Community – Based Development Organization (A case study of Greo / Gpsdo in Sebat - Bet Gurage)

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Addis Ababa University


Potenti als exist in a community for undertaking local development. The study therefore aims at exploring the existence of this community potential with a view to base the findings as a rationale to promote part icipatory community local development initiati ves and sell~reliance or cOlllmunities in var ious regions of Ethiopia. Many times than not the fate of development of developing countries is decided by the ·'good wi ll" of the "west". These countries, either being a colony or ot herwise attached and entangled by ideo logical cables have their development agenda decided for them by the ciclcloped cou ntrie s. Hence. it can be argued that the political (ideological) climate of the ··center" decides the ri se and fall of the development process in the ·'peripheri es". Development theories propagated from the "center" to the peripheries since the 1960·s. Experience shnwp ,> "' -.:. the successive theories presc ribed proved infertile and at some instance completely went astray to the expected goal: where equity collided with modernization and vice versa, the role of the state and the free market. and now the globalization formula of unequal competition (survival of the fittest). Each development prescription did not meet the intended purpose. It rather aggravated the development process from worse to worst. Considering the period 1960 - 2000, the four decades in connection with development endeavor were yea rs of rather growing poverty, hunger. pestilence and war to developing countries in genera l and Ethiopia in particular. The developing countries becollle price takers as producers and sellers (of co urse agricultural products). It is still obsen-cd that the problems are gett ing aggravated and ramified day by day. For instance. the fertilizer debt burden in driving farmers crazy and even forces them to commit su icide.rh~ prubkm "'aus to various questions on what is "to be done?" Th is study tries to come out with possible local measures to with stand age- old problems. fight dependency and es tabli sh se lt~ re lian ce. Comminutes in different parts of the country can be taken as l'ocus 01' atte nt ion to at least alleviate local development problems. The success in trying to up root the hard pegged problems calls for an approach where by potentials of a community are pooled together to address fe lt needs. The conceptual frame works are designed to reflect these issues and conce rn s. Part icipation and se lf - reliance are the two theoreti cal frame works of the study. A case st udy of an organi zation GRCO (Gurage Roads Construction Organization) and its off shoot GPSDO (Gu rage People Self help Development OrganizationO) is undertaken to explore cOlllmunity potentials. The organi zations operate in SNNPR(Southern Nati ons Nationalities and peoples rL'gion)Guragc zone. The concept of part icipation depends on the nature, the extent. the means and the ends of different issues or disciplines. Participatory democracy. industrial democracy. managerial and administrative participation are issues of partic ipation forming diffe rent di sc iplines. Part icipation can also be viewed as a process and means or each independent 01' the other. Whatever be the implication, participation exists in an institution and structure. This study considers an insti tution 111 a community. As such it specifically refe rs to partici pation as {fu~. ~ttlf.-. lv./(/. (:oJ(e~(il!e. pr{i(}I.I .of (ll.tljvJ!IYf}(s. ill. {t. CJ)-'~lIP.uJ1i(y .. (0. Y!I {if!/:lq/fi!. !q(:t11.((l!y~(OjJ!I!e.I1J l'!·(!if!~·/:\.bY.I!(!(~/{IIR ~/U!jl: f}!fl..n:IJU!f! !'~~P!/tf.;e.JJpgl}t-'· Participation in my research does not negate the explanation, as a normative concept, a statement of intent and bod ies of prescriptions (Yeraswork Admassie. 1995:44). Indeed. intentions and prescri ptions can be understood as processcs and actions or activ it ies to so lve community problems. The out come of the research is a participatory community local development approach to promote se lf-reliance ~Ind chalknge dependcncy. Self-re li ance is a co ncept. whi ch can take different perceptions tar ditlclc'nt issues 01' disciplines In thi s study self-reliance. does not necessarily mean se lf-suffi cient. Se lf-reli ance is undl'rslO(ld :IS Ihc fcc ling of dcpcndencc on ones own self and nol on (llhers. II is understood as a measure of achievement (local development) and creation of sel fcontidence of a community in a participatory development initiative. The organization of the paper is chapter I, introduction. Here I tried to ex plain the paradox of poverty (underdevelopment) amidst plenty in Ethiopia and the causes of underd eve lopment perta ining to developing co untries. The concept of "Community" and communit), based dCYelopmcnts and their institutions are highli ghted. Chapter I also include the background which tries to address development theories in general and community development in particular. Statement of the problem, objective and scope of the study are also included un der thi s chapter. Chapter II deal s with the conceptual frame works of th e study. whi ch is (i) participati on (ii) Self- reliance. Chapter III ex plains research design and methodology of the study. Primary data was coll ected from survey( questionnaire), interviews and focus-group disscuss ions .Secondary data was coll ected from available documents of the two organi zations considered for the case studv. I al so rcferred other relevant documents on community and development. The survey was conducted in Guragc zone. By multi -stage random sampling procedure IWO of the seven woredas in "Sebat-bet Gurage" were selected. Areket and Emdeber are the twoworeda towns of Gomar and Cheha respectively. The survey was fin ally ad mini ste red to fo ur kebeles randomly se lected two from each woreda . Purposive sampling procedu re was lulluwcd during interviews . In chapter IV the rcscmch area Sebt-bet Gurage is described from economic. political and cultural aspects. Chapter V describes the two community development organi zat ions se lected fo r thi s study. The most important part of this study is dealt in chapter VI .Findings of the research are di scussed in detail.lmpact assessment findings used as a measure of potenti al (ac hi c\'cment) is also included here. Chapter VII includes summary and conclu sion includes potential (achievement) is also included here. Chapter VII includes summary. conclusion and recommendation.



Community – Based, Development Organization