6 Pages

Theatre, Participation and Empowerment

During the 1970s there was a growing awareness amongst theorists and practitioners that poverty was not

being alleviated by rural development programmes. Early analyses of the Green Revolution, which sought to

alleviate rural poverty through an increase in crop yields, provided evidence that food production was not a

long-term solution to world hunger and poverty. Disenchantment and lessons learnt from this and other

development programmes led theorists and practitioners to look for alternatives to modernist development

theory that would enable people to manage their own welfare, and in the 1970s many NGOs designed income-

generating projects which would allow people to participate in their own development, either by providing

services for themselves or by determining the assistance they received from the state.