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Rural Planning in Regional Development: The Kenyan Experience

Samuel O Akatch


In the past five decades or so development was conceived in terms of economic growth and it was assumed that the underdeveloped countries would pass through a number of stages of economic growth similar to those which the countries of Western Europe had experienced. Newly independent governments of Asia and Africa embarked on comprehensive long range planning as strategy for promoting coordinated economic growth. This was mainly because in the late 1940s and 1950s national planning had proved very effective in assisting European countries to recover from the destruction and economic chaos of the second world war. This trend of centralised planing was reinforced by international aid agencies which insisted that developing countries would only receive assistance on condition that they had centralized coherent plans for national development which would justify and guide the loans requested.

The experiences of many Third World economies with these centralized models of development have not been encouraging and hence the contemporary trend is to decentralize development planning efforts to local mainly rural levels where the majority of the populace live and are therefore expected to participate in the efforts that touch on their very likelihood and that of their local regions and indeed that of their entire nation states.

Discovery and Innovation Vol. 13 no. 3/4 December (2001) pp. 123-131


rural development planning and management, poverty alleviation

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eISSN: 1015-079X