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Community development, education and training for change and localization

by Odoch, Paschal Wathum

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis explores the ways in which education and training programs can contribute to the achievement of equitable, self-reliant, and sustainablecommunity development. A case study was conducted on an indigenous affiliate of the Agency for Cooperation in Research and Development (ACORD) in Nebbi district, Uganda. ACORD is a broad-based international consortium of European and Canadian non-governmental orgauizations. ACORD's main focus in sub-Saharan Afnca is to help establish or strengthen local, non-governmental structures with a view to promoting equitable, self-reliant, sustainable development, The ACORD-NEBBI community development programme was chosen for the study for four reasons: First, it appeared to be consistent with the comrnunity development principles advanced in the iiterature. Second, it emphasizes long-tcrm iocalization of the programme hugh a signifcant skills training and education cornponent. Third, the ACORD-NEBBI programme is a mature (Le. over 15 years old) community development effort with a variety of programs under one urnbrella. And fourth, the programme was accessible geographically and culturally to the researcher. The researc h methods included observation, document analysis, and forty-six semi-structurai interviews. The interviewees represented community development workers, former participants of ACORD-NEBBI training programs, primary beneficiaries of ACORD-NEBBI developnent programme, and the programme personnel. Six factors were found to support the ability of ACORD-NEBBI education and training programs to contribute to the achievement of equitable, self-reliant, and sustainable development initiatives: fmt, application of a phased approach to change and locaiization; second, tailoreci training activities at the request and Pace of the beneficiaries; third, support to and promotion of self-selecting group formation based on common interests that, in tum, allowed the bctioning of groups with less social fiction; fourth, the application of a development approach compatible with the socio-cultural traditions; fifth, the development of a rnulti-faceted programme that penetrated al1 vulnerable segments of the society; and sixth, the application of change agents who supporteci emerging comunity groups. Two factors were identifiai as lindering the ability of ACORD-NEBBI education and training programs to contribute to the achievement of equitable, self-reliant, and sustainable development initiatives: a) the poor state of Ć¢evelopment instruments (i.e. accessiblemads, clan water, and well equipped medical centres), and b) missed target groups -- the poorest of the poor -- who could not fonn groups through whicb training is delivered. The latter factor exists because the programme focuses on groups, and hence individuals who could not form orjoin the selfselecting groups were left out of the developmmt process. Thus, the lower middle class mata of the village communitieshave benefitedthe most because they already had the basic resources - work capacity, knowledge, capital - with which to gain access, influence and the much needed savings mobilization prior to group formation. The majority of the nual poor do not possess these important resources.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1999

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