Adult Education Project Topics

Utilization of Community Mobilization Strategies in the Implementation of Community Development Projects in South-east States, Nigeria

Utilization of Community Mobilization Strategies in the Implementation of Community Development Projects in South-east States, Nigeria

Utilization of Community Mobilization Strategies in the Implementation of Community Development Projects in South-east States, Nigeria

Chapter One

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this research is to determine the extent of the utilization of community mobilization strategies in the implementation of community development projects in South-East States of Nigeria. Specifically, the study was to:

  1. ascertain the extent to which capacity building for stakeholders has been utilized as community mobilization strategy in the implementation of community development projects in South-East States.
  2. determine the extent to which formation of community coalitions has been utilized as community mobilization strategy in the implementation of community development projects in South-East States.
  3. find out the extent to which direct engagement of community members has been utilized as community mobilization strategy in the implementation of community development projects in South-East States.
  4. find out the extent to which partnering with organizations has been utilized as community mobilization strategy in the implementation of community development projects in South-East States.
  5. find out the challenges affecting the utilization of community mobilization strategies in the implementation of community development projects in South-East States.

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

This chapter reviewed the various literatures that are related to the study under the following sub-headings:

Conceptual Framework

  • Concept of Utilization
  • Concept of Implementation
  • Concept of Community Development
  • Concept of Community Mobilization

Theoretical Framework

  • Management By Objectives (MBO) Model
  • General Systems Theory
  • Theory of Organizational Change

Review of Related Empirical Studies

  • Studies relating to capacity building as a strategy for community mobilization
  • Studies relating to formation of community coalition as a strategy for community mobilization
  • Studies relating to direct engagement of community members as a strategy for community mobilization
  • Studies relating to creation of partnership with organization as a strategy for community mobilization
  • Challenges affecting the effective utilization of community mobilization strategies

Summary of the Reviewed Literature

Conceptual Framework Concept of utilization

Utilization means the relationship between actual output (i.e. actually produced items with the installed equipment), and the potential output which could be produced with it, if capacity was fully used. Hornby (2006) stated that utilization is the use of something for a practical purpose. Progressive utilization motivated by consumption and based on human values will ensure social security of resources. Here, utilization of community mobilization strategies is a process whereby a group of people transcend their differences to meet on equal terms in order to facilitate a participatory decision-making process. In other words, it can be viewed as a process which begins a dialogue among members of the community to determine who, what, and how issues are decided, and also to provide an avenue for everyone to participate in decisions that affect their lives. Proper utilization of community mobilization strategies means the right to work in a proper way for community development.

Therefore, capacity building for the stakeholders, formation of community coalitions, direct engagement of community members, and creation of partnerships with organizations should be utilized maximally and properly as community mobilization strategy in the implementation of community development projects. There has not been so much effort to explore the maximum utilization of community mobilization strategies. Yet, there is ample scope in community mobilization strategy to provide a baseline for adequate community development. For example, there are credible community members that are influential, well- known, and respected members of the community. Most of the community members are strategic thinkers with excellent negotiating skills, board members, advisors, and engaged community partners/stakeholders. Above all, they have talents in critical areas, i.e., fundraising, plan and policy development, and building public awareness. Only the concept of proper utilization can give the town union members the opportunity to articulate and implement community development projects through the proper utilization of community mobilization strategies. In the context of this study, the concept of utilization refers to the use of the community mobilization strategies (capacity building for the stakeholders, formation of community coalitions, direct engagement of community members, and creation of partnerships with organizations) in the implementation of development projects in the communities within the study area.

 

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHOD

This chapter presents the research method used for this study.   It was discussed under the following sub-headings: Design of the Study; Area of the Study, Population of the Study, Sample and Sampling Technique, Instrument for Data Collection, Validation of the Instrument, Reliability of the Instrument, Procedure for Data Collection and Method of Data Analysis.

CHAPTER FOUR

RESULTS

In this chapter, the data collected are presented and analyzed using the tools already mapped out in the previous chapter. The data are organized according to the research questions asked and the hypotheses that were postulated.

CHAPTER FIVE

DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

This chapter presents the discussion of the findings, educational implications of the study, conclusion, recommendations, limitations of the study and finally, suggestions for further research.

Discussion of the Findings

The findings of the study were discussed under the following sub-headings: Utilization of capacity building for stakeholders in the implementation of community development projects:

The findings of the study showed that the major capacity building strategy for stakeholders include the mobilization of community members in planning and development of projects through development of collaborative skills in stakeholders, sensitization of community members on the need for minimized conflict in project implementation through development of conflict resolution skills in stakeholders, and mobilization of active participation of community members in development of projects through the training of stakeholders on participatory activities. Others are the mobilization of community resources by providing skills for resources management to stakeholders, mobilization for team building in community development implementation by developing leadership skills in stakeholders, mobilization of funds for implementation of community development projects by providing stakeholders with skills in funding, mobilization of community members for effective evaluation of community development projects by training stakeholders on project assessment, and mobilization of community members for efficient implementation of community development projects by developing project management skills in stakeholders. Supporting the findings of the study, Lotz-Sistka and Burt (2006) stated that there is need to invest into stakeholders’ development or empowerment through training and building quality partnerships for learning and economic activities.

Utilization of community coalitions’ formation in the implementation of community development projects:

The findings of the study showed that the major community coalitions’ formation strategy include mobilization of community linkages required for the effective implementation of community development projects, mobilization of accountability in the implementation of community development projects, and mobilization of trusted community members into community development projects implementation committee through coalition formation with community-based organizations. Others are coalition formation with community-based organizations in the mobilization of community resources for implementation of community development projects; mobilization of active participation of governmental agencies in the implementation of community development projects, mobilization of community members on needs assessment survey for effective implementation of community development projects, mobilization of community members towards resolving conflicts during community development projects implementation, and mobilization of community members towards the ownership of the implemented community development projects. On this, Mitchell, et. al., (2002) stated that formation of coalitions adequately helps to assess and identify the community’s prevention needs and to implement and sustain relevant, comprehensive, and effective prevention policies, programmes, and products that will have a lasting impact on the community. An essential element of an effective coalition is the creation of structures and operations that maximize community inputs and ensure goal attainment. Coalition requires a strong and stable organizational structure that clarifies roles and procedures, and adequately addresses task and maintenance function (Florin, et. al., 2000). The coalition should develop and maintain quality organizational management strategies such as effective communication, conflict resolution, perception of fairness, and shared decision making. Centre for Prevention Research and Development (2006) asserted that high levels of coalition organizational effectiveness result in a positive work climate, higher member satisfaction and communication among committee members, linkages established with community organizations, and less conflict.

Utilization of direct engagement of community members in the implementation of community development projects:

The findings of the study showed that the major direct community members’ engagement strategy include mobilization of active participation of community members in the implementation of community development projects by engaging community-based organization members directly, and the mobilization of community members on the need for effective security of the implemented community development projects by engaging community vigilante directly. It also includes the mobilization of community members on the employment of direct labour for the effective implementation of community development projects by engaging community-based organization members directly.

Utilization of creating partnerships with organizations in the implementation of community development projects:

On the creation of partnership with organizations as community mobilization strategy, the findings of the study showed that partnership creation strategies include the mobilization of active community participation in the implementation of community development projects, the facilitation of effective implementation of community development projects by community members, and the mobilization of community members for community development projects implementation through workshops and seminars. Supporting the findings, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (2014) emphasized that forming partnerships with other organizations in the community increases available resources and expertise for community mobilization efforts. It also helps to extend the reach of community mobilization messages through the most effective communication channels. In Zimbabwe, Centre for Prevention Research and Development (2006) asserted that the community mobilization team addressed the issues of widespread hunger and unemployment by partnering with local non-governmental organizations to distribute food supplements, hold workshops on new agricultural techniques, and find partners to donate garden supplies and agricultural support to the community. Similarly, Tedrow, et. al., (2011) stated that in Soweto where community members expressed concern over high unemployment rates, staff organized several skills-building workshops as a mobilization strategy. Partnerships were created to help enhance the sustainability of the mobilization.

Challenges affecting the utilization of community mobilization strategies in the implementation of community development projects:

Finally, the findings of the study showed that the major challenges affecting the utilization of community mobilization strategies in the implementation of community development projects include corruption, misappropriation and embezzlement of community development funds, insufficient fund for community mobilization in the implementation of community projects, inadequate government support for community development activities, and gap in communication between the community and the government agencies. Other major challenges are ineffective private-sectors’ support for community development projects, non-involvement of the entire community members in decision-making, shortage of skilled manpower in the community for the implementation of community development projects, poor leadership qualities among the community mobilization officers, creation of conflicts between external agencies and communities, incidence of high illiteracy among the rural communities, and socio-cultural factors which prevent women from participating in community development activities. On corruption, misappropriation and embezzlement of community development funds, Obetta (2014) observed that community projects management committee sometimes misappropriate funds meant for financing or maintaining community welfare programmes and/or projects. This act aggravates the problem of insufficient fund. Many a time, community mobilization officers face the problem of embezzlement or diversion of funds that are meant for them. Ugwuzor (2000) maintained that whenever such funds are diverted, it becomes impossible for effective community mobilization to take place. It is also a common knowledge that funds that are released for community development programmes and/or projects are not adequately accounted for. This makes it impossible to know how such funds were invested. Therefore, National Teachers’ Institute, NTI (2000) affirmed that the task of proper handling of finance is very crucial to effective community mobilization especially at the time of inadequate funding, high cost of materials and inflation. These problems affect the relative performance of managers of community projects.

Educational Implications of the Study

The findings of the study have several implications for an effective utilization of community mobilization strategies in the implementation of community development projects. Community development projects will be effectively implemented when the community members effectively utilize the various community mobilization strategies in the implementation of community development projects. The community mobilization strategies that can be effectively utilized in the implementation of community development projects are building capacity for stakeholders, formation of community coalitions, direct engagement of community members and creation of partnership with organizations. On the utilization of building capacity for stakeholders as community mobilization strategy, the study revealed that the mobilization of community members in planning and development of projects through development of collaborative skills, sensitization of community members on the need for minimized conflict in project implementation through development of conflict resolution skills, and mobilization of active participation of community members in development of projects through the training on participatory activities are utilized to a moderate extent. Others are mobilizing community resources by providing skills for resources management, mobilizing team building in community development implementation by developing leadership skills, mobilizing funds for implementation of community development projects by providing funding skills, mobilizing community members for effective evaluation of community development projects through training on project assessment, and mobilizing community members for efficient implementation of community development projects by developing project management skills. The implication is that the resulting education empowerment of the people can stimulate the existing community leadership and also, encourage new leaders to mobilize funds, acquire collaborative, conflict resolution, leadership, resources and project management skills. The acquisition of these skills will eventually spark further development efforts towards identifying various community development projects that can be implemented utilizing the community mobilization strategies. The findings will enable governmental and non-governmental agencies to properly disseminate information and offer technical and managerial assistance to the members of the town unions on matters pertaining to adequate utilization of capacity building as community mobilization strategy in the implementation of community development projects.

Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the researcher proffered the following recommendations:

State governments should as a matter of urgency effectively strengthen communities’ ownership of development projects in the various communities, both urban and rural. This will help to generate capacity building priorities with the leadership of key stakeholders in the various communities, building on existing infrastructure, abilities and experience, recognizing the interdependence among multiple actors, systems and levels, and responding to political and governmental realities.

State governments should encourage communities to form partnerships with federal, state and local governments, and even international agencies. In doing so, active involvement of all stakeholders in communities should be sought for as they are essential in establishing ownership for the capacity building goals, implementation of activities and monitoring and evaluation plans. Also, forming partnership with international agencies will help in the continual provision of capacity strengthening and technical assistance to community stakeholders, community organizations and community members. State governments should ensure proper formation of a formidable communication structure made up of members from support organizations (consultants), government departments and project implementation executive  committee in the various communities. Hence, support organizations and government departments need to help resolve issues before they are taken to the project implementation executive committee. Community project planning should happen together and everyone should be given a chance to contribute to the vision of the project.

The community development officers should ensure adequate mobilization of the community members by providing direction and structure for community members. This should be done by encouraging participation from a diverse network of community participants, implementing procedures for ensuring participation from all during group meetings and events, and facilitating the sharing of information and resources by participants and organizations.

The community development officers should empower community members in the community mobilization process so as to enable them utilize the process to address future community issues and concerns. This will be achieved through building of partnerships with local organizations and teaching community members how to secure continued support which is an important consideration in mobilization projects.

The community development mobilizers should encourage formation of women clubs where empowerment messages could be disseminated such that women are encouraged to participate more effectively in all social issues concerning the community and more especially in the implementation of community development projects that directly affect them. Therefore, there is great need to improve on gender sensitization and participation in the implementation of community development projects. This is against the background that they are the people in common contact with these facilities in the community.

State governments should periodically organize workshops and sensitization for adult males and females, and even youth and children. They should all be involved in the training since they are active players in project implementation process in their respective communities. The community development mobilizers should take it upon themselves to enrich the mobilization messages in order to eliminate some of the backward traditions myths and taboos associated with and or hindering the functionality of the community development projects.

Federal and state governments should ensure that more logistics in terms of budgetary allocations are sourced for community mobilization process. The budgetary allocations are not only to facilitate community development mobilizers but also to build the town union members through the acquisition of collaborative, conflict resolution, resources management, leadership, funding, project assessment and management skills in community mobilization as they are all the time with their communities which they should ably help.

Limitations of the Study

The aim for which study was set out has been accomplished. In the course of carrying out the study, the limitation encountered is that despite the training of research assistants for the distribution and collection of the instrument for data collection, extraneous variables such as reactions of the members of the town union executives who are the respondents might have distorted the actual information needed.

Suggestions for Further Research

The findings of the study made the researcher to suggest that further research be carried out in the following areas:

  1. Similar study should be conducted in other geo-political zones of Nigeria.
  2. Assessment of the extent of utilization of mobilization strategy for effective involvement of women in the implementation of community development projects in South-East States of Nigeria.
  3. Assessment of the accountability development through community mobilization approach as a strategy for bridging the gap between communities and service providers South-East States of Nigeria
  4. Community mobilization strategy as a means for the institutionalization of community participation in rural water supply and management in South-East States of Nigeria
  5. Strategies for developing a community mobilization model for community-based management projects in South-East States of Nigeria.

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