From the time of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in Nigeria in 1986 (with the hyper-deregulation of the country.s currency), governments of the Federation found it increasingly difficult to satisfy the yearnings of the population. The provision of infrastructural facilities became almost a mission impossible. Poverty in the country was at its peak. There were thus clarion calls on the local communities to rise up to the challenges posed by the incapacitations of the government. In response, various local institutions had to take up the challenge of mobilising the local population and resources to do that which the governments had failed to do. It is against the above background that the two studies reported here are used to demonstrate the need for paradigm shift from ¡°top-down¡± to ¡°bottom-up¡± development efforts in the country with a view to reducing poverty and developmental imbalance in Nigeria. Content analysis of the data collected showed that the community-based organisations in the study areas and Community-Based Poverty Reduction Programme (CPRP) in Abia State, have been very active in doing that which the governments have failed to do. The paper concludes on the note that the ¡°bottom-up¡± development strategy should be vigorously pursued and implemented with a view to improving the standard of living of the people, thereby reducing poverty. This is Renewal Strategy for Rural Development . "Working with the people for the development of the people".
Keywords: Renewal strategy, Community development, Community-based organizations, Bottom-up, Top-down, Nigeria