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Title: Helping communities to help themselves? : Japan's assistance for self-help development in rural Malawi
Author: Misu, Yuko
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 7948
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the primary principles of Japan's development assistance - jijo, meaning self-help. Japan's development assistance is most commonly presented as economic cooperation, and much less is understood about its social and human development programmes at the community level. These programmes prioritise the selfhelp process and self-reliance of people in the recipient communities. This thesis provides new insights into social and human development assistance aspect of Japanese development programmes by exploring how the concept of 'self-help' is shaped by field practice. The thesis also contributes to broader debates about the grounded nature of development practice and the roles of different development actors at a range of scales. The practice of self-help development is examined with specific reference to the mobility of the concept of self-help, from the stage of project design until it becomes embedded in recipient communities. The mobility is analysed from perspectives of individual actors involved during the process, including development workers, their local counterparts, and individual members of recipient communities. It does so by empirically studying two rural development projects implemented by Japanese agencies in Malawi. The thesis demonstrates how a development concept which has evolved in specific historical, political and social contexts interacts with the development practice evolved in a different context. The studied cases show that a concept transforms by adapting to the official international and national agenda while it is interpreted by field workers and communicated through to key actors of project implementation. They further suggest externally initiated programme can produce positive effects when it synergises with existing local activities, and development assistance can create conducive environment for the locals to improve the livelihood when it prioritises multi-dimensional self-help effort of local people. The thesis also argues that individual actors' actions and re-actions construct development practice as a comprehensive process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Japan ; Development Assistance ; Participatory Development ; Malawi ; Rural Development ; Community Development ; Self help