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Title: Barriers in community participation and rural development
Author: Cobbinah, J. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2712 6279
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2011
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The concept of participation seems to reflect in most development programmes that involve people at the grassroots level. In Ghana, the introduction of the decentralization programme in the late 1980s that aimed at promoting effective, comprehensive and rapid development, more especially in the rural areas also adopted participatory approach. The approach led to the introductory of district assembly system which was to enhance the involvement of people at the grassroots in participatory activities. However, since the introduction of the decentralisation system to promote grassroots level participation, the people are still inactive and the level of involvement in development decision-making still remains weak. To clearly understand these problems, the thesis has aimed at answering the following research questions; how are rural people involved in participatory practice in the development activities in their area; what barriers affect and hinder the active participation of rural people and how could these be addressed? Answers to those questions helped to examine the nature of participation at the grassroots level; understand how the district assembly adopt participatory practice and to ascertain the nature of barriers that hinder effective participatory practice. Using a case study approach for the investigation, an interpretivists and constructivists were the philosophical underpinnings of the investigation. The data was gathered through the use of focus group discussions and one-to-one informal interviews. It was observed that, participation continues to reflect in most rural development programmes, but there are key barriers that still continue to hamper the effectiveness of participatory practice. Power relations, threats, intimidations and more especially the use of juju and witchcraft which never featured in most development literature are among the major barriers that continue to weaken local people readiness to actively participate. Most rural people feel threaten to participate for the fear of being bewitched or killed through the use of juju, witchcraft or black magical powers. Without critically and effectively addressing those bottlenecks and barriers, and put community members at the pivot of decision-making, the use of outsiders' knowledge and ideas alone to address the problems of participation with the hope of improving the lives of the rural people will not yield any significant result.
Supervisor: Not given Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Civil Society Organization ; Participation ; Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) ; Empowerment ; Power relations ; Capacity building ; Partnership ; Local Governance ; Decentralization ; Ghana ; Rural development ; Community participation