Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.658874
Title: Understanding social power influence on participation and communication : cases of food security, sexual and reproductive health interventions in Malawi
Author: Chim'gonda-Nkhoma, Jerome John
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 7430
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2014
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Abstract:
Devolution of development planning and implementation functions from the central government to local authorities and ordinary citizens in Malawi holds the promise to achieve popular participation in communication for food security, sexual and reproductive health interventions. However, continued use of government bureaucratic and traditional power structures poses challenges to implementation of participatory communication strategies in development. A study was conducted with aims of examining how social power influences communication processes in food security, sexual and reproductive health interventions and to explore whether social power determines popular participation in the communication activities and processes in Dedza and Kasungu districts in Malawi from September, 2011 to August, 2012. The study employed a qualitative research design and case study approach to achieve its aims. 375 participants (219 male, 156 female) were recruited for the study using purposive and snowball sampling procedures. Data were collected using focus group discussions, key informant interviews, social mapping exercises, direct observations, and a questionnaire survey. The data were analysed using the N'Vivo 9 software, themes were constructed from the software outputs and, descriptive statistics for the survey. The study found that different forms of social power determine decision-making, planning, and implementation of communication activities and processes in food security, sexual and reproductive health interventions. Findings of the study showed that powerful social actors control and dominate decision-making and facilitation of communication activities and processes. The study demonstrated that men, women and youth without positions of power do not have space to influence decisions and facilitate the activities and processes. The study established that social power suppresses participation of women more than it does on men in both interventions. The findings showed that culture, development stereotypes, and attitude reinforce domination tendencies of powerful actors, while the same factors influence powerless social actors to support their own subjugation. The study concludes that powerful social actors control participation in communication activities and processes because of culture, attitude, and stereotypes. The study demonstrated that domination tendencies happen under the prevailing devolution policies suggesting elite capture of the decentralisation process. The findings intimate policy failure for decentralisation, agriculture extension, sexual and reproductive health outreach as the respective policies have not helped to achieve popular participation in the study locations and interventions. The study recommends policy reorientation to address factors that motivate domination by powerful social actors and supress popular participation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.658874  DOI: Not available
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