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Title: Development myths and realities : a critical analysis of the idea that community-based organizations are the key to progress in Ogoni communities in Nigeria
Authors: Okeke-Ogbuafor, Nwamaka Agatha
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Given the failure of top-down initiatives to bring about community development (CD) in many developing countries, attention is switching to community-based organizations (CBOs) as bottom-up CD solutions. This thesis tests the evidence for this switch in five oil-endowed and three non-oil-endowed communities across Ogoniland. In the fieldwork carried out for this research, 101 telephone interviews were conducted between December 2013 and February 2014, while between February and May, 2014, 189 open-ended questionnaires were administered, 69 key informant interviews were carried out, and three focus group discussions were conducted, and between March and April, 2015, 200 structured questionnaires were administered. The findings of the research include the fact that in the eight Ogoni communities there is a large range of perceptions about the definition and meaning of CBOs and CD; that state, market and culture affect the performance of CBOs; that most CBO members hold a higher sense of place than sense of communality; that there is a paradox of community members adapting to the poor condition of their communities rather than adapting their communities to their needs; and that CBOs may be more a reflection of their communities than a determinant of CD. The study concludes that Ogoni CBOs are not bottom-up community development solutions but symptoms of underdevelopment. This study recommends the decentralization of power in communities and the establishment of a partnership body for CBOs in Ogoniland to enable them to deliver bottom-up CD. It also suggests that CD policies should be built on the powerful sense of place held by Ogonis, rather than on an assumed sense of communality.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Marine Science and Technology

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