African Journal of Social Work

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Action research by ordinary people: how communities are creating peace committees in Seke District, Zimbabwe

Norman Chivasa


This study is an appreciation of the contributions of the action research methodology and its usefulness in creating space for ordinary people who develops an interest to take responsibility for their own peace and development. It seeks to demonstrate, by means of specific examples of existing peace committee formation created by ordinary people in ward 8 of the Seke district, Zimbabwe. At the heart of informal peace committees is the human-service-oriented approach and this fits closely with developmental social work ethos. The strengths of informal peace committees are that they are self-initiated; they represent the interests of the host community and can be replicated. As such, the creation of informal peace committees through a participatory approach can provide space to developmental social workers to implement the model of the informal peace committees in different contexts so as to try and replicate their successes elsewhere as a way of promoting human service at local community levels. As a result of the human-service-oriented approach that underpins informal peace committees; developmental social work can transform these structures and increase their strengths in advancing community well-being and aspirations.

Keywords: developmental social work, participatory, peace, Zimbabwe

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