State Investment and Empowerment of Local Communities, An Approach to Sustainable Rural Development (Experience of Kashan Rural Area in Central Iran)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, Department of Geography, Department of Postgraduate, Payamnoor University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor, Department of Geography and Ecotourism, Faculty of Natural Resources and Earth Sciences, Kashan University, Kashan, Iran.

3 PhD Student, Department of Geography, Department of Postgraduate, Payamnoor University, Tehran, Iran.



Empowerment approach is considered as one of the efficient approaches in rural development activities in Iran through the rural planning system within the framework of five-year programs with government investment in order to achieve sustainable rural development. In this study, it was investigated the role of government investments in empowering villagers, How its effectiveness in the rural area of Kashan was studied. Descriptive-analytical research method and sample population were selected using three-dimensional matrix method of government investment, village location and rural population of 12 villages and 316 rural households. To explain the relationships between independent and dependent variables, Pearson correlation in appropriate statistical environments and for modeling effects, the structural equation model (SEM) in AMOS software was used. Findings indicate a strong, positive and direct relationship between the two variables of investment and rural empowerment (P = 0.000). As the amount of investment increases, the empowerment of the villagers increases. The structural equation model showed that government investment with a factor load of 0.072 has an effect on rural empowerment (RMSEA = 0.036). Following these results in achieving sustainable rural development, the empowerment approach should be considered as a goal and not as a tool. In the experience of government investment in the rural area of Kashan in Central Iran, the investment process was relatively effective and in the future the investment process and implementation of rural projects in general and in arid and semi-arid areas in particular, empowerment and institutionalization approach in Villages are essential.