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Saeed Azizi, Masoud Mahdavi Hajiloui, Ribaz Ghorbaninejad,
Volume 10, Issue 38 (3-2022)

 Empowering the villagers - as a new approach to development - is very effective in increasing the income and development of rural settlements. In other words, Rural development is not possible without empowering the villagers. Because the change and development of knowledge, skills and attitudes of the villagers from the empowerment process is the basis of sustainable rural development, and as the villagers welcome new ideas and methods, their thoughts change followed by it. As a result, a new attitude is created in them towards agricultural and other economic activities in rural areas and by promoting their cognitive capacities (awareness and knowledge), they provide the conditions for sustainable rural development.
The purpose of this study was to rank rural settlements in terms of factors affecting the empowerment of villagers in the Chandar district in Savojbolagh county.

This research is applied in terms of purpose and quantitative (survey) in terms of research approach. The statistical population includes the residents of 10 densely populated villages of Chandar district of Savojbolagh county with a population of 12764 people and the sample size was obtained using Cochran's formula of 384 people and based on the population of each village, the sample ratio of each village was determined. To compare and rank the villages, based on library studies, six combined indicators (components) including interest and motivation, education, participation of villagers, tourism, relief committee services and geographical capacities have been used as factors affecting empowerment. The data collection tool is a researcher-made questionnaire. The validity of the questionnaire was confirmed using the opinions of five experts and its reliability was obtained using Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.82 for a total of six indicators. The villagers' answers to the questions were entered into SPSS21 software and the average of each index in the villages was calculated. Then Dematel method was used to weight the indicators. Vikor technique was used to rank the villages in terms of empowerment indicators.

Savojbolagh county with an area of about 2785 square kilometers is located in the west of Alborz province. It consists of three districts called Markazi, Chandar and Chaharbagh, nine townships named Saeedabad, Hugh, Chandar, Baraghan, Ramjin and Chahardangeh and fore cities named Hashtgerd, Hashtgerd new city, Taleghan and Chaharbagh. According to the 2016 census, the population of Chandar district is equal to 28841 people. Among the villages in this section, 10 villages with a larger population were selected for this study.

Discussion and Conclusion
Given that a quarter of the country's population lives in rural areas and still faces deprivation and underdevelopment in many areas, many urban problems, such as marginalization and urban poverty, are rooted in unresolved issues in rural areas; Therefore, rural development is a priority in planning. In this direction, one of the important approaches for rural development is the empowerment of local and rural communities. Empowering villagers will alleviate poverty and reduce deprivation, increase rural entrepreneurship, and promote rural justice. The empowerment of the villagers themselves is influenced by factors. In fact, empowerment needs stimulants and reinforcers. In this study, six factors of interest and motivation, education, participation of villagers, tourism, relief committee services and geographical capacities were selected as effective factors on empowerment of villagers in Chandar section of Savojbolagh county.
According to the ranking of Vikor index from the lowest score to the highest score, Kordan village is ranked first, followed by Ghezel Darreh Farm, Fashand, Hassanabad Farm, Aznagh, Sebistan, Harjab, Kooshk Zar, Imamzadeh Shah Hossein and BanuSahra are located respectively. Among the indicators affecting empowerment, the indicators of participation, interest and motivation, respectively, had the most role, followed by the geographical capacity, training and services of the Relief Committee in the next ranks. The tourism index is in the last place with a difference. With this study, in addition to ranking the villages in terms of the level of empowerment, the importance of indicators to influence the empowerment variable was also determined and the indicators of participation, interest and motivation, environmental capacity and education can be emphasized more. On the other hand, villages that are in the lower ranks in terms of capability, such as BanoSahra, Shahzadeh Imam Hussein, Koushk Zar, Harjab, Sebistan and Aznagh should also be given priority in the programs.
Thus, by studying the status and level of empowerment indicators in other villages, it is possible to understand the spatial and content priorities of planning for empowerment measures in rural communities. It is obvious that for this purpose, several indicators in individual, institutional and environmental dimensions must be used.


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