"The phenomenon of globalization is on its course. Nevertheless, what has truly become universal is a certain culture - the western culture - with its intrinsic idea of development; a process that fosters education as a means to achieve integration. The concept of development, as understood by Gilbert Rist, is profoundly engraved in western culture's social imaginary. Meanwhile, through the present concept of development we might not achieve the quality of life as conceived and expected by every society. As a result, we must discuss the different meanings of "development" which so far, while relating to the psychosocial, stems from the economic. The psychosocial perspective reinforces the idea that Man should be at the center of discussions on development. As a result, the focus turns to issues concerning education, health, leisure, while considering the social bonds and the aspired quality of life. This is a concept that depends on how culture and Man's relationship to the historic and geographic environment was established, as well as the way human beings learned to relate to each other, thus building the social bonds that organize society. This takes place in the sphere of local development, where the expression of values, on which the social structure is founded, lies. These relationships are guided by ethics. That is where the practice of Participant Research emerges. Its methodology - systematic inquiry - consists of field survey of the main community issues that have to be dealt with, resulting in the development, together with the target community, of mobilization actions and the constant monitoring as well as the continuous assessment of the researched population. Based on this methodology, we have implemented several projects of local development in Brazil. Among them are: the Sinuelo Project , in South Mato Grosso, that aimed at the conservation of the Pantanal's culture and ecology, and the Sub-Project of Social Mobilization- Community Participation, part of the Guanabara Bay Depollution Project, that aimed at improving the quality of life of local populations in seven municipal districts of Rio de Janeiro. Data obtained through contact with local communities point to some problems:: a) in the urban area, a lack of basic sanitation, public transportation, housing; b) in the rural area of the Pantanal, the existence of predatory hunting and fishing, the absence of an ecological preservation program, mostly due to the scarcity of schools. The Sub-Project of Social Mobilization had the objective of identifying, educating and training local leadership."