The Human Endeavor of Intentional Communities: The Gawad Kalinga Movement


This is a story of a social movement’s conception and the articulation of its meaning and meaningfulness. Gawad Kalinga, an ambitious Philippine community development cum nation building movement, initiated "GK777" to build 700,000 homes in 7,000 communities, in seven years. I assessed the national and global implications of this social movement’s social networking model of nation-building through community development, poverty alleviation, and slum eradication. Using an ethnographic case study to conduct an inductive, grounded theory analysis, the study sought to explore if strategies and actions that go beyond traditional and conflict-centered social movement perspectives are enabling Gawad Kalinga to achieve its goals and to transfer its model to other countries. The global implications and replicability of Gawad Kalinga’s nation-building model on the emergence and development of other forms of social movements, civil society–state governance, and individual faith-in-action are compelling. The attempt at articulating and integrating political process and opportunity structure, resource mobilization, framing processes, and new social movement theories in explaining another form of social movement beyond conflict and contestation highlights the need for more of research, long-term monitoring and evaluation, and theorizing in this area.