Participatory Development and Settlement in Southern Africa
This chapter focuses on participatory development among dispersed, sedentary populations. It examines social organization and popular participation in development in Swaziland, a country with dispersed settlement and a traditional, monarchial government. A number of local organizations concerned with various aspects of development have emerged in Swaziland, based, in part, the on economic and community development efforts of the colonial period. The quality of leadership in a community is an essential element in successful participatory development. In a survey of local development organizations in Swaziland, respondents told a surprising number of stories about the disappearance of locally-collected funds. In an analysis of the Ujamaa program, Z. Engas shows that villages which received the most government inputs—in order to make them model or demonstration villages-became “passive” and dependent upon government largess. The relation between settlement pattern and the success of participatory development can be fruitfully studied in Africa for several reasons.