Strategic Planning of Sustainable Development of Local Communities: The Case Study

Strategic Planning of Sustainable Development of Local Communities: The Case Study

Radojica Saric (Institute of Agricultural Economics, Belgrade, Serbia), Marijana Jovanovic (Institute of Agricultural Economics, Belgrade, Serbia) and Biljana Grujic (Institute of Agricultural Economics, Belgrade, Serbia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4098-6.ch002
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The subject of research in this chapter is analysis of the concept of sustainable agriculture of local communities from the point of view of strategic planning and based on the case study for the model of sustainability of the local community Glogonj. The main goal of the research is to connect the basic aspects of strategic planning with the concept of sustainable development in order to improve the quality of life in local communities. The authors apply the theoretical and practical, and conceptual and methodological frame of research based on the case study, which is oriented on three thematic areas of analysis: (1) sustainable development as a modern concept for improving the quality of life of local communities; (2) basic aspects of strategic planning in function of implementation of the concept of sustainable development on local level; (3) the model of strategic planning of sustainable development of the local community at Glogonj as a case study.
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Sustainable development is a contemporary development concept which provides the balanced development between socio-economic progress and environmental protection, allowing the satisfaction of needs of the present generation without compromising opportunities for future generations to satisfy their own needs. In economically developed countries, but also in developing counties, implementation of adopted national strategies for sustainable development is of exceptional importance in terms of achieving sustainable development on the macro level. For the effective implementation of national strategy for sustainable development at the macro level, the local community is of crucial importance, through the institutionalization of the action plan called Agenda 21 and the approval and implementation of strategies of sustainable development at the level of local communities as a micro developmental level, i.e. the level of cities and municipalities. The local community is a community of people living in a particular area within a country. Every society which consists of developed local communities, which are also viable and can quickly and significantly prosper in the long run. Sustainable community development as an integral concept of development is closely linked to the quality of life. A simple interpretation of sustainable community development in practice means the socio-economic development which takes account of their negative effects on the environment and contributes to the quality of life.

Designing and developing initiatives for sustainable community development in the modern development environment is very important in terms of improving the quality of life of a country. An important role in this is strategic planning in terms of implementation of the concept of sustainable development at local level. Strategic planning represents the bridge between thinking about the future and strategic action. This is a very effective instrument for predicting and managing developmental changes in the surrounding community, characterized by turbulent conditions and the dynamics of factors, and that is permeated by a constant uncertainty and discontinuity. Strategic planning provides the strategic flexibility of the surrounding community and involves a proactive way of thinking in terms of the present being observed from the point of view of the anticipated or desired state, and the future as an ex ante response to developmental changes in the environment. This approach is fully equivalent to the concept of sustainable development and is an integral part of the implementation of sustainable development at a local level.

Coherent understanding of the concept of sustainable development is impossible without various strategically oriented planning scenarios as a function of determination of sustainable development opportunities in the surrounding communities. Ignoring strategic planning as an integral part of sustainable development means falling behind in one’s own horizon of existence, but also the inability to bridge the gap between the current generation and future generations. The analytical instrument that can be used in the function of strategic planning for sustainable development of local community is SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis is a situational analysis which is based on analyzing the development environment. By comparing the strengths and weaknesses of development on one hand, and development opportunities and threats, on the other hand.

This type of qualitative analysis allows one to make a diagnosis of the current developmental state and prognosis of future development of the situation in neighboring communities. Consequently, we can say that the SWOT analysis as an instrument of strategic planning is in the function of research for sustainable community development. In this paper, the practical usefulness of the application of SWOT analysis as a function of local sustainability research is presented through a case study on a model of sustainable development in the local community of Glogonj. Through this approach, based on the analysis, one can define the appropriate recommendations, and consider guidelines for future development of local communities within the limits of sustainability.

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