Citizen strategizing amid a solidarity economy in Cameroon: are village development associations (VDAs) resilient?

Research report


Che, C. 2013. Citizen strategizing amid a solidarity economy in Cameroon: are village development associations (VDAs) resilient? GENEVA UNRISD.
AuthorsChe, C.
TypeResearch report
Abstract

Mobilising scarce indigenous resources for provisioning of essential services is problematic. Bereft of critical infrastructure, rekindled community cohesion and heightened cultural identity are deployed by VDAs to fill gaps. Social capital and ecological theory provide framework for an existentialist and essentialist approach. Drawing on empirical data, this paper unpacks solidarity, gender, and locality discourse, evidenced through Ndong Awing Cultural and Development Association (NACDA). VDAs are deeply entrenched in slogans such as: ‘our destiny is ours’ ‘unity is strength’ with projects financed largely through citizen donations. Solidarity agenda is fired up through midterm meetings, annual cultural events, assemblage of citizens nationwide and Diaspora for stock taking and supplementary contributions towards earmarked projects.
Ethnicity binds communities against credence that development flows from concerted efforts, rather than reliance on lethargic state intervention. Rooted in cultural mind-set is notion of giving back to your ancestry. Whilst this ethos proves beneficial, VDAs are grappling with a politicised environment, elite machinations, financial drawback, varying degrees of participation, patchy ground rules and underhand arrangements.

Year2013
PublisherUNRISD
Place of publicationGENEVA
Related URLhttp://www.unrisd.org/80256B3C005BCCF9/httpNetITFramePDF?ReadForm&parentunid=4AF4D8FDE03BC22EC1257B5F005D2DE9&parentdoctype=paper&netitpath=80256B3C005BCCF9/(httpAuxPages)/4AF4D8FDE03BC22EC1257B5F005D2DE9/$file/Fonchingong%20draft%20paper.pdf
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online08 May 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Oct 2016
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