COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AS A STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
This study is basically on the failures of other strategies at the National, State and Local Government level to ensure sustainable development using community development as a strategy. Most of the projects and programmes set by government for development are not sustainable because the beneficiaries are not actively involved (participation). The objectives of the study include: to determine the relevance of Community development projects and their effects on Sustainable development; and the effect of community participation on Sustainable development in Chikun Local Government. The propositions for the research work are: community development projects and programmes are not of great relevance to sustainable development in Chikun Local Government; and community participation on projects and programmes to a greater extent do not lead to sustainable development in Chikun Local Government. The study uses the survey research method which include the use of instruments of interviews, questionnaire administration and using checklist of issues for observation as primary sources, while the secondary sources comprises files, reports, minute books, budgets etc. on activities, decisions, financial reports, pictures of community development projects and programmes of the Local Government and Community Development Associations. Data collected were presented and analyzedusing tables and simple percentages. The study found that most government plans and implementation of Community development projects and programmes did not properly involve the beneficiaries, from its initial stage to completion. We also found that there is problem of misplacement of priority by the government, as to the pressing need of the people at a time is not what the government is providing them with. The Local Government projects and programmes are not sustained or maintained because the supposed beneficiaries do not see it as their own since they lack any sense of ownership during initiation and even implementation of the projects and programmes. To this end, this study
recommend that people`s participation philosophy of mobilizing resources and organizing the community people both the rural populace to the urban centers to have cogent interests in providing for their wellbeing, need to be properly emphasized and utilized. This will stimulate the feeling of ownership of such development projects/programmes by benefiting communities and by implication promote sustainable development. Government at various strata including the federal, state and most especially local governments, have to come to terms with the fact that there is an inherent importance in “the participatory development theory” which advocates community populace active participation in decision-making and implementation of policies that affect and mould their lives. This will ensure that projects/programmes of government are exactly the felt needs of benefiting communities.
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