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Peer-Review Record

Sustainable Community Development or Voluntourism: Sustainable Housing in Rural Maharashtra

Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(12), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7120247
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(12), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7120247
Received: 5 November 2018 / Revised: 19 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 November 2018 / Published: 26 November 2018

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Dear Colleague!

Thank you for the opportunity to review your case study. I find this case study very interesting. However, I think it is important to concentrate on the problematic parts of the article that should be improved.

In this article, you pointed at a particular case where voluntourism did not produced the expected results in a sustainable housing in Maharashtra in India. You deal with the efficiency of financial resources and their real transparent usage in the practice. The article is divided into introduction, University Based Voluntourism, Materials and Methods, Case Study Context, Case Study: Calculation of Costs and Conclusion.

In the theoretical part of the paper, supported by the arguments of several other authors, you doubt the long-term effects of voluntourism on the territorial intercultural development. The study is classified as an informal covert research that publish available information for general social benefit (Spicker, 2015). You question the real effects of voluntourism in Maharashtra as a result of your own personal experience.

The study points out in particular the author´s subjective negative impressions, does not take into account the attitude of several stakeholders (eg Australian environmental enterprise (AGC), local Indian community).

(1) It is appropriate to include also the opinion of the involved entities. Do local people perceive any positive effects of voluntourism in Maharashtra?

I do not find it appropriate to generally refuse, on the basis of exceptional personal experience, the voluntourism long-term effects on the destination.

(2) It is important in the theoretical part to analyze different opinions, including those who point to the positive effects of voluntourism and to discuss it. I would appreciate any suggestions and positive examples about voluntourism and its effect for the destination. What else should be done and what concrete steps should be undertaken?

(3) In the article I missed a detailed methodology including the scientific aim, methods of data collection and processing, theoretical methods of investigation, statistical population and research sample, hypotheses.

(4) Sentences are too long and complicated; it is necessary to check the case study by an English native speaker.

It would be my pleasure, if you find my advices helpful.


Author Response

Questions and responses


1) It is appropriate to include also the opinion of the involved entities. Do local people perceive any positive effects of voluntourism in Maharashtra?I do not find it appropriate to generally refuse, on the basis of exceptional personal experience, the voluntourism long-term effects on the destination.

Answer: as alreadty noted the AGC involved beieved it was doing bottom up sustainable development and refused to respond to criticism of its approach, Their allusion to such development was nowhere to be seen. I did not have access to locals to ask about their attitudes. There was no evidence their lives had changed and the project had nothing directly to do with community development only indirectly.

(2) It is important in the theoretical part to analyze different opinions, including those who point to the positive effects of voluntourism and to discuss it. I would appreciate any suggestions and positive examples about voluntourism and its effect for the destination. What else should be done and what concrete steps should be undertaken?

Answer: further comments are included on the purported benefits of voluntourism and the final section makes recommnendations about how this should rpocess in the future

(3) In the article I missed a detailed methodology including the scientific aim, methods of data collection and processing, theoretical methods of investigation, statistical population and research sample, hypotheses.

Answer: this is a case study using covert researcha dn secondary sources. There is a statement about research question but as far as statistical populationa and sample - this is of limited relevance to case study - and there ceratinly is no hypothesis.

(4) Sentences are too long and complicated; it is necessary to check the case study by an English native speaker.


Amswer: some sentences have been revised


Reviewer 2 Report

Thanks for letting me read this interesting and valuable article on "Sustainable community development or voluntourism: illustrative case study of sustainable housing in Maharashtra".

The title reflects the manuscript content and the critical approach applied in the research. However, a more eye-catching title would attract a wider readership. The paper harshly criticizes an Australian agency (the Australian Green Charity), but this is failed to be mentioned in the abstract or in the keywords.

For the sake of better understanding of the unit of analysis, I suggest providing more (geographical)information on Maharashtra (I assume this is the region's name, while the study was carried out in Jamnya village). A Google map snapshot is inserted in the article, but the image is not very clear.) Is this village representative because there are many others like this, or this is the only village in this area where the Australian agency provides "study tours"?

In the introduction the author provides a summary on the "critical reviews of voluntourism". I suggest increasing the soundness of this part. Please consider the following papers:

- Jessica Taplin, Dianne Dredge & Pascal Scherrer (2014) Monitoring and evaluating volunteer tourism: a review and analytical framework, Journal of Sustainable Tourism,

22:6, 874-897.

- Nancy Gard McGehee (2014) Volunteer tourism: evolution, issues and futures, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 22:6, 847-854.

- Andrea Lee Freidus (2017) Unanticipated outcomes of voluntourism among Malawi's orphans, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 25:9, 1306-1321.

The description of the empolyed research methods is clear (case study and covert research), but please provide more information on when the research and the field research were carried out.

The analysed case is thought-provoking and questions the role of Universities in this doubtful community development processes.

Please provide information of the research limits and further research paths in this field.



Author Response

Hi


title has been revised and abstract

The AGC is mentioned in the abstract

All references suggested now incoporated in the article

I have now referred to the fact there are five villages in the area and the AGC works with 3 of them

Dates are now given for the field research


I believe I have responded to these comments therefore

Thanks

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