Mobilizing and Utilizing the Assets of a Local Association in Ethiopia: ABCD in the Abbo Iddir of Bishoftu Town

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Addis Ababa University


This PhD dissertation reports the results of a qualitative investigation of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) intervention processes through a local community-based Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach with Abbo Iddir of Kurkura Community. Kurkura community was one of the communities found in Oromia National Regional State, East Showa Zone, Ada’a District but recently it is included under Bishoftu town administrative. Specifically, it is one of the communities from eight rural peasant associations who had been leading their life by agricultural activities specially, by farming land for years but because of the recent rapid expansion of Bisghoftu town and investment issues to all directions, Kurkura community lost their permanent assets and faced life challenges. The purpose of this research was thus to help these people to help themselves through mobilizing and utilizing the existing assets of their local association using community intervention research. In this regard, data were gathered during an ongoing process of community intervention over the two years period of time through interview, participant observation and focus group discussions. The data were thematically analyzed and presented in chapters four, five and six of the thesis. Through this community intervention research, one local association called ‘Kurkura Two Consumers Cooperative Association’ was formed and became aware of its assets and created a local business by mobilizing and utilizing its assets. The research found that local communities need practical development change supported by evidence based in their setting rather than teaching them what theory says. It also found that local community elders play major roles in settling disputes among members of the local community based on their traditional iv conflict resolution strategies which in turn contributed to sustainable neighbourhood community development. The research found that there were opportunities and challenges in building the foundations for sustainable community development at the local level, through creating and enhancing the capacity of a community association. The study explored individual life experiences through narrative interviews of their life challenges and ways of overcoming their challenges, their success stories and future vision. In this regard, from June 2014 till March 2016 when I withdrew from active participation, the association provided 44,400kg of sugar, 19,000kg of wheat flour, and 54,466 litters of edible oil to community. Members began to saving from two birr per individual per week at the beginning and reached 49240 Ethiopian birr (ETB) until this thesis was organized. Both members and the surrounding neighborhood communities (non-members) directly or indirectly saved their time and energy by getting access of services in their village. Similarly, Kurkura communities were saved from extra expenses of 953346 ETB as the first association’s external audit report revealed. Though the research covered those activities that were done between May 2014 to March 2016, the association’s capital reached 109, 465.68 ETB at the first audit report of March 2016 and increased to 374,163.52 ETB at the second external audit report of May 2017. This, include 60225.68 ETB net profit members obtained from the local business in 2016 which increased to 142,779.84 ETB net profit in May 2017 as the second audit report revealed. In addition, the association built permanent assets which cost 9,665.00 ETB and also which increased to 11,943.42 ETB permanent assets’ cost. Formal and informal ssocial relationships as well as networks created and became stronger with different civic organizations. The association created networks with nine different v associations, institutions, and companies. Women also got relief due to access to basic commodities at their village so that their children helped them without the risks of car accidents. Sustainable community development was achieved as some indicators showed. For instance, the number of members and customers of the association have increased. The association became profitable. The community is leading the association as well as running the business on their own. The association also created job opportunities for four individuals: three females and one male from surrounding community paying 920 ETB each per month. Eelders of the association settled and also ready to settle conflicts among members in the future. In general, from the researcher’s perspective, this work brought a meaningful and practical positive change in particular, on the lives of the members of the association twenty five individuals who headed their households as well as on more than 2,700 families of Kurkura village and its surrounding communities in general because each customer is considered to be representing one family



Social Work