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Accepted Paper:

'We know what the funds are for, and we know who will need them'. Field-level officials as policy brokers  
Diego Valdivieso (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the brokerage role that field-level officials play while securing and mobilising resources which will be ultimately transformed into projects for the users of an agricultural programme.

Paper long abstract:

The Programa de Desarrollo Territorial Indígena (Territorial Indigenous Development Programme - PDTI), works through public funds generally provided by different departments of the central government seeking to deliver previously defined benefits such as tools and machinery for agriculture, rainwater harvesting and energy solutions, labour training, among others. The field-level officials carrying out this programme are those performing state-like practices in the front-line and, thus, decentralising and materialising it.

Using their expertise beyond agriculture, the state officials implementing this programme in Castro, capital district of the Archipelago of Chiloé in south Chile, hold the key that would allow the movement of resources. Using their territorial knowledge they act as customs office that endorses the movement and relocation of resources and the subsequent implementation of projects. In this vein, through their brokerage practices, they translate available funds into material objects or relations that would meet the needs of the applicants (users of the programme). Acting as brokers, and using their discretion, they shape the material dimension of the programme's outcomes. Through their privileged position, and mediated by their experiences, knowledge and interests, they guide the flow of resources.

Based on ethnographic fieldwork among these field-level officials, this paper will address the following questions: How projects, activated through contingent practices, allow the movement of resources? How through their discretional practices these brokers secure and mobilise resources which will be ultimately transformed into inputs or supplies (projects) for the users, decentralising and materialising a state policy in a local context?

Panel P081
Mobilising policies: indolence, zealousness, discretionality and beyond [ANTHROMOB]
  Session 1 Thursday 16 August, 2018, -