Community agency, needs mapping and solidarity economics in resource depleted communities
Che, C. 2019. Community agency, needs mapping and solidarity economics in resource depleted communities.
Against the backdrop of shrinking budgets for most social welfare departments in most of sub Saharan Africa, there is a shortfall of essential services. Within the ambit of village associations, community-driven needs mapping is heralded as an alternative pathway. Anchored on the conceptual framing of social theory, social capital and social economy; this qualitative case study, argues that solidarity initiatives and capability focused outcomes deliver social development, and other welfare projects for most disadvantaged communities of North West, Cameroon. Findings point to peripheral state involvement in calibrating a development agenda, constraining members to utilize village associations, the repository of indigenous assets, and other relational networks, njangis, quarter development unions, cooperatives and diaspora networks. These overlapping solidarity networks enable members to mobilize hard earned financial resources; largely ploughed back into community development ventures. A key outcome of these forms of solidarity remains direct capitalisation - personal income catering not only for members’ livelihoods, most of all, building a reservoir and asset base, impacting on livelihoods and community development. Policy formulation and design is yet to calibrate these mechanisms of ground-up, village centric development. Galvanising these solidarity assets, deployed for progressive social and economic change require meaningful co-production of stakeholder engagement strategies, and revamped state-community relations. Embedding these policies in rural development planning would enable a sustainable solidarity economics, nurtured through community assets-base, building on collective agency, autonomy and resilience.
|Keywords||Agency; Community; Cultural assets; Needs mapping; Relational networks; Solidarity; Village associations|
|Conference||7th CIRIEC Conference|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||15 Jan 2020|
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