This inquiry sets out to examine how the Emergent Cyclical Levels of Existence theory (EC Theory) may be used to improve the sustainability, effectiveness, and impact of development efforts. Specifically, it attempts to determine how the theory might be used to create sustainable, community-driven development, and also its potential to transform existing, conventional development initiatives. To that end, the research focuses on two development initiatives, the Iracambi Atlantic Rainforest Conservation and Research Center in Rosario de Limeira, Minas Gerais, Brazil and the Committee for Cooperation with Darién, in Darién, Panama. Research methodology employed consisted of participant observation and informal interviews along with in-depth study of the theory. In addition, it was necessary to construct a framework for analysis of the two cases based on EC theory. The resulting analyses of the cases clearly illustrate the applicability of EC theory to the field of development while deliberately avoiding specific prescriptions or interventions that might be suggested by the theory. Further research plans include the development of assessments, observational instruments, and a practical guide to EC theory for development practitioners


Models and Methods | Politics and Social Change | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology