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Capacity building for local development, a comparative study of formal and informal organizations in Gondar, Northern Ethiopia

by Mequanent, Getachew

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis explores the concephial and methodological questions of local capacity building. The issue of capacity building has to do with enhancing the role of local organizationsin the development process. It has ken argued that strong organizations would create the social and material basis of support for development initiatives, including the structuresdemanded by decentralized power, institutions, and resources. But,too ofien there has been little done to assess the range of organizational capabilities which are the determinhg factors for the effectiveness and eficiency of their performance functions. On the basis of the case study of " formal " and "informal" organizations in Gondar, Northem Ethiopia, this thesis argues that local organizations are created and sustained by dynamic processes of socio-economic, cultural and political interactions, which, in tum, require individuals to engage in a systematic mode of interaction to b e and rehe relationships arnong themselves and with outsider agencies. The case study examines the roles, structures and fûnctions of these organizations to undestand how they actuaily work and also how the environment that is external and intemal to organizations can increase or limit the range of their capabilities as social agencies of change in local society. The study also develops a framework to assess the importance of existing and potentid organizational capacities to initiate and coordinate development work. In doing so, it attempts to identify both "capacity utilization " problems and " capacity building " needs. The problem of utilizing existing capacities emanates frorn the topdown, technocratie practices which rarely take account the vital role of local organizations in the development process. The capacity building issue draws attention to the need for developing local knowledge-base and technical skills that match people's expectations in the development process. The study concludes by proposing a regional planning approach that helps to define areas of responsibility for local organizations, so as to complement their des with programme and project initiatives.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1998

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