Exploring the impact of the Millennium Village Promise on community networks : the case of Sauri Millennium Village in western Kenya
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For several decades, international development experts have been involved in attempts to help rural communities in Africa attain the economic development. The Millennium Village Promise is the recent strategy which is designed as a bottom-up approach for empowering the rural communities. Studies are needed that will yield an understanding of the impact of these kinds donor intervention programs on local social capital. The aim of this study was on how the relationships between exogenous and internal organizations in Sauri communities had impacted community networks and how interventions would be sustained. A mixed methodology involving qualitative interviews with key informants and a more quantitative survey for community networks was used to collect data. The major findings indicated that the MVP had introduced new structures, reinforced collective action through development groups, and empowered the residents through agricultural and health development interventions. However, the absence of a clear exit strategy puts the sustainability of the programs into question. This presents the policy makers with valuable lessons about the ramifications of time-bound development approaches on local communities.
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