Juli Antoni Aguado Hernández, Ricard Calvo Palomares, Enric Sigalat Signes


En el modelo de desarrollo local español se observa desde su nacimiento hace más de tres décadas una dualización con efectos negativos para el mismo y para el territorio. Mediante una aproximación empírica al estado de la cuestión por medio de una encuesta basada en parejas de ítems bipolares a los/as técnicos/as AEDL, obteniéndose como principal aportación que dicha dualización permite definir escenarios y un “itinerario” por el que transcurren los territorios y sus actores: fase inicial de consolidación; intermedia, enfocada a la eficacia del proceso; y de madurez, de generación de metodologías y formas de hacer propias.


The Spanish model of local development originates from a generic need –the crisis and its devastating effects on employment–, so concern for local development is not the result of defining a clear purpose, linked to the specific needs of the territory, but rather of intervention oriented towards the applied, seeking immediate results, without prior (or subsequent) reflection. As a consequence, it is characterized by its implementation in the local, micro, in different territories with very different realities and a disparate evolution. All this, without a defined strategy or planning in the medium-long term, opting for short-termism as the scenario of action. Also with a high degree of informality and improvisation, without the approach of own specific methodologies and tools. The model was born and developed around the figure of the AEDL technician. Professionals who constitute its core element and its main engine, articulating development processes of high interest for the territory. This situation is accompanied by the lack of adequate legal regulation and formal –real– recognized powers belonging to higher administrative levels. Factors that, at certain times, have put the continuity of the model in serious trouble. All these features provide a very wide margin of maneuver to each territory for its adaptation to reality and to develop specialization processes based on a high experience and self-configuration, obtaining good results in many cases. With this being positive in the areas that have been able to correctly implement these policies, it has been an element that has widened the existing differences between the territories. After 35 years, it has resulted in a model in which a pressing dualization is observed with no beneficial effects for it, much less for the territory. On this basis, the work proposes an empirical approach to know the perception of the technicians (AEDL), the maximum exponent of the model with a primary, non-mediated knowledge of the subject. To do this, a survey is carried out using a precoded questionnaire based on pairs of bipolar items, using pairs of adjectives with opposite meanings. To these questions are added two open questions about the factors that facilitate and hinder the advance of the model, seeking qualitatively superior information. Regarding the results, in addition to the general description of the local development model provided by its technical staff, a detailed analysis is carried out that considers the heterogeneity of areas and situations that may arise in territorial development, attending to different dimensions-control: Agency size based on the number of technicians, their seniority and experience of the AEDL technician. Although, in general, the global vision of the model is maintained, this perspective is different according to the different dimensions, marking the duality of the model. In the same sense, it is observed that the facilitating and impeding factors of the model are not the same if the evaluations of the technical personnel are stratified by size of the agency, their seniority or the experience of the agents. As the main conclusions of the research, the existence of a dual model for the development of the territory can be affirmed. Dualization that is generated mainly by factors such as political influence in the activity, if it is a model capable of generating synergies, if it is dynamic or static, with or without specific methodologies, and if it has a sufficient internal structure to achieve development. This dualization is corroborated if attention is paid to the facilitating and hindering factors of the model, in which it is clearly perceived how, in the first case, younger agencies, agents with less experience and sole proprietors highlight the voluntary nature of the size of Affordable territory and networks as the components that drive the model. On the contrary, agencies in the intermediate phase, AEDL with more experience and agencies with more members, influence the importance of knowledge of the territory, contact and coordination with the actors involved and the existence of sufficient resources. In the case of the hindering elements, the dualization is repeated. This dualization allows defining certain scenarios with specific characteristics and glimpsing an "itinerary" through which the different territories and their actors pass that cause the appearance of this same dualized perspective or, where appropriate, its minimization, becoming the main contribution-finding of this research. In this sense, the itinerary starts from an initial phase in which the agents and agencies, mostly with scarce resources and in the initial phases of its implementation, guide the objectives of their activity to do - they want to do - , focusing mainly on consolidating the activity –as an agency– or their job position –as agents. Seeking to give meaning and content to their work in the territory. The important thing is to do it without taking into account the cost –human, technical and / or economic– that it entails, with a very high degree of involvement and motivation. It is a stage of growth, continuous learning and constant novelty in everything that arises. Anything goes for development, with very little questioning of the process and methodology used. The objectives are covered in a basically quantitative way. This initial phase gives way to an intermediate phase, in which agencies and agents work with other types of needs, in which it is necessary to do from the logic or from the real and specific needs of each territory, acquiring priority the process of how do it. All of this imposes greater demands on the model and a greater technical orientation. In the objectives, the effectiveness of the process - the resources that are used - acquire greater importance. All this generates the appearance of a dualization of the model. These two stages lead to a third stage of maturity, in which agencies and technicians with years of experience, with sufficient human resources and professional solvency, in many cases generate methodologies or ways of making their own, without waiting for the model to provide them with the tools. It is a selective phase, of adjustment, where the objectives are covered from operational efficiency. This implies a better use of resources and a proposal for more integrated actions in accordance with the territory and with broader objectives and strategies (local - supra-local, local development - linked to other municipal areas). At this maturity the duality of the model relaxes, the experience –or the available resources make the vision more benevolent, less demanding with the model, which translates into a less dualized perception of it. Finally, it should be noted that the local development model requires the confluence of both dualized realities to generate synergistic effects in the territory. All this without forgetting, since it is an initial exploratory study that requires more detailed subsequent work. Despite this, a future line of work and research of high interest for the local development model is envisaged, which allowed us to delve into those characteristic features of the model that are capable of improving it and having a positive impact on it.

© Revista de estudios regionales 2014 Universidades Públicas de Andalucía