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Understanding the Political Significance of Community Sustainable Development Indicators in Post-Apartheid South Africa: A Case Study from Sobantu Township, Pietermaritzburg

  • Alan Terry
Chapter
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Part of the Community Quality-of Life Indicators book series (CQLI, volume 2)

Abstract

This chapter is concerned with a critical re-evaluation of a Department of International Development (DFID) funded project that ran between 1998 and 2001 in India and South Africa. The aim of the project was test whether the process of developing community-led indicators would encourage more effective participatory development. The case study addresses some of the criticisms that have recently been aimed at participatory methods, especially the view that they are apolitical and adopt a technocratic approach. Sobantu has been chosen as the subject of this chapter because the locally based non-governmental organization (NGO) was a politically astute, well connected institution which understood the political nature of the process of developing the indicators. However, although the project achieved some positive outcomes, the long-term commitment to the indicators has been compromised. Despite the sophistication of the approach, the inability of community members to engage meaningfully with key municipal service providers has diluted the long-term benefits associated with the development of the indicators. However, recent changes to the South African planning regime might provide opportunities for the indicators to become more widely adopted.

Keywords

Social Capital Civil Society Development Resource Participatory Approach African National Congress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Terry
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental ManagementUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUnited Kingdom

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