An Appraisal of Participation and Rural Development in Botswana: The Case of Mmankgodi Village

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France Maphosa
Christopher Ntau
Malatsi Seleka


This paper is based on a study that sought to investigate the nature and extent of beneficiary participation in
rural development planning and management in Mmankgodi village in the Kweneng District of Botswana.
Data for the study was collected through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The study
found that there was limited beneficiary participation in the identification, initiation, implementation
and evaluation of rural development projects in Mmankgodi. This was attributed to a number of factors,
including: the centralised nature of the rural development processes in Botswana, disjointed participatory
structures, lack of a participatory framework, ineffective participatory forums and the negative perceptions
of development workers towards the community’s input. It was observed that these workers often impose
their own perceptions of particular development situations, thus undermining those of the community.

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