NDCs must make use of the social capital in their communities.
Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Communities across the country, looking to improve their spaces, have a large untapped resource, viz, the community social capital. Social capital refers to our added potential or possibilities when we engage and inter-relate with one another, build trust, share common values and goals, and collaborate. The term could be applied within several contexts, such as families and ethnic groups.
But in terms of a village, social capital specifically includes (i) the established social and business entities within the community, such as religious bodies, PTAs, and shops, (ii) the skills, experience, and expertise of individual residents, and (iii) informal groupings of friends.
This capital can be freely available to NDCs as they seek to fulfill their mandates. NDCs however need to first appreciate the value and necessity of this resource. It then must identify and mobilize this resource to contribute to specific development objectives. NDCs, for example, can work with religions bodies and local police to help tackle juvenile delinquency and petty crime in communities. Or they can seek the help of senior retired public servants in their communities on project planning and financial management.
The potential of social capital could be effectively tapped if NDCs and municipalities involve their publics in the decision-making process of the councils.