This panel will present examples and analysis of how insights from anthropology can be applied to support economic and social outcomes that are led by local communities.
Policy interest in place- and community-based development starts from a recognition that local people understand their own contexts best. Yet policy efforts to engage with local communities of various kinds to achieve social and economic development outcomes on the ground are often fraught. This panel applies anthropological insights to the dynamics of local and regional development action, to explore the nature of the relationships among local and external actors as they define and implement actions for change. We seek case studies, conceptual insights and methodological tools from anthropology that can be used to illuminate practical local and regional development initiatives and support the leadership of local people in generating positive social and economic outcomes in local contexts. The panel will explore the potential for applied anthropologists to help policy actors work more effectively with diverse communities, and to help community leaders work more effectively with policy makers.