Cooperativismo y Desarrollo, September-December 2020; 8(3), 490-507
Translated from the original in Spanish


San Cristobal's municipal development strategy. Proposal for its improvement from the culture


Estrategia de desarrollo municipal de San Cristóbal. Propuesta para su perfeccionamiento desde la cultura


A estratégia de desenvolvimento municipal de San Cristóbal. Proposta para a sua melhoria a partir da cultura


Silfredo Rodríguez Basso1, Dunierkys Paez Perdomo2, Lourdes Pando López3

1 Universidad de Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca". Centro de Estudios de Dirección, Desarrollo Local, Turismo y Cooperativismo. Pinar el Río, Cuba. ORCID: Email:
2 Universidad de Artemisa. Artemisa, Cuba. ORCID: Email:
3 Universidad de Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca". Dirección de Historia y Marxismo. Pinar el Río, Cuba. ORCID: Email:


Received: November 4th, 2019.
Accepted: November 9th, 2020.


The insertion of culture in development management is becoming increasingly important. The objective of this research was to value the local development process expressed in the Municipal Development Strategy of San Cristóbal, province of Artemisa, with a view to its improvement from the cultural point of view. The fundamental methods were based on the collection and review of secondary sources, analysis and synthesis, deductive-inductive, in addition to the collection and analysis of primary sources, supported by the structured interview and the questionnaire survey as a technique, in addition to the triangulation of the results obtained from the application of the methodological resources mentioned. It is made a critical review of the vision of development that prevails in the selected case study, the contributions of the cultural dimension and the recommendations that it deserves from the conceptual, methodological and practical point of view. The main conclusion is the need to update the strategy by the Council of the Municipal Administration, with the purpose of correcting its weak conception from the cultural dimension.

Keywords: communitarian; culture; development; strategy; municipality; participation


La inserción de la cultura en la gestión del desarrollo adquiere cada vez más protagonismo. Esta investigación persiguió como objetivo valorar el proceso de desarrollo local que se expresa en la Estrategia de Desarrollo Municipal de San Cristóbal, provincia Artemisa, con vista a su perfeccionamiento desde la cultura. Los métodos fundamentales se sustentaron en la recopilación y revisión de las fuentes secundarias, análisis y síntesis, deductivo-inductivo, además de la recopilación y análisis de fuentes primarias, apoyado en la entrevista estructurada y la encuesta por cuestionario como técnica, además de la triangulación de los resultados obtenidos de la aplicación de los recursos metodológicos mencionados. Se realiza un repaso crítico de la visión del desarrollo que prevalece en el estudio de caso seleccionado, las contribuciones de la dimensión cultural y las recomendaciones que, desde el punto de vista conceptual, metodológico y práctico, esta merece. Como conclusión principal se expone la necesidad de actualizar la estrategia por parte del Consejo de la Administración Municipal, con el propósito de corregir su débil concepción desde la dimensión cultural.

Palabras clave: comunitario; cultura; desarrollo; estrategia; municipio; participación


A inclusão da cultura na gestão do desenvolvimento está a tornar-se cada vez mais importante. Esta investigação visava avaliar o processo de desenvolvimento local expresso na Estratégia de Desenvolvimento Municipal de San Cristóbal, província de Artemisa, com vista à sua melhoria do ponto de vista cultural. Os métodos fundamentais foram baseados na recolha e revisão de fontes secundárias, análise e síntese, dedutivo-indutivo, para além da recolha e análise de fontes primárias, apoiado pela entrevista estruturada e o inquérito por questionário como técnica, para além da triangulação dos resultados obtidos a partir da aplicação dos recursos metodológicos mencionados. É feita uma revisão crítica da visão de desenvolvimento que prevalece no estudo de caso selecionado, dos contributos da dimensão cultural e das recomendações que merece de um ponto de vista conceptual, metodológico e prático. A principal conclusão é a necessidade de atualizar a estratégia pelo Conselho Municipal de Administração, a fim de corrigir a sua fraca concepção a partir da dimensão cultural.

Palavras-chave: comunitário; cultura; desenvolvimento; estratégia; município; participação



We are witnessing, in the contemporary world, an epistemological movement on the idea of development. A look back in time states that this notion is changing as it is, from its origins, related to "economic approaches, of growth, identified with high levels of production and productivity, with accumulation of wealth and constant progress" (Juliá Méndez, 2016, p. 16) to one that qualifies it from a humanist, sustainable content and where culture occupies a strategic place.

Some approaches in this sense are found in authors who address permaculture as an option for food production, with the involvement of the school and the community (Rodríguez García et al., 2016); the management of family agriculture on a municipal scale (Otero Hidalgo et al., 2017); proposals for training workshops as an object of study for the transformation of the cooperative community environment (Ojeda Suárez et al, 2017); social and community participation as the basis for sustainable development (González Burneo & Donestevez Sánchez, 2018) or the search for alternatives for the integration of rural youth into territorial development through agricultural cooperatives (González Hernández et al., 2018), which reveals how, from different angles, proposals are being developed in which the family, youth or community intervene in the development processes in local environments.

Following this line of thought, it can be seen that the meaning of development has been transformed (Cano Cabrera, 2016, p. 28) from the visions inclined towards a Eurocentric model, affiliated with the cult of modernity; that of progress and civilization (Huntington, 1993); the economic one from the perspective of modernization (Smelser, 1959, cited by Espina Prieto, 2005, p. 312) to that in which:

(...) not only generates growth, but distributes its benefits equally; regenerates the environment instead of destroying it and empowers people instead of marginalizing them, expanding their options and opportunities and allowing them to participate in the decisions that affect their lives (González & Cambra, 2005).

However, in the face of the predominance of the neoliberal political model, since the end of the last century, a sectorial vision has prevailed in the management of development processes that privileges the role of the market to the detriment of the regulatory role of the State, above all of the economy, in the face of the crisis of the theoretical alternatives aimed at overcoming its deficiencies. An example of this has been the developmentalist proposals in Latin America, which, not being able to offer a solution to their economic and social problems, have occupied a relevant place "(...) the alternative of local development to isolate itself from the neo-liberal framework" (Hernández Morales, 2005, p. 409).

The vision of a given development strategy at the national, regional and local levels, includes, according to Cabrera (2014, p. 56), "(...) in itself a complex and long-term social construction, which responds to a set of factors determined by the concrete historical context and the economic, political and social structure, as well as by its institutions and the game of legitimization through the prevailing social discourse", hence the combination of both ideology and concrete practices of the subjects.

Within development strategies, the cultural dimension has occupied an important place, not without great tension as a way of planning the processes of territorial transformation. In this sense, the definition provided by Martínez, quoted by Borges (2018, p. 14), is important, when he assumes it as "(...) a modality of intervention, characterized by the mobilizing and transforming management that is done with socio-cultural resources. (...) management can be done fundamentally in and from cultural or other institutions and communities".

Of course, the management of these resources becomes effective with the articulated participation of local actors, a condition for the effective fulfillment of each of the stages that make up the processes of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development strategies from the proposals that support their application, among them, the municipal management model or the participatory model (Alcantara, 2011) where local government, businesses and, to a large extent, the inhabitants, are key factors in the positive modification of reality. Multiple factors have favored this trend in Cuba.

Both in the "Guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution for the period 2016-2021", as well as in the "Conceptualization of the Cuban Economic and Social Model of Socialist Development", there are established general applicable elements as principles for the formulation of the Provincial Development Strategies (EDP in Spanish) and the Municipal Development Strategies (EDM in Spanish), adjusted to the economy plan. The first of these guiding documents states in its guideline 17:

Promote the development of the territories based on the country's strategy, so that the municipalities are strengthened as a fundamental instance, with the necessary autonomy, sustainable, with a solid economic-productive base and the main disproportions between them are reduced, taking advantage of their potentialities. Elaborate the corresponding legal framework (PCC, 2017, p. 6)

As part of the decentralization process, the transfer of powers, competencies and resources to the municipality seeks to achieve greater autonomy for this political-administrative entity without disregarding its unique economic-productive, political-social, environmental, cultural and identity characteristics, as a way of planning, in a more objective manner, development on the basis of justice and social equity, in accordance with the principles of the project of Cuban socialist construction, guaranteed in the legal norm protected by the recently approved Constitution of the Republic of Cuba (2019) in its Article 168.

Hence, looking at the territory leads to a globalized environment, to understand how an interrelationship is established between the local and the global, whose synergy encompasses not only economic spheres, but also new forms of socio-cultural integration and management of public policies with the intervention of new social actors, among them, the community as a resource and a factor of its impulse.

The predominance of the territorial approach is assumed as a guarantee of efficiency in the administration of resources and a condition for effectiveness in obtaining results. However, local development should not be confused with decentralization, a process that implies the redistribution/organization of power and is evidently not free of conflict.

The EDM emerges as an integral work tool for medium and long term development planning, indispensable for harmonizing all territorial management aimed at satisfying needs and materializing its vision of the dream municipality.

The study of the EDM of the municipalities of La Palma, Mantua and Los Palacios, in the province of Pinar del Río, has made it possible to evaluate the decisive role of culture as a factor that crosses over the processes of local development.

In the present article, we intend to assess the local development process expressed in the Municipal Development Strategy of San Cristobal, Artemisa province, with a view to its improvement from the cultural point of view. The analysis is based on the limitations that this presents in some of the components, fundamentally, of its strategic lines and the recommendations that, from the conceptual, methodological and practical point of view, can be made for the improvement of the selected process from the tools of integral, participative municipal diagnosis, with a cultural perspective. The procedure for the management of local development financing in Cuba, together with the methodology elaborated for the design of the EDP and EDM, based on the experience accumulated in the design of the new Cuban socialist development model, points out guidelines that guide the presentation of the following result.



The methods and techniques used according to the proposed objectives, belonging to the qualitative paradigm, were the following.

As methods:

As techniques, the following were very useful:



San Cristóbal was one of the municipalities that were part of the last political-administrative division that takes place in Cuba as of 2010, as a result of the segmentation of the country's capital from the municipalities Artemisa and Mayabeque and their conversion into new provinces. San Cristóbal was included in the boundaries of Artemisa (Fig. 1). Located in the southwestern part of Pinar del Río province, it borders the municipalities of La Palma and Bahía Honda to the north; the Caribbean Sea to the south; the municipality of Candelaria to the east; and the municipality of Los Palacios to the west. It has a territorial extension of 936 km2 with 31% of its surface occupied by the Sierra del Rosario.

Fig. 1 - San Cristobal municipality
Source: Retrieved from

The EDM of this municipality was elaborated by a work group, under the direction of the municipal government in 2014, for which diverse actors of the society were united, committed with the processes of economic, political, social and environmental transformation, with decision power, organized by subgroups and with determined functions, which favored the coordination and implementation of the same.

In spite of this, in the EDM of this municipality, there is a vision of development that contains economic, political-institutional, social and environmental dimensions. However, the cultural dimension is focused with limitations that weaken its integrative character because it is present in some of the components that structure this instrument. Although the mission reflects the need to satisfy the recreational and cultural needs of its inhabitants and the vision aspires to cultural development or includes a strategic line linked to the rescue of heritage values, the following are seen as its limitations:

The EDM, in its diagnosis, records an inventory of general needs, weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities. It points out felt demands of the population, such as: passenger transportation, production and commercialization of food, production of construction materials, use of water and its quality, communal hygiene and improvement of roads.

A look at the objectives set for each strategic line reveals a trend toward the development of productive capacities based on an economy that is fundamentally based on agro livestock production and sugar manufacturing linked to 35 Credit and Service Cooperatives to which 4,493 independent peasants, 3 state farms and 2 agro livestock farms belonging to the military sector. In addition, it recognizes the need for a culture in the use of organic components for soil fertilization, with the purpose of obtaining greater agricultural yields through knowledge management, based on the use of the results of science and technology, as well as the promotion of innovation as a factor in its momentum, which generalizations extend to food production and the stimulation of local industry without taking into account other potentialities such as the promotion of traditional trades, linked to agriculture such as the manufacture of farm implements or manual skills for the craft manufacture of construction materials. This is, at least, the rescue of the cultural heritage that, moreover, constitutes a source of employment for an economically active population of 42,012 San Cristobal inhabitants, with a certain disproportion that favors the male sector, 21,988 men and 20,024 women, which imposes the need to diversify the representation of gender in the workplace, where the inclusion of young people is another of the problems to be solved, with a total of 917 unemployed, about 488 men and 429 women.

This does not exclude other demands of local society, including cultural, educational, health, productive, environmental, recreational, social, sports, tourism and accommodation demands, which reveals the privilege granted to the improvement of the quality of life of the population of the municipality, in the EDM under examination.

In the text of the vision, it is recognized as a participatory municipality, which is contradicted by the actors that make up the group of those involved in local development and the organizations prioritized by the Municipal Administration Council (CAM) (Table 1) where, similar to what happened with the aforementioned strategic allies already mentioned, the culture sector is not involved.

Table 1 - Actors involved in the EDM San Cristobal

Group of people involved in local development

Organizations prioritized by the CAM

Municipal Assembly of People's Power

Public Health

Municipal University Center

Education and Sports

Municipal School of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC)

Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG)

Enterprises and Budget Units

Ministry of the Food Industry (MINAL)

Professional associations (ANEC, UNJC, UNAICC, among others)

Ministry of the Sugar Industry (AZCUBA)


Ministry of Construction (MICONS)


Local Industries


Ministry of Domestic Trade (MINCIN)


Ministry of Transport (MITRANS)



Source: Own elaboration

The reading and interpretation of the reality established in the document shows that the needs and weaknesses are assumed to be the insufficiencies of governments, institutions or organizations, which reduces their sphere of action. Such a criterion indicates insufficient community participation in carrying out the diagnosis and the marked intervention of government officials, main cadres and formal leaders of the municipality, which manifests the inconsistencies that are expressed, for example, when the cultural dimension in its strategic lines is reduced only to the rescue of heritage values.

In the remaining ones, the following are mentioned:

  1. Local food production
  2. Knowledge management and communication
  3. Local Industry
  4. Local energy sustainability

It is clarified that each strategic line is composed of programs and these, in turn, by a portfolio of projects so that the analysis of each of them is made according to how it is formulated in the body of the EDM, whose structure responds to the following elements:

Line 1. Local food production

In the first of these, the development of capacities to promote an agro-ecological culture, based on sustainability in the productive sector, is directed towards the youth sector. This is the central axis in this line, as the associated projects are directly aimed at the productive activity. One suggestion is to rescue from the second strategic line the project related to the strengthening of capacities of young people from San Cristobal of the different productive forms. This project was not approved by the Ministry of Agriculture. Currently, the idea has been materialized through a first donation in the period 2017-2018 for the development of managerial and technical capacities in young users in the municipality of San Cristobal.

Line 2. Knowledge and communication management

Similar to the previous line, work is being done to strengthen capacities and government management with the particularity that emphasis is placed on projects related to the use of the media and mass dissemination. The Municipal Management Center for local development has provided information and knowledge to the different municipal structures for a more effective management of local development, from various digital platforms such as the Citizen's Portal. The training offered has had a positive environmental impact by preparing people to find sustainable solutions in a conscious and creative way and by increasing environmental awareness. This project promotes the rescue of traditions associated with the cultivation of flowers, the art of cutting, sewing and embroidery, the dance of the guayabera and the liquor "Sánchez Rúa".

In synergy with the project of the young users, it is intended to declare a reference farm with the introduction of agro-ecological technology in each Popular Council of the San Cristobal municipality. This will also improve the quality of life in the communities by allowing improvements in living and working conditions.

Line 3. Local industry

The projects Sueños de Vilma and Alas de Corazón are based in vulnerable communities in terms of income, number of women who are not working, access to drinking water, among other economic and social indicators whose impact affects the quality of life of the population. With the purpose of raising their social capacity so that they can generate their own self-development, Sueños de Vilma works for the rescue of traditions related to the art of embroidery, weaving and sewing; for the empowerment and reinsertion of women in the family economy and the decrease of gender violence. It develops at the same time, spaces of exchange between creative women and promotes the practice of the professions in the new generations.

Alas de Corazón emphasizes the artistic and literary creation of children and women in the community, related to environmental issues. Currently they show results associated with the recycling of paper and cardboard, with a product whose characteristics are recognized by the National Office of Industrial Property. With this paper, they make notebooks, diaries, postcards, business cards, diplomas, among other items. They train the participants in their workshops in the papier-mâché technique, reproducing and designing representative costumes of story characters and children's cartoons. They hold an annual paper festival in which they show the results of a whole year's work and share theoretical sessions with the community on environmental issues.

Line 4. Rescue of heritage values

Para crecer con mi nana, is a project that contributes to the development of capacities in the children's assistants, associated with the forms of non-state management for the education and care of children. Taking as a starting point, the popular knowledge about this activity bets on rescuing traditional games and songs in correspondence with the age groups, the work with puppets, the storytelling and the use of the environmental in the development of the learning associated to nature. Also for the correct use of audiovisual media, the practices of courtesy and formal education.

For the community transformation in the economic, social and environmental order, in the Taco Taco Popular Council, the RECICL-ARTE project is developed. With an accentuated gender focus, it works on recycling for the elaboration of costumes and the scenery that accompanies the float that represents the traditions of the town. At the same time, it researches local history, recognizing the work of intellectuals, sportsmen, artists, young people, girls and boys, whose outstanding work raises the name of this town. Within its lines of work, there is a decrease in alcoholism, prostitution, drug addiction, unemployment and social indiscipline that threaten the environment. It has achieved a solid articulation with the institutions and religious authorities regarding the use of its spaces for healthy recreation and the practice of exercises by women and members of the elderly. It works for gender equity and popular participation.

Line 5. Local energy sustainability

SAN CRISTÓBAL, renewable energy and sustainable local development, works directly with meat producers, associated with the Pork Enterprise through productive agreements of great impact by representing a cultural change in terms of the use of solid waste, consumption of traditional fuels, energy saving and self-supply, which was initially mono-household and is now known to be the collective use of biogas by several adjacent families.

All the projects described above are part of the EDM, are inserted within the strategic lines, territorial, sectoral, environmental and technological policies approved. The articulation of these with the EDM is visualized to the extent that they meet and solve the demands of the communities.

Within these experiences, among the elements that favor them, there is the response to the EDM and the association with the environmental theme of gender and equity. They have been conceived, implemented and promoted by the communities themselves, with the participation of diverse actors, which contributes to the sustainability of these initiatives. On the other hand, several factors hinder the development of the experiences: the fact that the socio-cultural line is not sufficiently worked on within the EDM, since there is no monitoring or evaluation, among other weaknesses.

EDM as a process, which is still under construction, emphasizes group work and organization. From the conceptual point of view, the EDM of San Cristóbal raises the need to revise what is understood as an integral vision of development seen as an endogenous effort where culture, heritage, equity and human potential are transversal within the processes it contains, which ensures sustainability over time of its implementation, by specifying a diversity of instruments appropriate to the needs and aspirations of communities as processes that are expressed territorially.

In the methodological aspect, it is suggested that the EDM be analyzed, its adaptation to the guide established by the Center of Studies of Management, Local Development, Tourism and Cooperativism of the University of Pinar del Rio (CE-GESTA, 2018) regarding the correction of its objectives, strategic actions, goals, indicators, partners, possible sources of financing, projects and the monitoring and evaluation of its implementation. This requires a work schedule with responsible persons, participants, necessary inputs, the use of mechanisms and channels for their dissemination, a basic starting point for their improvement under the coordination of the presidents of the People's Council and district delegates. Another important aspect lies in the systematic dissemination of the progress of its implementation; the revitalization of the Technical Advisory Council in charge of reviewing programs, projects and other actions, until the presentation of the proposal by the CAM to the AMPP for analysis and approval.

An important resource to suggest in the methodological phase of the diagnosis consists of the application of the integral, participative municipal diagnosis tool, with a cultural perspective, since it allows the system of institutions to direct the socio-cultural line in the EDM in synergy with the socioproductive, technological, communication and environmental lines.

The need to involve the population of San Cristobal in its management, far beyond the recognition of their felt needs, will make it possible to capture, in an objective way, the current situation existing from the diagnosis and thus project the development (use of opportunities, empowerment of strengths, etc.). The opposite would be the case if, with its intervention, by means of the articulation of the different existing programs and projects with the lines and objectives of the strategy, most of the socio-cultural projects, are not contained, except Alas de Corazón, Sueños de Vilma and A las cosas que son feas, will contribute to close the gap between the current situation and the desired situation.

In order to carry out a cultural look at the EDM of San Cristobal from the diagnosis, focused on the subjects, the subjectivities and the practices of its inhabitants, it is required to take into account certain social variables among which are included the causes of racial inequity, sex and age, whose survey, analysis and assessment can improve it, beyond the simple inventory that is offered.

Identifying the subjectivities of the subjects around the processes that take place in the municipality, such as the socio-productive ones and their associated practices, will contribute to value the activity that they carry out and, at the same time, stop the exodus of the workers to other, better paid ones. Also, the effort to raise the social recognition of the process developed by women and young people favors the gender and age perspective, by promoting those initiatives that activate the incorporation of endogenous resources of the municipality in the reactivation of deficient trades such as embroidery and weaving, saddlery, handicrafts, cultivation of flowers, those linked to the mini-industry, as resources for community transformation of economic, social and environmental type as the one undertaken in the Popular Council of Taco Taco or in the community self-management for the conservation of the patrimony, threatened by the activity of the man in the locality of Aspiro.

The processing of these and other realities obtained about the subjects, the subjectivities and the practices, from the identity, the patrimony, the governability and the citizen participation, allow to offer, when being combined these dimensions, the Cultural Matrix of the territory (Table 2), whose interpretation, analysis and valuation, will allow to satisfy one of the general necessities that are mentioned in the EDM, the one of a sociocultural diagnosis on cultural identity and patrimony that allows to raise the existing potentialities in the municipality from both slopes.

Table 2 - Cultural matrix of the territory

For the observation of the reality

Triple focus of the reality


The subjectivities

Cultural activities













Citizen participation




Source: Juliá Méndez (2016)

The importance of this matrix, from the consideration of the participatory aspect that this process should contain, by involving people, institutions, organizations, sectors and other social actors of the territory, will allow to overcome the non-integrative vision of culture that is offered, by taking into account the information that is extracted from various aspects of reality, whether environmental, economic, legal or socio-cultural, an aspect to be perfected and that, of course, should be part of the awareness and consensus actions to be achieved in the key actors of the territory in the fundamental, between the municipal government and the existing working group; Specifically, by training them to appropriate the tools of the comprehensive, participatory municipal assessment with a cultural perspective.

With the use of monitoring and feedback resources through validation and analysis workshops, meetings with decision makers at the level of the People's Council and population to socialize and exchange the results obtained, the search for collective solutions, in addition to participation in the design of the EDM, in its objectives, goals, actions, constitute recommendations that will enable its improvement from the baseline of the municipality, from the selection of variables and indicators by the working group. All of this is adjusted to the reality of the territory for each of the dimensions contemplated in the diagnostic tool.

To take up again the experiences of other projects inside or outside the municipality, contemplated in the EDM of the province of Artemisa, in function of identifying synergies such as the strengthening of the government's management from the networking with the People's Councils, constitute opportunities that can be taken advantage of on the basis of the transformations achieved and their impact on the community.

In the province of Artemisa itself, for example, in the Popular Council of Pablo de la Torrente Brau, municipality of Bahía Honda, the community project Ilé Akaró Zunegwao has made it possible to safeguard traditions of African roots and its architectural heritage in the sugar industry, which has made it possible to consolidate the sense of belonging of its inhabitants, who are subjected to a strong crisis of cultural identity, a useful experience to take advantage of.

Such cultural devices have mitigated the mass migration of the inhabitants of the village under the influence of cultural practices associated with popular religions. Such experience, obtained from an exercise of diagnosis in the patrimony, can be replicated in the Popular Councils of San Cristóbal, territory very linked to the sugar production and that under the task Álvaro Reinoso has received some of the adverse effects of the reconversion of the sugar industry in the localities that still conserve productive units of their type like in the central "30 de Noviembre".

Importantly, in the EDM being analyzed, the sources of financing must be specified, as they are identified in a partial manner, without taking into account the appropriate territorial contribution, donations and the companies' own funds as one of the ways to solve the demands of the population in correspondence with the cases cited in the communities Mambí, Reparto EJT, Los Pinos and the ESBEC Sabanilla, with respect to the works for the channeling of the waste. The existence of a socio-cultural account belonging to the cooperative sector, if known by the inhabitants of the rural communities, would strengthen the revitalization of the peasant traditions.

Through the knowledge management and communication program, the socialization of EDM, with the use of various channels through citizen portals, as well as social networks, can be one of the initiatives that in practice have developed the country's governments with excellent results in terms of citizen participation, as a means of feedback and correction of its course with the participation of the population.

All of the above represents the beginning of a stage based on the definitions reached by the working group that developed the EDM. From this point on, the process will have to be organized, and should include at least the following steps:

  1. Approval by the CAM of the essential ideas of the EDM by agreement, as well as a proposal for organization, work schedule, people in charge, participants, necessary inputs and the use of mechanisms and means for dissemination (media, delegates, others)
  2. Presentation by the Administration Council to the Municipal Assembly of People's Power of proposal for its analysis and approval
  3. Systematic dissemination of the progress of the process
  4. Formulation and review of projects, including management proposal for their implementation (access to funding sources, responsible parties, schedule, etc.)
  5. Execution of projects
  6. Definition of a system of measurement indicators based on the long-term goal (vision). Discussion and approval by CAM and Municipal Assembly
  7. Continuous monitoring, evaluation and adjustment

This process will require the progressive expansion of the participation of entities, delegates of the People's Power and the population, which will be possible to the same extent that it is consolidated as a gradual process of systematization with several moments of updating and readjustment. The need to contemplate monitoring and evaluation tools in the EDM of San Cristóbal, which are not present in the body of the EDM, constitutes another aspect to be perfected on the basis of indicators developed by the municipality itself, whose updating and correction must be projected with a long range during its implementation, connected to communication actions with the population and municipal and supra-municipal actors on the results of the impact of the approved strategy, other essential steps for the achievement of an increase in the quality of life of its citizens.

The EDM analyzed presents an approach based on a conception of development that emphasizes the economic, political-institutional, social and environmental dimensions in the face of weak integration with the cultural dimension.

The recommendations for the improvement of the EDM of San Cristobal, from the conceptual, methodological and practical point of view, must start from an adequate operationalization of the concepts of culture and development, which transversality in the construction of this tool must take into account the participation of all citizens.

The critical analysis of this vision of development, present in the selected case study, must be taken into account from the contributions that the cultural dimension can make to the local development process, which it is intended to show from its adequate diagnosis, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

Both the use of the integral, participative municipal diagnosis, with a cultural view, the Procedure for the Management of Local Development Financing in Cuba, together with the methodology elaborated for the design of the EDP and the EDM based on the experience accumulated in the design of the new Cuban socialist development model, constitute valuable instruments that, applied in a creative and participative way in accordance with the particularities of each territory, can facilitate that this strategy can count on an adequate balance in all its dimensions from the integral and sustainable perspective that the concept of culture also provides.

Hence, the recommendations to the territory's actors are addressed, first of all, to the San Cristóbal Municipal Administration Council, which, in line with the analysis made in this research, must continue working on improving the EDM designed from an integral vision of development. Secondly, the municipal working group that participated in the design of the EDM must use the tools established for its completion. Thirdly, the Municipal University Center must continue to provide advice and training to all the actors in the territory, in accordance with the strategic lines contemplated.



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