Appraisal of the Participatory and Decentralized approach to Rural Community Development in Cameroon

  • AF Amungwa
  • A Nji
Keywords: Community Development, Decentralization, Participation, Grassfield Project, Local Development Fund

Abstract

This paper examines the core concepts and principles that underpin the participatory and decentralized approach to rural development using the Grassfield Participatory and Decentralized Rural Development Project (GPDERUDEP) in Cameroon as a case study. It describes how the local development fund (LDF) was used within GP-DERUDEP to shift resources and responsibilities for investment planning, contracting and implementation at the level of rural communities thus strengthening service provision, community and economic development. The paper posits that a critical appraisal of the mechanisms and structures of decentralization within the context of poverty alleviation strategies can provide clues in facing the challenges encountered in implementing projects in resource poor economies. The paper illustrates a framework that links social capital and community development to economic development outcomes. Data were obtained through project evaluations, field observations and focus group discussions with project stakeholders. The project provides an innovative approach to engage the state and local stakeholders in collective strategic decision-making in rural development. Project achievements are visible in socio-economic infrastructure and social capital but challenges persist in implementing decentralization policies due to entrenched top-down values and dependence on foreign donors to fund and sustain rural development programme in Cameroon.

Keywords: Community Development, Decentralization, Participation, Grassfield Project, Local Development Fund

Published
2015-10-15
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


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print ISSN: 2617-3948