Management at grassroots level for integrated rural development in Africa with special reference to churches
Fowler, Alan F.
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The paper begins by questioning the relevance and utility of Western management models and techniques in an African rural development setting of a minimally controllable environment. It goes on to review the problems and paradoxes of incorporating development into existing church structures and further suggests that the "integrated" development approach used so far and based on multi-sector coupling has proven to be dysfunctional. It is suggested that a human and community-centred approach based on a five-element 'functional-group' system answers the above shortcomings, in part because it is derived from actual development implementation experience. The features of such a system are explained and the possible role of the church as an "intermediate organisation" is discussed. The paper concludes by looking at some of the management implications of such a human and community-centred approach. In addition tentative suggestions for more appropriate African management features are made based on community rather than individual or institution, dialogue rather than paper work and respect for traditional social systems.