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A Participatory Approach Study in Ghana: "There is no one size fit all approach for participation"
Ersta Sköndal University College, Department of Social Sciences.
Ersta Sköndal University College, Department of Social Sciences.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This is a Participatory Approach (PA) study done in Ghana, West Africa. We focus on two Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) in Ghana which uses a PA in their development work. Historically the development work in most African countries has been influenced by western countries, where development often was imposed from the top down, but nowadays, with PA, development seek to engage the local population in a community during the development process. Ghana has been struggling with poverty for several years, and the NGOs are of importance for the development in the country. The purpose of this study is to contribute to a better understanding of development workers’ perception of Participatory Approach and to increase the knowledge about how development workers’ at NGOs in Ghana are working with Participatory Approach. This is a qualitative research and we have used three methods in this Bachelor’s thesis. We have done six semi - structured interviews, one focus group and one field research. We had the interviews and the focus group with development workers at two NGOs. At the field research we had the opportunity to observe the development workers in action. The research questions in this Bachelor’s thesis are: - At two NGOs in Ghana, in what ways can the development workers’ perception of Participatory Approach be understood? - At two NGOs in Ghana, in what ways can the practise of Participatory Approach be understood?

The development workers perception of PA, is that PA is important to get sustainable projects and to ensure ownership for all stakeholders in the development process. PA is an empowering process with focus on capacity building. The acceptance of oneself being in need is as important as the participation. Their perception about PA also include some challenges. PA is time- and money consuming , the flexibility that PA need is limited by deadlines and budgets. There are challenges related to social- and cultural values, your own as a development worker and the community’s. The contextual knowledge must be highlighted and the limitations of the organizations must be considered. Another concern is when peoples opinions are influenced by their expectaitions from what the NGOs can provide. The practise of PA is understood as a process where all stakeholders are involved from the beginning, a process to engage the community and make them active participants in every step in a development project. The development workers main role is to build capacity of the people on the field. They uses different tools to ensure participation; Stakeholder analyses, Community conversations and Key informants interviews. The practise can be understood in terms of different levels of participation and different intensity within different cycles in a development project. Depending of the role of the actor and the stage the process are going through, some actors are more active than others.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 57 p.
Keyword [en]
Participation, Social development, Participatory development approach, NGO, Ghana, West Africa
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-3979OAI: diva2:734119
Educational program
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2014-08-12 Created: 2014-07-14 Last updated: 2014-08-12Bibliographically approved

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