Rural development through local initiatives :an assessment of Kenya's experience with Harambee projects in selected rural communities
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This paper on Harambee in Kenya focuses on two questions: l) Are locally initiated Harambee projects an equitable means of resources distribution, diminishing class and social distinctions, providing benefits across social and economic strata, and increasing the community's levels of welfare and productivity? 2) In what ways does Harambee foster local-level initiative, self-reliance and organisational capability? It draws on data collected in six Locations in three Districts of Kenya during 1978 and 1979. Evidence from this study suggests that local development through Harambee efforts does constitute a redistributive mechanism operating within local communities. Contribution levels are higher among more affluent socio-economic groups while benefits are enjoyed areas socio-economic strata. Although heavily dependent on local official leadership, the Harambee project committee structure does provide some limited organizational experience as well as opportunity for the rural population to develop management skills. However, at present these experiences are enjoyed primarily, although not exclusively, by the more affluent members of rural communities.