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Vainio-Mattila, Arja H. (1992) The impact of development aid on the resources of a recipient community in Bura Fuelwood Plantation Project, Kenya: Participatory research as an approach to development aid. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The purpose of this thesis is two-fold: to study the impact of a development aid programme on the resources base of a recipient community at the grassroots level, and the success of Participatory Research as an approach to the successful implementation of development aid. The case study is on the Bura Fuelwood Plantation Project (BFPP), which is located on the Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme (BISS) in Eastern Kenya. This study focuses on the problem of domestic fuel shortage with women as the main interest group. Participatory Research is used as an approach to assessing the impact of aid on the forestry related resources of the tenant farmers in Bura, and improved stoves are focused on as one domestic strategy to meet the fuel shortage. The hypotheses are that BFPP has had an impact on the resources the people in Bura have for creating their own development strategies, and that the Participatory Research Approach (PRA) can increase the recipients' access to and control of resources within the framework of aid. It is argued that aid programmes create space by establishing parallel structures to existing ones. The concept of Specific Interest Space (SIS) is developed on the basis of fieldwork in Bura to facilitate the analysis of space, in terms of control and distance, from the viewpoint of a group of people sharing a common interest In order to test the hypotheses the forestry related needs and resources of villagers in Bura are analyzed. This analysis focuses on gender, with emphasis on women's needs and resources. It is argued that BFPP introduces new technical, personnel and financial resources. But as the Project maintained control over these resources as well as gained partial control over resources that existed prior to the project, in some cases villagers' opportunities to design and implement their own development strategies in the forestry sector were diminished. The conclusion of the thesis is that the impact of development aid is strongest within a recipient community. Therefore development aid should be based primarily on needs and resources that exist within the community. It is also concluded that PRA can be used within aid framework to initiate and maintain dialogue between donors, implementors and recipients.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:14

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