Cost-sharing and partnership in community development : a case of Kankumba Middle Basic School
Tembo, Maria M
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This report gives an account of the experiences and observations made by the author during the three months' practical attachment carried out from August to November 1999. The aim of the attachment was to gain experience in construction and rehabilitation work in a learning institution, to acquire knowledge and skills needed for effective community participation and to provide the author with practical experience of the effects of partnership and cost-sharing policy on basic school communities. The report shows how the historical and current factors influenced the re-establishment of the policy. The degree of community participation and commitment has been reflected revealing factors conducive to maximum community participation. The report discusses the functions of all the stakeholders in terms of their contributions towards development activities.Positive and negative implications of partnership and cost-sharing policy have been examined. The report reveals that information about the state of the local environment and external possibilities are vital for decision-making. The community needs to be aware of the available internal and external opportunities to be able to propose and design urgent and relevant support services needed for development. It is argued in this report that in a situation of extreme poverty and over-dependence on external funding, it is difficult to say that community participation is on a co-equal basis. While participatory approaches towards all round development are being advocated, this is difficult to achieve when the stakeholders of a development venture contribute at different levels. Those who contribute more tend to have a dominating influence in decision making. The main recommendations made in this report are that in order to enhance community participation in development ventures, a communication coordinating system be established at local level (LDCC) in order to facilitate the sensitisation of the community about possibilities and limitations existing to the community. It also recommends that a deliberate move towards income-generating activities if attempted would help empower the community to decide on the nature and patterns of development to be carried out. This would enhance the realisation of co-equal participation among stakeholders which would in the long run enable the achievement developmental goals of the policy.