Evaluating the impact of local institutions on the discourse of transformative social innovation in the direction of sustainable rural development (Case study: Ray Province)

Document Type : Extracted from the dissertation


1 Department of Human Geography and spatial planning, Earth science Faculty, shah-id Beheshti university

2 Human Geographym, faculty earth scince, Shahid Beheshti University Iran Tehran



1. Introduction

In the past few years, the evolution of social needs has shown that the discourse of social innovation in social geography is an efficient solution or only one of the solutions available in solving socio-economic challenges in various regional and local areas. It has reached its largest size and is still increasing (Files et al., 2008). However, social innovation discourse creates a fundamental role in the interaction and cooperation of local management and other local institutions and organizations, such as non-governmental organizations, with upstream institutions (Friedman, 2016). However, the approaches and strategies used in several developing countries [such as Iran] have caused new and numerous challenges; with the passage of time and their inexplicability, it has emerged in the form of complex difficulties. Based on what has been said, the analysis of the impact of local institutions on the indicators of social innovation and sustainable rural development is a question that can be answered in every country's regional and regional spaces, such as the rural settlements of Ray city. Because of the expansion of official and semi-official institutions such as Islamic councils and village councils, and informal local institutions such as cooperatives and various social and employment creation enterprises as local management, several villages of the studied district have been able to some extent. Help improve the economic and social status of villagers. However, the fundamental challenge in this regard is the lack of attention to the use of the capacities of local institutions to influence social innovation to improve the indicators of sustainable rural development in the rural settlements of the study area. Based on such merit, the fundamental question of this research is, to what extent do local institutions affect the transformational social innovation in the process of sustainable rural development in the study area?

2. Methodology

An analysis of the effective and efficient indicators of the research was carried out in the rural settlements of Ray city to explain the questions and objectives of this applied descriptive survey and quantitative research. The volume of random samples was based on the "Cochran" method and sampling in qualitative variables, which were grouped in the form of a Likers scale from value 1, very low, to value 5, very high. A random sample size of up to 400 samples was selected. To ensure the compatibility of the questions taken from previous studies with the research variables and to determine the formal validity of these indicators and their compatibility with the conditions of Iran and the villages of the study area, the degree of importance of the indicators of the effective and efficient component of the research was used from the number of 12 academic lecturers and researchers related to the subject in different universities of Iran, as well as the number of 35 expert experts from the Ministry of Interior, the Organization of Municipalities and Villages. The Ministry of Agriculture, Iran Housing Foundation, and the Rural Development Organization of the Presidency of Iran, which researched the subject under study, were measured. And after receiving their opinions, corrective actions were taken in the questionnaire, and some unimportant questions were removed.

3. Results

The research findings reveal a direct and positive correlation between all indicators of the influence of local institutions on transformative social innovation in the direction of sustainable rural development from the respondents' point of view. Estimates in this regard show that, from the respondents' point of view, the transformational social innovation affected by the functioning of local institutions has positively improved the dimensions of sustainable rural development. In other words, lack of delegation of local powers to local institutions, successive transformation and legal deficiencies, and a centralized administrative system have been affected by local institutions' legal, legal, administrative, and organizational characteristics. In contrast, order, the confusion of duties and many decision-making centers, and the establishment of a connection between local institutions and upstream organizations have had the lowest correlation coefficient due to local institutions' legal, administrative, and organizational characteristics. The hidden factors affecting this process are the policies and the governing approach to the management process, which includes planning, planning, project creation, work organization, and implementation, which have been carried out regardless of the opinions and wishes of the villagers in the study area. Is. In the step-by-step regression model of independent variables that were done to explain sustainable rural development, the result shows that model number 1 alone has been able to predict 28.86% of the transformation of the sustainable rural development process. Models 2 to 4 show that after adding the variables of social institutions, social cohesion and empathy, and social awareness, this value has increased to about 22.58, 15.02, and 10.18 percent, respectively. It should be noted that the effect of all variables on the dependent variable of the sustainable rural development process is positive.

4. Conclusion

In the last two decades, the impact of local institutions on transformative social innovation in the direction of sustainable rural development has played a prominent role. The findings showed that efficient use of opportunities by taking advantage of local knowledge and innovation could improve the dimensions of sustainable rural development. The results of this research revealed that due to the adoption of a top-down approach in Iran and the studied area and the conditions of "power over" and dominance, local institutions as a type of management responsible for responding to people's needs are formed in small size. Even though it has had a relative and positive effect on the social innovation of villagers and sustainable rural development. Therefore, paying attention to solving the challenges of the effectiveness of local institutions by taking advantage of transformative social innovation is necessary to improve the aspects of sustainable rural development.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 26 September 2023
  • Receive Date: 08 July 2022
  • Revise Date: 26 September 2023
  • Accept Date: 26 September 2023