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Type: Theses
Title: Systemic indicators for agricultural and rural communities in developing countries
Author: Nguyen, Phuong Thi
Issue Date: 2018
School/Discipline: Business School
Abstract: Community indicators have been of special interest of international scholars. They are vital for community development as their role in monitoring of community development, and managing and preserving a community’s wellbeing. Community indicators provide information that reflects what the community cares most about - its values. Thus, each community needs to ‘own’ its indicators to orientate it towards what is of most value, and to help it on the way to achieving sustainable outcomes. There have been a great deal of work on community indicators for urban areas in developed countries, but there have been relatively few studies in relation to rural communities, particularly in developing economies. Life in rural communities in developing countries reflects many special challenges that characterise the complexity of rural systems. The communities need their own indicators to reflect their reality, and these community indicators require a holistic and integrated approach that can capture community wellbeing comprehensively. This thesis presents and explores the development of a participatory systems-based framework for identifying community indicators in rural areas in developing countries and principles for applying this framework effectively in these areas. The framework is developed by using the abductive and participatory action research process, underpinned by the principles of complexity, complex living systems and sustainability, and informed by Wells and Mclean’s One Way Forward model (2013) and Meadows’s levels of system Leverage Points (1999). This approach aims to address the difficulties that have challenged scholars in developing appropriate indicators for these communities, and then explore practical facilitation of the choosing and effective use of the indicators. The participatory systems-based framework for identifying community indicators is an iterative sharing, co-learning and refining engagement cycle. It enables the communities to appreciate and adapt to the emergent properties of complex community system, which simply reflect the way our world functions. This is a practical, systemic framework to help communities to identify influential, lead indicators that assist the communities to track what is unfolding in the process of development, and make sound decisions - seen as experiments- directed towards sustainability. Moreover, it enables the active and effective engagement of all community members, regardless of status and level of wealth, to share, collaborate and co-learn from ‘experiments’ that build a culture of ownership, self-management and self-development. On the basis of the findings in relation to this framework’s application in two rural communities in Vietnam (research sites), it might also provide support for sustainable development in organisations and urban communities.
Advisor: Wells, Samuel
Nguyen, Nam Cao
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) (Research by Publication) -- University of Adelaide, Business School, 2018
Keywords: Research by publication
leverage points
rural community
sustainable community development
systemic indicators
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at
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