Non-governmental organizations and community participation in Mocuba district, Mozambique : an analysis of local development projects from 1998 to 2001.
One key principle in Mozambican rural development policy is community participation. Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) play an important role in the process. Taking the district of Mocuba, in Zamb6zia province (Mozambique) as an example, this dissertation analyzes the way NGOs implement community participation following national policies and promoting environmental awareness. The study evaluates the implementation of community participation as a critical contributing factor to environmentally oriented. and sustainable development projects by assessing and systematizing NGOs' interpretations and practices through specific development projects. Following its specific objectives, the study focuses on the importance of community participation and the role of NGOs. It characterises NGOs operating in Mocuba, tackling their co-ordination with other development stakeholders, and the extent to which community participation is put into practice. The study also presents and discusses stakeholders' knowledge on the relevant rural development legislation, focussing on NGOs' perceptions, interpretations, experiences, practices, weaknesses, limitations and problems related to community participation and the environment in local development. Although limited in scope to only one district and six NGOs, the present dissertation represents in microcosm the extent to which NGOs know and apply the principle of community participation and environmental issues in response to the country's relevant official policies, particularly considering those findings and discussions on: limited interNGO co-ordination and limited interaction with private enterprises and political parties, limited knowledge about rural development and its legal framework and community participation methodologies, the little weight given to environmental issues, and the token community participation. As a consequence and in line with its conceptual framework this research document appeals also for urgent and critical reassessments in the way development policies are prepared, issued, disseminated, implemented and monitored at relevant levels and by relevant stakeholders.