Participation of rural communities in development policy and practice : the South African experience and its relevance for Rwanda

Bangwanubusa, Theogene (2002-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLIAH ABSTRACT: Several indispensable variables for effective community development include, among others: development skills, networking and partnership, and community participation in the development project life cycle. The study aimed to derive relevant lessons about these factors for Rwanda from the South African community development experience. A literature study was first undertaken on key concepts such as participation, rural community, development, and policy and practice. Literature on principles and policies guidelines for community development in both the South African and Rwandan contexts was also reviewed. Within the perspective of comparative analysis, the socio-political and historical backgrounds of both countries served as the basis of criteria for selecting four case studies. From South Africa, three case studies were selected from both the apartheid and post-apartheid periods. One postapartheid study was regarded as unsuccessful and one was successful. The third is a successful ongoing case that straddles the apartheid and post-apartheid periods. From Rwanda, a postgenocide ongoing case was selected on the grounds of its perceived success. A comparative analysis was undertaken of practical results and the South African experience provided actual relevance for Rwanda in specific ways. In complete contrast to the current view that community driven development depends on the political context, the study shows that it depends rather on a number of objective principles for active community participation. What is demonstrated is that community driven development cannot be adequately supported by the developer-centred, consultation, and blueprint approaches because they fail to inspire active community participation. Nor can community participation be seen merely as cheap labour or superficial involvement. Instead, it implies empowering the community with development skills that enable people to acquire more choices and gain control of their community life. To achieve such empowerment, the study stresses the need for a shift toward the bottom-up approach to the planning and implementing of rural-based development projects.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Verskeie onmisbare veranderlikes vir doeltreffende gemeenskapsontwikkeling sluit, onder andere, die volgende m: ontwikkelingsvaardighede, netwerk en vennootskap, en gemeenskapsdeelname aan die lewensiklus van die ontwikkelingsprojek. Die studie het gepoog om relevante lesse omtrent hierdie faktore vir Rwanda af te lei uit Suid-Afrika se ondervinding ten opsigte van gemeenskapsontwikkeling. 'n Literatuurstudie oor sleutelbegrippe soos deelname, landelike gemeenskap, ontwikkeling en beleid en praktyk, is eers onderneem. Literatuur oor beginsels en beleidsriglyne vir gemeenskapsontwikkeling in sowel die Suid- Afrikaanse as Rwandese omgewings is ook bestudeer. Binne die perspektief van vergelykende analise, het die sosio-politiese en historiese agtergrond van albei lande gedien as die basis van die kriteria waarvolgens vier gevallestudies gekies is. Drie Suid-Afrikaanse gevallestudies is uit die apartheids- en die post-apartheidsera gekies. Een post-apartheidstudie is as onsuksesvol beskou en een as suksesvol. Die derde geval is 'n suksesvolle, voortgaande een uit die apartheidsera en daarna. Uit Rwanda is 'n voortgaande geval uit die era na die volksmoord op grond van sy sigbare sukses gekies. 'n Vergelykende analise van die praktiese resultate is onderneem, en die Suid-Afrikaanse ondervinding het op spesifieke maniere wesenlike toepassings vir Rwanda verskaf. In algehele teenstelling met die huidige opvatting dat gemeenskapsgedrewe ontwikkeling afhang van die politieke omgewing, wys hierdie studie dat dit eerder van 'n aantalobjektiewe beginsels vir aktiewe gemeenskapsdeelname afhang. Wat gedemonstreer word, is dat gemeenskapsgedrewe ontwikkeling nie voldoende deur ontwikkelaargesentreerde, konsultasie- en bloudrukbenaderings ondersteun kan word nie, aangesien hulle nie daarin slaag om aktiewe gemeenskapsdeelname te inspireer nie. Net so kan gemeenskapsdeelname nie bloot gesien word as goedkoop arbeid of oppervlakkige betrokkenheid nie. Dit impliseer eerder die bemagtiging van die gemeenskap met ontwikkelingsvaardighede wat mense in staat stelom meer keuses te bekom en om beheer oor hulle gemeenskapslewe te verkry. Die studie beklemtoon dat, ten einde hierdie bemagtiging te bereik, daar 'n skuif moet plaasvind na die benadering waar die gemeenskap betrokke is by die beplanning en implementering van landelikgebaseerde ontwikkelingsprojekte.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52986
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