networks. The objective of this paper is two fold. First, this paper attempts to succinctly situate the concept of social capital in economic discourse and justify the author’s belief that communities of practice represent a stock of social capital. Second, this paper discusses two cases, aimed at transforming communities of practice into digital knowledge networks in the domain of Indian agriculture by leveraging existing social capital. Lessons from the first initiative, named Digital Ecosystems for Agricultural Livelihood played a role in defining the actors and methodologies for the second initiative called agropedia, which is an ongoing program. The paper concludes with some initial evidence on how the transformation, which is far from complete, appears to have strengthened social capital and asserts that this could be one approach towards social capital preservation and growth.en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesWORKING PAPER SERIES;WPS No. 664/ November 2010
dc.titleLeveraging Social Capital to Transform Communities of Practice into Digital Knowledge Networks: Theoretical Insights and Experiencesen_US
dc.typeWorking Paperen_US
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