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Khanya-African Institute for Community-Driven Development (Khanya–aicdd)

An investigation into the funding of communities:
Volume 1, Lessons and best practice

Khanya-African Institute for Community-Driven Development (Khanya–aicdd)

18 August 2007

SARPN acknowledges Khanya-aicdd as a source of this document:
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Executive summary

  1. Introduction

    1. Decentralisation and participatory approaches are now part of established development practice. Khanya-aicdd has been using such approaches as part of a community-driven development (CDD) approach. CDD implies that communities are able to make decisions and implement activities to take forward their own development. Key to this is funding communities. A wide range of approaches have been used to fund communities, ranging from community investment funds to foundations. This report is part of a review of experience in a range of case studies in Africa, and was funded by the Southern Africa Trust. Partners in the project include Khanya-aicdd, Concern Malawi and Practical Action Zimbabwe.

    2. The purpose of the project is that good practice in funding of communities in ways which respond to the needs of poor people is identified and shared in the region.

    3. The research primarily used secondary data with a trawl of relevant initiatives, and 14 case studies. Volume 1 is the synthesis report, analysing the results from the various case studies and their implications. Volume 2 has the detailed case studies..

  2. Development approaches that involve funding communities

    1. Significant challenges are to be overcome if the MDGs are to be achieved by 2015, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where many poor households are trapped in long-term, chronic poverty (DFID 2005, World Bank 2006). The 2006 World Development Report (WDR) indicates that greater access to capital and more effective developmental assistance are both requirements for realising the MDGs.

    2. Decentralisation is being promoted as one of the main ways of improving governance. One of the challenges that have emerged is that often reform processes focus on the local government and not sufficiently on the link between local governments and the community. Work carried out by Khanya in 1999-2000 on Institutional Support required to implement a Sustainable Livelihoods Approach pointed to the weakness of the links between local governments and the communities they are supposed to serve (Khanya-mrc, 2000).

    3. In community-driven development (CDD) processes communities have control over planning of activities, project resources and implementation of projects in their community. If CDD approaches are to be widespread, local government as the lowest level of government has a key role to play. However the effective use of CDD approaches in Southern Africa is limited. "Community participation …remains wedged at the level of consultation during planning, and subsequent involvement in the running and maintenance of projects. It seems to be only a few central government programmes that have moved in the direction of CDD; provincial and local government, and even NGOs, are not yet using this approach… Government agencies at all levels are reluctant to ‘let go’ and transfer control to communities, particularly true of the project identification function. (Everatt and Gwagwa, 2004).

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