The accomplishment of effective community development : a case study of methods applied in the community of Zwelihle

Bouwer, Anton Christian (2005-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The goal of this study is to determine, which of two development approaches, i.e., the "bottom-up approach" or the "top-down" approach (or social development and social engineering, respectively) have been successful in determining the felt needs of the community of Zwelihle. For this purpose a needs assessment was executed in Zwelihle community, close to Hermanus, in September 2001. The assessment procedure was done according to the Priority index and Community profile method (P+C-index), applying the Schutte scale during semi-structured focus group interviews. "Qualiquantitative" data (quantifies a qualitative response) was gathered from five different neighbourhoods in Zwelihle, each with different priority needs. Previously to this study, another community development project, the "housing project", was conducted in 1998 in the community of Zwelihle and more specifically in Thambo Square, presently named Airfield, fulfilling a housing need. The present study only considered the first three phases of the development process (needs assessment, problem identification and planning) to be relevant, of which all these phases have been executed and completed by the "housing project". However, no further follow-up phases of the community development process have been executed since the completion of the P+C index needs assessment. Each of these two involvements in the Zwelihle community had a different approach to development. The former, the P+C index needs assessment, had a social development approach (bottom-up), and the latter, the "housing project", had a social engineering approach (top-down). By applying a measuring tool, the principles and features of effective community development (Swanepoel, 1997:3) during the initial, needs assessment phase, an attempt was made to determine which of the two approaches have been successful in determining the community's "felt" needs and in so doing have managed an effective community development process. The finding was that the P+C-index method, as far as the first phase of community development was concerned, applied all the community development principles and reflected the features of effective community development. Although the outcome or characteristics of these applied "principles and features" may not be recognised or measured, this present study has realised these principles and features during the needs assessment phase. The "housing project" has fallen short in applying any of these principles and did therefore fail to reflect any characteristics of an effective development process. The differences between the two approaches essentially are that the P+C index empowered the community, by allowing the members at "grassroots" level participation in order for them to personally express their "felt" needs during focus group interviews. The 'housing project' on the contrary has allowed the community at "grassroots" level participation but only to a certain extent, by filling out questionnaires identifying a "real" need ("top" down need identification). The community leaders, though, were allowed to speak on their behalf. In conclusion, it may be possible to determine which of the two mentioned approaches have been successful in determining the "felt" needs of the community of Zwelihle and in doing so have been effective, by socially developing the people.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel met hierdie studie is om te bepaal watter twee ontwikkelingsbenaderinge, m.a.w., die "bottom-up" benadering of die "top-down" benadering (of sosiaal ontwikkelings en sosiaal manipulasie, onderskeidelik) suksesvol was in die bepaling van die "gevoelde behoeftes" (felt) van die Zwelihle gemeenskap. Vir hierdie doel is 'n behoeftebepaling uitgevoer in Zwelihle gemeenskap, aangrensend aan Hermanus, gedurende September 2001. Die behoeftebepalingsprosedure wat gevolg is, is uitgevoer volgens die Prioriteits indeks (P-Indeks) en Gemeenskapsprofielmetode (C-indeks), waartydens 'n Schutte skaal aangewend is, gedurende semigestruktureerde fokus-groep onderhoude. Voor die aanvang van hierdie studie is 'n ander gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprojek , bekend as die "behuisingsprojek", in 1998 in dieselfde gemeenskap uitgevoer. Hierdie projek het 'n behuisingsbehoefte aangespreek en was meer spesifiek gerig op die woonbuurt, Thambo Square (tans bekend as Airfield) van die groter Zwelihle gemeenskap. Die huidige studie beskou alleenlik die eerste drie fases van die ontwikkelingsproses, nl. behoeftebepaling, probleem identifikasie en beplanning, as toepaslik en is weliswaar deur die genoemde behuisingsprojek uitgevoer en voltooi. Daarenteen, is geen verdere opvolg-fases, na die uitvoering en voltooing van die P+Cindeks behoeftebepalingsfase, gevolg nie. Beide hierdie twee betrokke metodes of projekte het verskillende ontwikkelingsbenaderinge gevolg. Eersgenoemde, die P+C-indeks behoeftebepalingmetode het 'n sosiaal-ontwikkelingsbenadering (Bottom-up) en laasgenoemde het 'n sosiaalmanipulerings benadering (Top-down) gevolg. Deur die toepassing van 'n meetinstrument, die beginsels en karaktertrekke van effektiewe gemeenskapsontwikkeling (Swanepoel, 1997:3) gedurende die aanvangs, behoeftebepalings fase is 'n poging aangewend om te bepaal watter van die twee benaderinge suksesvol sou wees in die bepaling van die gemeenskap se "gevoelsbehoefte" (felt). In die uitvoering hiervan kan bewys gelewer word dat 'n effektiewe gemeenskapsontwikkelinsproses deurgevoer is. Die bevinding derhalwe was dat die P+C index metode, ten opsigte van die eerste fase van gemeenskapsontwikkeling, al die gemeenskapsontwikkelings beginsels toegepas het en ook die karaktertrekke van effektiewe gemeenskapontwikkeling, reflekteer het. Alhoewel die resultaat van die genoemde, toegepaste "beginsels en karaktertrekke" nie erken of gemeet kon word nie, het die huidige studie hierdie "beginsels en karaktertrekke" gerealiseer en erken tydens die eerste behoeftebepalingsfase. Die wesenlike verskil tussen hierdie twee genoemde benaderinge is dat die P+C-indeks metode, die gemeenskapslede bemagtig het deurdat die lede op grondvlak deelname toegelaat is om gedurende die fokus-groepsonderhoude, persoonlik uitdrukking te kon gee aan hul "gevoelsbehoeftes". Die "behuisingsprojek" daarenteen het die gemeenskapslede op grondvlak wel deelname toegelaat, maar net tot so 'n mate waar vraelyste deur laasgenoemde voltooi is vir die identifisering van 'n "ware (real) behoefte", ("top-down" behoeftebepaling). Verder is gemeenskapsleiers toegelaat om die gemeenskapslede op grondvlak te verteenwoordig en namens hulle op te tree. Die gevolgtrekking kan dus gemaak word dat dit wel moontlik is om te bepaal watter van die twee genoemde benaderinge suksesvol was in die bepaling van die gemeenskap van Zwelihle se "gevoelsbehoefte" en gevolglik effektief was om die gemeenskapslede sosiaal te ontwikkel.

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