Assessing community participation in development planning and service delivery : a case study of the Omusati Regional Council
Thesis (MPhil (Sustainable Development Planning and Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.
Community participation is a concept adopted to ensure participation and give opportunities to communities to determine their own destination in terms of their needs. It is a means of empowering people by developing their skills and abilities to enable them to negotiate with the development delivery system and to equip them to make their own decisions in terms of their development needs and priorities. The aim of the study is to asses community participation in the development planning and service delivery system by the Omusati Regional Council. As a government institution at the grass root level, it has a task to deliver required basic services through development programmes and projects. Interviews and participatory observation, including project visits were the methods used to collect information on the implementation of community participation in the decision making processes, and project implementation by the Omusati Regional Council. The study is structured into six chapters. Chapter 1 deals with the general introduction, background to the study, the statement of the problem, the hypothesis, objective of the study, perceptions, research methodology, significance of the study and organisation of the study. Chapter 2 discusses the theory and philosophy of community participation. It conceptualizes the key terms of community participation in development planning, such as sustainable development, integrated development planning and projects, decentralised development and the building block of development integrated rural development, basic service delivery and indigenous knowledge systems. Chapter 3 highlights the policy framework on community participation in terms of international, national and regional development planning policy documents. Chapter 4 is concerned with the local context of study (Omusati Regional Council), while Chapter 5 presents the data results, interpretation and analysis. Chapter 6 reflects the conclusion and the way forward.