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Title: Opportunities and challenges in institutionalising participatory development : the case of rural Zimbabwe
Author: Chatiza, Kudzai
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2008
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This study explores opportunities and challenges for institutionalising participatory development in rural Zimbabwe and compares them with Zambia's experiences. It defines participatory development in terms of ordinary people's relations with the variety of organisations involved in development. The study finds that the main factors facilitating participatory development relate to inter-organisational interactions and the coordination of development activities. The interactions occur in joint and separate institutional spaces as organisations facilitate development. Initiators, regulators and participants of the interactions are many, formal and informal, local and external. Governments influence and participate in the interactions through policy formulation and direct implementation of programme activities but generally under-fund local governance institutions. Such Government involvement strengthens but also distorts local relations. Distortion is increasingly the situation in Zimbabwe. The study also finds that people's participation constitutes the bottom-up influence needed to make organisational interaction locally meaningful. The crisis in Zimbabwe has put a strain on organisational relations and capabilities to facilitate participatory development. Decentralisation theory does not hold much promise for Zimbabwe considering that there is little left to transfer and governance structures already exist. What remains is for local governance institutions to strengthen horizontal relationships, positively constrain political parties and allow definition and pursuit of development based more on local than external material resources. Such a development ethos does not preclude the importance of external support. In development theory, the thesis' concerns lie between policy and legislative issues on one hand and participatory appraisal methods and actual development activities on the other. I suggest that this area has been given limited attention despite being the 'Pandora's Box' in participatory development. While primarily based on Zimbabwe with some comparative analysis of Zambian experiences, the conclusions of this thesis are arguably applicable to many situations even where poverty and institutional stress are lower.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available