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Stellenbosch University (2004)

Assessment of Eritrean rural development projects and their impacts

Gebremariam TK

Titre : Assessment of Eritrean rural development projects and their impacts

Auteur : Gebremariam TK

Université de soutenance : Stellenbosch University

Grade : MPhil 2004

Development, a non-ceasing phenomenon as long as mankind has dwelt on this planet, is a complex matter which encompasses the three bottom-lines, i.e. social, economic and environmental aspects and aims at improving the quality of life. In fact, development issues are always challenging countries and their leaders as they try to introduce strategies and projects to benefit their rural sector which constitutes, especially in developing countries, most of the population who are living in poverty and continuing to stagger in very destitute level. One of these countries is Eritrea, a nation of which more than 80 percent live in rural areas and which is rated one of the lowest twenty nations on the human development index (measurement of literacy, health and life expectancy status) as well as the human poverty index of which 53 percent of the population lived below national poverty line during the period of 1987 to 2000 (UNDP, 2002). This paper is an attempt to discuss rural development and how it is being implemented in relation to Eritrea’s reconstructions and rehabilitation efforts that took place after its freedom from foreign occupation. It is an assessment on the rural projects’ planning and implementation process, and eventually also looks at the impacts they have on the life of the beneficiaries. As a whole, this research paper consists of an introduction and nine chapters. It can be classified into five parts, i.e. the theoretical literature, the country’s status in specific fields, the sample research areas, an overall synthesis and lastly conclusions and recommendations as one part. The theoretical background revolves around rural areas and their reasons for poverty, different development theories within which rural development could be seen as one ingredient, and focuses on participatory rural development where projects can play vital roles in changing life style especially when they are managed in an integrated way touching main areas of need. The second section of the paper is a general overview of the socio-economic status of Eritrea and some of the efforts made by the government. These are mainly the health, education, water supply, agriculture and dam construction projects, accomplished mainly by government in partnership with domestic and foreign NGOs, whereas the same time people contributed mainly in kind. In relation to these five projects the researcher has drawn up questionnaires and personally filled them in five villages, namely Sheeb, Ade-awhi, Korbariaya, Azien and Wara, while at the same time holding discussions with the beneficiaries. In this section the assessment of the people’s state and their response in relation to the planning process as well as impacts of the projects on their lives have been made for every village. In other words, the chapter shows the practical data analysis of the research. The next is, in similar form, an overall synthesis of the research. The researcher weighs and analyses the results in relation to planning issues, especially how far the people played a role in participation and the extent of their influence as well as their contentment with the end result in comparison to their expectations. Moreover, it investigates the projects’ impact on the environment, arid their influence on the socio-economic lives of the beneficiaries, and then sees how the projects have been managed at institutional level and whether the policies that are in effect have direct influence on initiating rural development projects. Finally some conclusions are drawn and recommendations are made that could be a benchmark for further studies and provide impetus to accelerate the present rural development planning and implementation. The researcher may have overlooked some necessary elements or missed some basic factors in dealing the current way of initiating development. But with the resources were available and the time at his disposal, while faced by the limitations explained in the introductory section of the paper, the researcher has made some efforts to highlight his convictions to the best of his academic ability. The sole purpose of his final statements is based on his wish for more rural upliftment and long-term as well as sustainable benefit to the rural people of his country, Eritrea.

Présentation (NRF)

Page publiée le 18 octobre 2017