Is self help the best help? : comparing donor funded and locally funded (self help) development projects in view of sustainable development. A compararative study from Uganda
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Persistent poverty in low developed countries is a concern which has drawn a number of external efforts, the most recent being the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The paradox has and still is that while aid has been provided in large quantities, the debt burden and poverty levels in developing countries, especially Sub Saharan Africa, seem to be on the increase and the ability of aid to solve this is highly questioned (Erixon, 2005; Watkins, 1995 This state of affairs propelled this study to investigate the option of development from withinself help. Using a comparative approach to the study, self help projects and donor funded projects were looked at. The purpose was to establish to which degree sources of funding have an impact on the sustainability of development projects, measured as improved and environmentally friendly livelihoods for local people. Specifically, the study assessed the formation and management of both donor funded and self help projects. It also went ahead to assess how the difference in formation and management of the two categories of projects influences realisation of improved and environmentally friendly livelihoods. This study reports on an investigation of five different cases of both donor funded and self help projects in Jinja district, Uganda. These cases were studied using a qualitative strategy because of interest in an in-depth understanding of people‟s views about the donor and self help projects. This was achieved through conducting of unstructured interviews, accompanied by focus group discussions (FGDs), participant observation and content analysis of relevant documents. Principal conclusions from this study include; Both donors funded and self help projects cannot be guaranteed to result into sustainable development unless it is purposed. With predetermination, donor funded projects are more likely to implement the notion of environmentally friendly livelihoods although not necessarily improved livelihoods for the people. Self help projects have higher chances of realising improved livelihoods in developing countries compared to donor funded projects, although they are less likely to put the environment into consideration. Basic skills of managing and running a project are important for the success of both donor and self help projects. From the findings and analysis, conclusions and recommendations for future practice were made and include: Channelling of development aid to capacity building of communities in the area of financial management, attitude change and environmentally friendly practices. Using micro loans through organised groups as the strategy for development in the developing countries. Making environmentally friendly practices a requirement for any development pursued by any party whether the community or donors. Making individual decision about livelihoods a priority if improved livelihoods are to be realised.
Masteroppgave development management- Universitetet i Agder 2010