This chapter presents the findings and discussions from the data collected during field research on the impact of NGOs projects on socio-economic development of Zimbabwe’s rural communities using Emadwaleni ward 14 of Matobo District. Mazise (2011) suggested that the importance of having data presentation, discussions and analysis is to satisfy the requirements of the objectives of the study. Purpose of this chapter is to weigh the extent to which the research objectives were achieved. The researcher used interviews, questionnaires, observations and desk review of existing literature to gather data and purposive sampling method was used in the selection of respondents.
(1) To explore the nature of development projects being implemented by NGOs in Matobo District.
(2) To examine the socio-economic effects of NGOs’ projects on the intended beneficiaries.
3) To analyse the challenges faced by NGOs in implementing their projects in Matobo district.
(4) To scrutinize the sustainability of the NGOs’ projects in Matobo rural district.
(5) To proffer recommendations on strengthening the participation of rural people in the planning and development of projects for transforming rural communities in Zimbabwe.
“Why should we continue giving aid to Africans that hate us”- Donald Trump
“The state of Africa is a scar on the conscience of the world, the West should provide more aid”- Tony Blair.
There are more than 10 NGOs implementing development projects in the community of Emadwaleni. These include World Vision, World Food Programme (WFP), Sizimele, Fambidzanani, Muriti Oa Sechaba, ORAP, Dreams, Christian Care, Habakkuk Trust, Masakhaneni Project Trust, Save the Children, Emthonjeni Women Forum, Christian Legal and others. The projects being implemented by these NGOs range from livelihood programmes to infrastructural projects such as; food aid and food security, water and sanitation, rehabilitation of weir dams, income generating projects (IGPs), environmental management, agricultural development, capacity building and advocacy for gender equality and children’s rights. Below is Fig 1.1 illustrating that most projects that are implemented by NGOs in the ward are charity organisations such as food aid projects, wash programs compared to other projects such as advocacy, political change amongst other projects.
Fig 1.1
The process of coming up with a development project for a rural community such as Emadwaleni has proven to be a matter of concern for the community to realize real development. There have been unclear involvement of the community in choosing preferences for the projects. Oakley (1999) assert that the above statement that the planning of development programmes and projects is often centralized and planning procedures discourage local participation at any socio-economic development activities. One of the respondent from the civil society posits that the process is simply regarded to be exclusive in nature. Information on what should be done for a community is determined by data from previous surveys which shows ignorance of the changes that take place in communities. NGOs embark on a process of analysing available data in the comfort of their offices without having to involve the rural community’s inputs on issues that affect them and simply give assumptions on the financial budgets that can best suit the predicted project without involving the beneficiaries of the projects. However Tamus, Yukon and Ontario (2000) alluded that the General System Theory, developed by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, provides an analytical framework which can be used to describe some of the many factors involved in community development and key concerns in community development, such as assessing power and influence, understanding the dynamics of inter-group relationships, and considering the changes involved in planning development activities, can be understood and described using System Theory. Hence only those who dwell in a given community has the capacity to determine what they need and what they want therefor need for them to be involved in planning which many NGOs have blushed aside.
Theoretically, the government officials interviewed were keen to explain the process that should be taken in order for the interventions to be acute and compatible to the community needs, however there are gaps which make the projects to be off-tangent to the community demands. One government official interviewed responded that people should choose what they want and this can be achieved through the community structures such as the village development committee (VIDCO) and the ward development committee (WADCO). Oakley (1999) further point out that poverty is not just a lack of physical resources for development, it also implies being powerlessness or the inability to exert influence upon the forces which shape one’s livelihood. This study found out that these committees have been wrecked down along partisan structures and are used as political cells for strengthening its support base in the rural areas. This gives the rural grassroots a little determinant power compared to air their community grievances.
It is so shaming fact to say that NGOs are the key drivers of choosing what should be done in the communities despite their little knowledge of the problems that hamper the rural communities. This has been acknowledged by a research participant who said that; abantu bekhansilini labamaNGOs baletha inhlelo bengazibuzanga izidingo zethu maqala (the RDC and the NGOs brings the projects to us and threaten us not to reject the projects). Community consultation is made in the implementation stage during the inception meetings or workshops. Moyo (2009) pose that the question that one should ask is; should we say communities participate in decision making during the monitoring and evaluation stage or the review of a project in its life cycle? Definitely a sane answer would be no. The NGOs operating in this district have shown sympathy to the fact that they respond to donor callings and only consult the people to inform them what the donor has given the community which makes aid a culture commodity.