In Portugal, an experimental Social Development Network (SDN) programme has been promoted at the national level by the Social Development Institute (SDI). The major operational objective of the SDN is to construct advisory councils and local commis- sions to increase local participation. The advisory council is represented by local de- velopment stakeholders from governmental and non-governmental institutions. These stakeholders define the actions to be taken for the social development agenda in the municipal government. The paper depicts the achievements and inadequacies of this network. In general, the case-study evaluation determines if the network strengthens the social action process in a rural area faced by social constraints, for example, poverty, aging and low educational levels.


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