A critical analysis of community-driven development projects aimed at poverty alleviation in Evaton West
Mokoena, Temeki Daniel
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This thesis studies the effects of specific community- driven developer programmes run in Evaton West over the past three years (200011 to 200314) on poverty in the area. These programmes were targeted at poverty reduction and community development in Evaton West, driven by the Eindhoven municipality and COL~AP~A'@. The relationship between the Eindhoven Municipality and the Ernfuleni Municipality started as a result of the twinning of Tilburg and Eindhoven cities in the Netherlands with the erstwhile LekoaNaal Local Metropolitan Council. Evaton West was chosen as a pilot site for Eindhoven to run practical IDP programmes at, as an example of what can be achieved from properly run community-based programmes. COL~AP~Aw' as introduced to Evaton West by the Vaal University of Technology's Community Service department. Its programmes were aimed at poverty alleviation through small-scale business initiatives coupled with leadership training in the area. The approach in the thesis is to define poverty, measure it and determine the profile of the poor. This is done firstly employing household-level indicators and secondly employing community-level indicators. At household level, some of the following tools are used: the poverty line (HSL), headcount index, the poverty gap, dependency ratio, the Lorenz curve and the Gini coefficient. Unemployment is also used to determine poverty levels. At community level, the thesis employs tools such as community characteristics, community assets, principal services, education, health and environmental issues. The thesis ends with specific recommendations. In particular, formation of co-operatives and the introduction of the basic income grant (BIG) are proposed. The thesis shows that compared to Bophelong, which is approximately similar to Evaton West in terms of age and composition of residents (especially based on age analysis), Evaton West is worse-off judging by poverty and welfare at household level. It proposes that one of the problems is Evaton West's geographical displacement. The thesis also shows that compared to three years ago, Evaton west is marginally better-off judging from the community indicators applied. It ascribed such improvement to the application of the above-stated community-driven development projects in Evaton West. Finally, the thesis suggests that one of the major solutions in dealing with poverty is to consider small-scale, home-based industries that allow for easy entry. Such projects can only succeed if they are approached in an integrated manner in which local authorities are fully involved. Labour absorption capacity of large industries is declining. This forces policy-making to be redirected to alternative sources of employment. The thesis contributes ways in which community-driven development programmes may be assessed at household and community levels.
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