Impact of community participation as part of standard project formalities and its effect on the project outcome

Hassan, Fatima Abdirahman (2003-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The fundamental purpose of this study is to establish the extent to which theory and practice relate in the context of community participation. The point of departure is to understand what participation entails and the methodologies available to the development practitioner. As illustrated by the case study, there is a meaningful relationship between theory and the practicing of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), which is the methodology of choice for the project. Although the PRA techniques were utilized in gathering data for the project, many of the key decisions were made independently of the community. This brings to light the controversy between technical expertise on the one hand and to what extent the community should be included in any decisions made at this technical level, especially since they may only end up rubber-stamping the professional's opinions anyway. The question arises whether or not the whole concept of empowerment is simply a utopian concept. This is by no means an easy question to answer. However, the case study does illustrate that participation can be harnessed to achieve a successful project. It is important to note that even in difficult circumstances where 'dependency' has taken root, there exists hope that the people can actively participate in the project. It also reinforces the urgency of the need to actively encourage social change that will inspire people towards participation. This has been viewed for too long by the local people as the domain of the educated only. It is therefore important that development agencies create awareness of participation since it cuts across all their projects.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie is om vas te stel tot watter mate teorie en praktyk met mekaar verband hou binne die konteks van gemeenskapsdeelname in die bestuur van gemeenskapsprojekte. Die vertrekpunt van die studie is die verstaan van wat deelname behels, en watter metodologieë beskikbaar is vir ontwikkelingspraktisyns. Soos deur die gevallestudie geïllustreer, is daar 'n verband tussen die teorie en die praktiese gebruik van "Participatory Rural Appraisal" (PRA), die tegniek wat deur die spesifieke projek gebruik word. Alhoewel die PRA tegniek aangewend is, word baie van die belangrike besluite onafhanklik van die gemeenskap gemaak. Dit plaas 'n fokus op die kontroversiële posisie wat bestaan tussen tegniese insette aan die een kant en die mate waartoe gemeenskappe op hierdie tegniese vlak aan besluite moet deelneem, veral aangesien hierdie tipe deelname slegs op die roetine-goedkeuring van professionele sienswyses mag uitloop. Dit vra die pertinente vraag of deelname nie slegs 'n utopiese konsep is nie. Hierdie is nie 'n maklike vraag om te antwoord nie, maar, die gevallestudieondersoek ondersteun wel die idee dat deelname ingespan kan word om positiewe resultate vir 'n projek te verseker. Dit is belangrik om daarop te let dat selfs waar 'n sindroom van afhanklikheid ontwikkel het, die hoop bestaan om gemeenskappe aktief in projekte te laat deelneem. Hierdie beklemtoon die belangrikheid daarvan om sosiale verandering aan te moedig ten einde 'n positiewe ingesteldheid teenoor deelname te inspireer. Vir te lank reeds sien plaaslike gemeenskappe hierdie as die terrein slegs van opgeleide persone. Dit is dus belangrik dat ontwikkelingsagente aandag skenk daaraan om gemeenskappe te sensiteer rakende deelname, aangesien dit die suksesvolle uitvoering van al hulle projekte raak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53458
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