Meetings, minutes and the limits of participation in a rural water project

Burke, Edward
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This report investigates participatory development practices through an analysis of a rural water project. The research is based upon data from interviews, written sources, and the author's observations as a consultant On the project, The report critically examines two approaches to development: the modernist approach of the developers, and the critical approach of some anthropologists who view development as a tool for the domination of the Third World. An alternative approach is proposed which is based upon the interaction between the global and the local. This accounts for the role of power in development without reducing development to a strategy in a struggle between the First and the Third World. This framework is used to analyse how different actors in the project understood project meetings quite differently. These understandings shaped the course of the project and have important implications for the adaptation of the village to a global environment.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts. Johannesburg 1998