Fariñas, Sarai, Jordi Peris, Estela López, and Alejandra Boni (2010). "Expanding Collective and Strong Agency in Rural Indigenous Communities in Guatemala. A Case for el Almanario Approach" Paper presented at the 7th annual conference of the HDCA, 21-23 September 2010, Amman, Jordan.

The notion of agency has received increasing attention in development planning and development processes and is considered an essential aspect of Human Development as conceived through the capability approach. In addition, there is a growing trend to consider agency not from the perspective of the individual agent but emphasizing its collective dimension. Within this framework, this paper aims to explore how collective capabilities and agency are being expanded in rural indigenous Guatemala through small community-led development projects supported by United Nations Global Environment Fund. To this end, an analytical framework is defined from the capability approach perspective on the grounds of Ibrahim’s (2006) conception of collective capability and the notion of strong agency in Ballet et al (2007). Research has been carried out on the basis of a case study of six indigenous communities in Western Guatemala, currently being supported by the Small Grants Programme of the United Nations Global Environment Fund. These interventions have been implemented following El Almanario approach, an innovative approach aimed at empowering communities in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of their own projects.