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Title: Learning for development through co-operation : the engagement of youth with co-operatives in Lesotho and Uganda
Author: Hartley, Sally Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 9514
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2012
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With 2011 designated the United Nations Year of the Youth and 2012 the Year of the Co-operative this research contributes to issues raised by these two significant and timely events. The renaissance of co-operatives globally and their revival in countries in Africa has promoted interest and debate around co-operatives as collective values-based businesses and their potential to promote economic and social development and address poverty (UN, 2010). There is also increasing recognition that youth in Africa present both a potential and a challenge for development (UN, 2011). Youth access to education, civic participation and the ability to secure and sustain livelihoods are core concerns. Initiatives to involve youth in co-operatives in Lesotho and Uganda bring these two areas together and are of particular interest. The focus of this thesis is whether and how co-operatives provide opportunities for youth learning and the development of their capabilities and agency to achieve valued goals. The analysis is framed through conceptualisation of co-operatives as learning spaces within which theories of situated , learning are combined with the capability approach. Using qualitative and participatory methods to investigate youth engagement in co-operatives in Lesotho and Uganda the thesis argues that co- operatives provide situated social learning spaces where youth learn for development. Learning emerges within such spaces for: business and vocational knowledge and skills, personal development, collective learning based on trust and co-operator identity, and wider outcomes such as community engagement, enhanced relationships and networks and development of the co- operative form. Learning is, however, both enabled and restricted by: gender, the level of prior formal education, the networks of which a co-operative is a part and the type and success of a co-operative.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral