NON-PARTICIPATORY DEVELOPMENT AS ROOT CAUSE OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT OF THE NIGER DELTA REGION NIGERIA

By
AUGUSTINE OKHOBO DOKPESI
&
MICHAEL IRABOR IBIEZUGBE
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
Email:dooang@yahoo.com & ibzmike@yahoo.com
Tel: 08055057667 & 08063376076

Summary
Modern approach to community development requires that individuals are at the centre of development effort, both as recipients and as participants. This paper argues that, sustainable development is attained not only when a social group recognizes the opportunity for development, but when it is allowed to harness such opportunity. The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development states that, the right to development should equitably meet the needs of present and future generations. This underscores the relevance of the concept of needs. Community expectations and perceptions about policy instrument are windows through which community felt-needs could be understood. The paper argues that one of the critical reasons why previous policy instruments failed to address the contending issues of development in the region is the adoption of Top-Bottom approach. In providing an explanatory framework for this paper, Dependency Theory was employed to examine the social relation of domination and subordination in the region. Study conducted to assess the development efforts of the NDDC, in selected communities, revealed that there was no community consultation in the process of designing and implementing its policy. Consequently, in most cases project execution is not in congruence with community expectations. A participatory framework is therefore recommended. A survey, involving vulnerable groups, should be conducted in order to reconcile community/groups’ needs with environmental conditions. Internal and external monitoring, evaluation and audit committees should be set up to ensure that projects are executed according to expectations and specification. Alternatively, the commission should be replaced with similar structures at local units.

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Posted in VOLUME 12 N0. (2) SEPTEMBER 2010.

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