The participation of women from rural areas in development projects for sustainable livelihoods: a case of community groups in Maqongqo Area, KwaZulu-Natal Province

Mazibuko, Eugene Futhi Again (2017-03)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Since a democratic dispensation was established in South Africa in 1994, the country has been working to level the social, economic, and political playing field for all of its people, particularly those from socio-economically deprived backgrounds and contexts. The purpose of the study was to explore the experiences of women from rural areas participating in selected community development projects. A further aspect of the study was to explore the reasons for non-participation of individuals and/or categories of communities in community development projects, and to understand the role of development stakeholders with respect to community development projects for sustainable livelihoods. The study sought to analyse the interactional dynamics of aspects of the experiences of women from rural areas with respect to community development projects. The research was conducted within a qualitative research tradition, and took the form of a small-scale case study. The data-collection research techniques included focus group discussions with participants of selected community development projects; in-depth semi-structured interviews with development stakeholders; a self-administered questionnaire submitted to those who were not participating in any community development project at the time; and the analysis of key documents that the groups were willing to share with the researcher. Findings of the study revealed that the participation of women in community development projects led to the empowerment and advancement of women in sustainable ways. This was evident from the improvements that the women reported in their lives. Secondly, findings of the study revealed that the reasons for non-participation in community development projects were varied, individual and sometimes structural. Lastly, the study revealed that the role of development stakeholders was quite strong, although people participating in community development projects felt that support from development stakeholders was inadequate. The findings point to the fact that those who participated in community development projects have to consider the interactional dynamics of ideological, political, and economic aspects of participation and development in community development projects. The study troubles conventional conceptions of community development, which are mostly oblivious to the dynamics and intricacies involved in its practice. The recommendation made by the study is for government policy makers and planners to embrace the reality that the project of community development is incomplete at the level of legislative framing and that this legislative framing is only the beginning, as the essence of the project of community development is actually access, participation and growth. The research community needs to point the way by identifying and elevating lessons that are already in existence in many communities where significant progress has been made in order to ensure that community development is not about itself, but rather about people.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Sedert 'n demokratiese bestel in Suid-Afrika in 1994 tot stand gekom het, is die land besig om die sosiale, ekonomiese en politieke speelveld vir al die mense van Suid-Afrika gelyk te maak, veral vir diegene uit sosio-ekonomies ontneemde agtergronde en kontekste. Die doel van die studie was om die ervarings van vroue uit landelike gebiede wat aan geidentifiseerde gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprojekte deelneem, te verken. 'n Verdere aspek van die studie was om die redes vir nie-deelname van individue en/of kategoriee van gemeenskappe in gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprojekte te verken, en om die rol van belangegroepe wat by ontwikkeling betrokke is met betrekking tot gemeenskapsontwikkelingprojekte vir volhoubare bestaan te verstaan. Die studie het gepoog om die wisselwerkende dinamika van aspekte van die ervarings van vroue uit landelike gebiede met betrekking tot gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprojekte te analiseer. Die navorsing is binne 'n kwalitatiewe navorsingstradisie uitgevoer, en het die vorm van 'n kleinskaalse gevallestudie geneem. Die navorsingstegnieke vir data-insameling het fokusgroepbesprekings met lede van geselekteerde gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprojekte; grondige semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude met belanghebbendes in ontwikkeling; 'n self-geadministreerde vraelys aan diegene wat nie ten tyde van die studie aan enige gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprojek deelgeneem het nie; en die ontleding van die belangrikste dokumente wat die groepe bereid was om met die navorser te deel, ingesluit. Bevindinge van die studie het getoon dat die ervarings van vroue wat aan gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprojekte deelneem op volhoubare maniere tot die bemagtiging en bevordering van vroue gelei het. Dit was duidelik uit die verbetering in hul lewens wat deur vroue berig is. Tweedens het bevindinge van die studie getoon dat die redes vir nie-deelname aan gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprojekte van uiteenlopende, individuele en soms strukturele aard was. Laastens het die bevindinge van die studie getoon dat die rol van belangegroepe m.b.t. ontwikkeling nogal sterk was, alhoewel mense wat aan gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprojekte deelneem, gevoel het dat die ondersteuning van hierdie belanghebbendes onvoldoende was. Die bevindings dui op die feit dat diegene wat betrokke is by gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprojekte die wisselwerkende dinamika van ideologiese, politieke en ekonomiese aspekte van deelname en ontwikkeling in gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprojekte in ag moet neem. Die studie bots met konvensionele opvattings van gemeenskapsontwikkeling, wat meestal onbewustheid weerspieel van die dinamika en kompleksiteit wat in die praktyk daarby betrokke is. Die aanbeveling van die studie is dat die regering se beleidmakers en beplanners die werklikheid moet aanvaar dat die projek van gemeenskapsontwikkeling op die vlak van die wetgewende raamwerk onvolledig is, en dat hierdie wetgewende raamwerk net die begin is, daar die kern van die gemeenskapsontwikkelingprojek eintlik toegang, deelname en groei vereis. Die navorsingsgemeenskap moet die weg aantoon deur die reeds bestaande lesse in baie gemeenskappe waar beduidend vordering gemaak is, te identifiseer en te verhef ten einde te verseker dat gemeenskapsontwikkeling is nie op homself nie, maar eerder op mense gerig is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100823
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