From Traditional Institutions to Community Based Influencers: The Dynamics of Communicating Development in Rural Communities
Development interventions in rural communities have over the years, been hinged on locating and involving various community stakeholders in the process of planning and implementation of development projects. While the emphasis has always been on the inclusion of community based organization/groups and traditional institutions in interventions as key to ensuring ownership of projects, this paper argues that there are also individuals in communities, i.e., community based influencers (CBI) that have the capacity to function as pivotal voices in the task of ensuring the actualisation of development interventions (DIs). Drawing from different experiences of community development interventions in Giwa Local Government of Kaduna State and Akko Local Government in Gombe State, this paper examines the role and dynamics of both Traditional Institutions and Community Based Individuals in the quest to ensure ownership, actualization of development initiatives, and the sustainability of such projects. The paper, therefore, proposes that certain individuals within communities just like traditional institutions/rulers are very important to the process of engaging with communities and as such, careful consideration should be taken in identifying and including such individuals in the process of communicating development.
Keywords: Community development, Popular culture, Traditional rulers, CBI, Dis