Community participation in village action group programmed in Shimbizhi ward in Mumbwa district, Zambia.

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Mwaanga, Vernon
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University of Zambia
This study sought to assess community participation in Village Action Group (VAG) in Shimbizhi ward in Mumbwa district. The study had three objectives which were to: identify teaching techniques that are used by VAG in Mumbwa district, determine the types of community participation in VAG and; establish the determinants of community participation in VAG. The research adopted a descriptive survey design. The total population for the study was 206 broken down as follows: 190 community members, 183 had served for 2 years and above in VAG, 8 VAG coordinators and 8 VAG facilitators. A sample of 80 respondents were selected from 183 community members who served in VAG for two 2 years and above using random sampling. All 8 coordinators and 8 facilitators were purposively selected bringing the total number of respondents to 96. Data was collected by administering a semi-structured questionnaire, observation and interview guides. Data from closed-ended items of the questionnaire was analysed using descriptive statistic to generate frequencies and percentages. Data from open ended items of the questionnaire and interviews was analysed using emerging themes. The data analysis process started with transcribing and categorizing the data to generate emerging themes. The findings showed that facilitators in Village Action Group were mainly using non participatory techniques such as lecture and demonstration techniques. The participatory techniques such as group discussion, peer teaching and field trips were less used. With regard to the types of participation, community members participated more in lower types of participation, that is, in attendance at meeting and selection of project leaders. The findings further indicated that, low participation was recorded in decision-making and evaluation of projects. Results on determinants of participation showed that community members were motivated to participate in Village Action Group due to incentives promised to the community members as gifts as long as they work together for the benefits of the whole community. In view of the findings the following recommendations were made: to ensure that study materials be printed in local language so that every participant understand the content of the lesson, to ensure that all members of VAG participate in all stages of decision-making process in order to offset the dependence syndrome that arises from decisions being aimed at by only a few members of VAG. Key words: community participation in Village Action Group programme in Shimbizhi ward.
Community participation- Shimbizhi Village