An assessment of community development training methods used in women empowerment and food support programmes in Luano District of Zambia

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Simatimbe, Wilmur
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This study assessed the community development training methods used by trainers in women empowerment and food support programmes in Luano district. The objectives of the study were to; identify methods trainers used, determine the participatory nature of methods and establish factors that influenced the choice of training methods used in women empowerment and food support programmes in Luano district. The researcher adopted a descriptive survey research design. A sample of 158 respondents was used comprising 3 recruiters of trainers, 5 trainers of community development and 150 participants. The participants from women empowerment and food support programmes were sampled using quota sampling followed by random sampling techniques while trainers and recruiters were purposively sampled. Data was collected through researcher administered questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Numerical data mainly from questionnaires was analyzed using summary statistics (descriptive) and presented in frequency tables and charts while qualitative data from interviews and focus group discussions was analyzed using both emic and etic themes and presented using grouped summaries and narrations. The findings of the study indicated that most of the trainers in community development used lecture method and in some cases demonstrations, group discussions, and workshop. With regard to the participatory nature of the methods, the study showed that participants were mainly involved in activities such as selecting venue and time of meetings. The study findings indicated that participants were rarely involved in project identification, objective setting, and decision making. The study indicated that use of untrained facilitators and lack of support structures influenced training methods used as the work was done by untrained instructors. In addition, the limited supply of materials, culture, time, interest and size of the group were among other factors that influenced the choice of methods trainers used in community development. The study concluded that the methods used for community development were not appropriate for adult education as they were less participative because trainers had no knowledge of participatory methodologies. The study recommended that the government through the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health should be conducting training for community members selected as trainers to induct them in participatory methods. The Ministry should also improve its weak support structure so that all innovations emanating from the grass-root are monitored. For future research, the study recommended that action oriented research be carried out to find out whether in-service training alone would improve participation of community members
Women empowerment , Women economic activity-Zambia