Translating development: an ethnographic study of community-driven development in rural Nigeria

PhD Thesis


Akorede, Muideen Oluwafemi 2010. Translating development: an ethnographic study of community-driven development in rural Nigeria. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Law and Social Sciences
AuthorsAkorede, Muideen Oluwafemi
TypePhD Thesis
Abstract

This thesis focuses on the dynamics of donor-funded policy and projects in rural Nigeria, bringing out the contending understandings and uses of Community Driven Development
(CDD). CDD in an approach to localizing development resources adopted by the Community-Based Poverty Reduction Project (CPRP), a partnership involving the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Nigerian government in 2001. The study investigated what meanings those described as beneficiaries attach to CDD and associated projects, especially in terms of how they interact in the latter spaces. Also, the study explored how CDD projects actually work in practice in view of the involvement of differently positioned but related actors and the huge claims made in favour of the approach.
Drawing from the fields of anthropology and development studies, the study is ethnographically grounded in a study of the implementation of CDD in Egbeda, a rural village in north central Nigeria which won funding to complete a 20-year electrification project from the GCPRP, the semi-autonomous agency set up to implement the policy. The literature on CDD tends to focus impact evaluations and on beneficiaries as victims of elite hijack. Overall, a focus on how the organizational objectives of implementers, local State actors and beneficiaries intersect with formal politics during implementation is limited.
The study makes a contribution by showing how beneficiaries constrained by cultural forces and a top-down approach to implementation still found ways of exercising agency by re-politicising CDD and projects as a further way of reducing their poverty. It also extends understandings of
the dynamics of donor-funded projects by showing that in a highly centralized polity such as Nigeria's, CDD projects work to the extent that they give concerned development actors a chance to achieve separate 'projects' even if the main project fails to meet set objectives.

KeywordsRural Nigeria; Community Driven Development; Poverty
Year2010
Publication dates
PrintMay 2010
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Sep 2013
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