Type of Document Dissertation Author Liebert, Gary P. Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-11132005-151720 Title Building Capacity for Decentralized Local Development in Chad: Civil Society Groups and the Role of Nonformal Adult Education Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Peter B. Easton Committee Chair Emanuel Shargel Committee Member James H. Cobbe Committee Member John K. Mayo Committee Member Keywords
- Adult Education
- Capacity Building
- International Development
Date of Defense 2005-08-04 Availability unrestricted AbstractDespite an era of progress and prosperity in many developing areas around the world, poverty persists as an important challenge to Africa. The UN Economic Commission for Africa (2000) reported that four in ten Africans live in absolute poverty, citing evidence that poverty on the continent is increasing, not decreasing. While this is discouraging, policymakers and other observers hold out hope that Africa can look forward to the future.
The challenges created by economic crisis, government decentralization and the emergence of civil society institutions are evident in the Republic of Chad, a large, mostly arid, landlocked country in the heart of the Africa. Chad has had to face several unique problems after independence in 1960: Civil war, three decades of ethnic warfare, rebel movements and invasions before peace was established; drought and famine; etc. In the 1990s, Chad started to take steps to establish democracy, and a World Bank-financed project to exploit oil reserves have brought new development hopes.
Many African governments no longer provide many services expected of them, due to political and economic events, resulting in functions being devolved to local governments and civil society groups. Under decentralization, Chadians can capitalize on potentials and avoid the dangers by acquiring resources and capacities to manage local-level development functions.
Skills needed for development, however, are in short supply, due to historical deficiencies of the educational system in Chad. Unless new ways are found to cultivate competencies of civil society actors, it is unlikely that decentralization will bring benefits or become more than a bail-out of central authority. Capacity building, through nonformal education and training programs, invests in Africa’s people, to develop skills needed for local and national development.
The approach to research was to analyze the context of the problem situation facing Chad – i.e., lack of capacity to capitalize on economic and political decentralization; to identify and examine alternate strategies for capacity building implemented in Africa; and by analysis, to recommend the approaches that seem likely to promote local capacity development in Chad.
The methodology employed was policy research, within a case study framework, with several phases that included: grey literature review; interviews with key informants; and preliminary data analysis disseminated to stakeholders for review (“ground truthing”). Within-case sampling used “snowball” strategies to identify local stakeholder groups in Africa and choose participants from each group for interviews.
The key to data analysis was identifying alternative local capacity building (LCB) strategies in Africa, through selected cases in Chad, Mali and Senegal, and then proposing possible approaches for LCB.
Much of the pioneering work of indigenous nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) concentrates on the "demand side" of development: helping communities articulate their needs; recognizing local and regional development opportunities (in a decentralized environment); and helping amplify that emerging "voice" and mixing technical skills with access to information-age communication, advocacy and networking skills to give power and resources to local people.
African NGOs are important agents for civil society transformation, a micro-level reflection of changes in local governance. Worldwide movements for greater participation in political decision making, transparency, accountability, etc., all have local-level counterparts in the grassroots mobilization efforts of NGOs and partner community-based organizations (CBOs). The groups studied for this research – e.g., CEFOD (in Chad), Kafo Jiginew (in Mali), and Popenguine (in Senegal) – all provided exemplary experiences within the spectrum of collaborations between international donor groups, NGOs and CBOs.
Ultimately, findings demonstrate that national-level (indigenous) NGOs were the key intermediary institutions in local capacity building, promoting multiple levels of intervention between international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), NGOs, and CBOs. This principal finding, as well as a summary of “ground level” best practices in capacity building was also included in this dissertation, were designed for use by policymakers.
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