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Accepted Paper:

From national funds to local greenhouses: The role of documents in the materialisation of an agricultural programme in Chile.  

Author:

Diego Valdivieso (University of Manchester)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on ethnographic data collected while working with state officials charged with the execution of the Indigenous Territorial Development Programme (PDTI) in Chiloé, this paper explores the role of documents, as technologies of bureaucracy, in the materialisation of the programme´s outcomes.

Paper long abstract:

The PDTI is a state-led agricultural extension programme that seeks the transfer of knowledge and technology to indigenous farmers in order to improve their productivity and their livelihood. To carry this out, and in addition to delivering technical advice, state officials in charge of the implementation of the programme must capture external resources through application processes for the consequent execution of projects and activities. To bring this process to fruition, the officials have to deal with a large number and variety of documents in their everyday activities. The collection and officialisation of these technologies would allow them to apply for resources on behalf of the farmers taking part in the programme. Accordingly, in my paper I describe how the documents necessary to capture resources act as socio-material technologies with the ability to create, hinder or prevent the relocation of resources and the execution of projects and activities.

By focusing on the relationship between the officials and these bureaucratic technologies my paper shows how officials proactively allocate time and resources to gather, produce, officialise and mobilise documents, having to face obstacles and processes that, in the long term, will allow them to translate resources into material outcomes. Similarly, through a focus on the practices around the production and circulation of official documents and the flows they enable, I stress the role of these technologies as key mechanisms for setting in motion the gears of the PDTI, making its decentralisation and materialisation possible.

Panel P063
Everyday mobilities and circulation of people, things and ideas: Expanding the concept of technology from what makes us mobile [ANTHROMOB]