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Lakehead University (1998 )

Participatory action research as a tool for community development : experiences from Northwestern Ghana

Dakubo, Crescentia Yuorboree

Titre : Participatory action research as a tool for community development : experiences from Northwestern Ghana

Auteur : Dakubo, Crescentia Yuorboree

Université de soutenance : Lakehead University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 1998

Résumé
This study reports on a community development project conducted in Charia, a small village in northwestern Ghana. The primary intent of the study was to field-test the participatory action research approach of actively involving local people in their own development efforts. Traditional approaches to helping rural communities have seldom provided the opportunity for people in problem situations to influence the solutions to those problems. In this study, a participatory action research approach was used to actively involve local people and other stakeholders in the design, execution, evaluation and implementation of activities influencing the lives of the people of Charia. Through strategic planning processes, community members envisioned the desired conditions for their village, the obstacles preventing them from achieving those conditions, the strategic directions to overcoming those obstacles, and the necessary actions required to fulfill those strategic directions. Results from this West African village seem to verify the predictions of intervention theory that was developed within a North American business and professional context. Specifically, I found that when people are helped to develop valid information about their situation and to make free and informed choices about the remedies to their own problems, then feelings of emancipation, empowerment, and psychological success are enhanced. The end result is internal commitment to implement the necessary actions leading to their own development

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