Decentralisation for community development - a Rwanda Case study

Mutagoma, Paul (2006-12)

Thesis (MPA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A community-centred development which can be qualified as authentic development leads to the sustainability of the community. This must be understood as a process of economic, political and social change springing from the efforts of people themselves working for the benefit of themselves, their families and, hopefully, their communities, which process can be referred to as a self-reliant participatory development. This calls for active mutual self-help among people working together in their common struggle, at the grassroots level, to deal with their common problems. It is also acknowledged that if development efforts are to be effective, then the participation of problem-affected groups is necessary, with support from local government, NGO’s, local resource people and donors, willing to live and work among them. The success of this self-reliant participatory development approach accompanied by inner conviction, a shared understanding, and awareness or consciousness-awakening that people have of their common problems, and finding ways of mobilising resources, planning, implementing and eventually controlling their own development activities. Against this background, however, the roles of government as well as of NGOs, in fighting against poverty and social transformation that leads to the development of the community, remain indispensable. Government roles should be enabling and supportive, and create a space for communities’ needs. This study aimed to explore the decentralisation process to boost the community efforts towards participation in local development management. As the public participation processes in local government do not yield the outcomes that reveal a fully optimised process, the role of the community developer is merely to create an environment of freedom within which the latent development potential of the community can bloom (Schutte, 2000:5). This Rwandan case study offers an overview of its decentralisation and community development policies. The literature review provides the definitions of key concepts regarding the topic, in both the international context as well as Rwandan context. It discusses the topic and highlights definition, objective, different forms of decentralisation, community development and its delivery framework. The findings show that community development depends on the political will that establishes effective and favourable institutions to sustain the self-reliance of the community as well as the awareness of the community of its daily problems and its participation in planning and implementing solutions. The SWOT analysis provides a situation from which to adopt new alternatives and strengthen the existing one in order to face challenges.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gemeenskapgesentreerde ontwikkeling wat kwalifiseer as oorspronklike ontwikkeling, lei tot die volhoudbaarheid van die gemeenskap. Dit moet gesien word as ‘n proses van ekonomiese, politieke en sosiale verandering wat sy oorsprong het in die pogings van die mense self, wat werk tot voordeel van hulself, hulle gesinne, en hopelik hulle gemeenskappe. Hierdie proses kan na verwys word as selfstandige deelnemende ontwikkeling. Dit vereis aktiewe, onderlinge selfhulp waar mense saamwerk en saamstreef op voetsoolvlak, om hulle gemeenskaplike probleme te oorkom. Daar word ook erken dat om doeltreffend te wees, die deelname van die voordeeltrekkers nodig is, met die ondersteuning van plaaslike regering, Nie-Regerings Organisasies (NGOs), plaaslike kundiges en donateure wat gewillig is om tussen die mense te woon en te werk. Om die sukses van hierdie deelnemende ontwikkelingsbenadering te verseker, moet dit gesteun word deur innerlike oortuiging, ‘n gesamentlike siening, en die bewuswording van die mense self van hulle gesamentlike probleme. Hulle moet maniere vind om hulle hulpbronne te mobiliseer, om te beplan, die planne te implementeer en uiteindelik om hulle eie ontwikkelingsaktiwiteite te beheer. Teen hierdie agtergrond, egter, is die rolle van die regering en die nie-regerings organisasies in die stryd teen armoede onontbeerlik en is dit nodig om sosiale transformasie wat kan lei tot die ontwikkeling van die gemeenskap, te bewerkstellig. Die regering se rol is om die gemeenskap te bekwaam en te ondersteun, en om spasie te skep vir die vervulling van die gemeenskap se behoeftes. In hierdie studie word die desentralisasieproses wat die gemeenskap se pogings tot deelname in plaaslike bestuur bevorder, ondersoek. Aangesien die uitkomste van publieke deelname prosesse in plaaslike regering nog nie ten volle geoptimaliseer is nie, moet die gemeenskapontwikkelaar ‘n omgewing skep waarin die latente ontwikkelingspotensiaal van die gemeenskap vryelik kan blom (Schutte, 2000:5). Hierdie Rwandese gevallestudie bied ‘n oorsig van die desentralisasie en gemeenskapsontwikkeling beleid in Rwanda. Definisies van sleutelkonsepte rakende die onderwerp, in beide die internasionale konteks en die Rwandese konteks word in die literatuuroorsig verskaf. Die onderwerp word bespreek en die definisie, doelwit, verskillende vorme van desentralisasie, gemeenskapontwikkeling en die raamwerk waarbinne dit moet plaasvind, word beklemtoon. Die bevindinge toon dat gemeenskapsontwikkeling afhang van die politieke wil om doeltreffende instansies te skep vir gemeenskappe wat op hulleself kan steun en wat bewus is van hulle daaglikse probleme asook hoe hulle moet deelneem in die beplanning en implementering van oplossings. Die SWOT ontleding verskaf ‘n situasie waaruit nuwe oplossings kan ontstaan en bestaande oplossings versterk kan word, om sodoende nuwe uitdagings tegemoet te gaan.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/21685
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