Evaluation Of Youths Participation In Self Help Community Development In Benin City

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Evaluation Of Youths Participation In Self Help Community Development In Benin City


Abstract


This study was carried out on the evaluation of youths participation in self help community development in Benin City. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of youths in Benin City, Edo State. In determining the sample size, the researcher purposefully selected 147 respondents and 141 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. The result of the findings reveals that the extent of youth participation in self help community development in Benin City is low.The study also revealed that youth’s does not participate in the project planning process, in determining the type of facilities needed for the project, in making suggestions for improvement, and supervision of projects so as to achieve desired project objectives of self help community development. Furthermore, the study revealed that the constraints to youth’s involvement in self help community development in Benin City, Edo State include; not given free hand to be actively involved in community development projects, etc. Therefore, it is recommended that community development stakeholders should see the youths as an important segment of the populace and future custodian of the community, who should be given opportunity like others, in all aspects of community development efforts such as, in the planning process, implementation, supervision and evaluation of community projects. To mention but a few.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

From the earliest time of human history people have enjoyed and shared together the good tidings of nature because of the presence of communities and the social activities performed by the people for the advancement of their community, which is better called Community Development (CD). The notion of community development was first stated publicly in 1948 at the Cambridge Conference on African Administration at which community development was considered as a movement aiming to promote better living for the entire community. For Hill (2011), it signifies a coordinated strategy whereby the community members conduct activities and initiatives in order to ameliorate the living situation of the people live in that community. This according to Johnson (2008) signifies the improvement in the physca1 and material wellness including livelihood of people in the community. Community development consequently, assist individuals to discover and develop their skill and potential in order to meet their issues and needs which they share (Effiong, 2012). (Effiong, 2012).

Community development marks the stage in the life of a community where by members come together to take collective actions in order to generate solutions to their identified problems.Some scholars like Afuye (2015) posit that community development is a structured intervention that gives communities greater control over the conditions that affect their lives. This however, does not solve all the problems faced by a local community, but it does build up confidence to tackle such problems as effectively as any local action can perform. In essence, community development works at the level of local groups and organizations rather than with individuals or families. Implying that community development has to look both ways; not only at how the community is working at the grassroots, but also how responsive key institutions are to the needs of local communities.

In this regard, people collectively make use of available local resources (human and material) at their disposal to improve their standard of living. They may form community based development unions which would enable them participate in community development projects. The spirit of self-help guided the zeal of the people and in no time, roads, for instance, were constructed through virgin forest to link up villages and other neighbouring communities. People also undertook self-help community development projects like building of markets, community halls, road expansion and maintenance, tree planting to check erosion and communal palm fruits harvesting, amongst others (Nzeneri, 2008). Self-help community development projects are those tangible ventures that the inhabitants of the community embark on in order to improve the living condition of the people residing in that particular community. For example money realized from communal palm fruit harvesting is usually used to sponsor the education/scholarship of indigent students in the community as well as foot the bills of other development activities

One of the basic assumptions of community development herein is that community development activities are all inclusive as it provides opportunity for people to learn and grow thus, ensuring that no segment of the populace is exempted, youths inclusive. According to (Rowland, 2011). Definitely, being young is a transitional phase of life which carries with it increased vulnerabilities and delinquencies. If the youths are not adequately harnessed it becomes a problem. Youths therefore, could be effectively mobilized and involved as assets, beneficiaries, partners and youth leaders in community development activities which abound in various communities; instead of displaying their unruly behaviors as militants, terrorists and other restiveness in the community and society today. involvement is the act of participating in the achievement or accomplishment of a particular task. Youths involvement in the context of this study means giving the youths opportunity to effectively participate as facilitators in community development agenda in all the stages because of the effect it will have on their lives now and in future. Through their involvement they will be acquainted with the myriad of problems in their communities and suggest remediation. Thus, this study will provide information on the self-help community development projects embarked upon by communities in the study areas, ascertain the areas of youths involvement in self-help community development projects and finally find out the constraints to youths participation in self help community development in Benin City, Edo State.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Daring, full of vitality and vigor, curious, enterprising, enthusiastic, self-sacrificing, full of ambitions, wonderful initiatives, and hopes are the attributes of youths in general. All of these qualities may be leveraged to help community development programs succeed. According to Banda (2005), there is a strong belief that community leaders’ effective participation in self-help community development projects is desirable in our quest for the qualitative development of our rural communities, particularly in these days of continued government cuts to development funding at all levels. Most communities in underdeveloped nations such as Nigeria are known for starting self-help development initiatives, but the sad reality is that most of these projects are never completed. Consequently, it appears that their efforts are not commensurate with all they have invested as reflected in the rate of some abandoned self-help projects. It seems not possible to even ascertain the areas and level of involvement of all stakeholders in the communities especially the youths who are supposed to fast track development activities in their communities. Although, literature showed that community development officers and experts especially in developing countries, like Nigeria, have frowned at the low involvement of youths in community development. So many reasons have been adduced for such anomaly, which include; that youths seem not to be considered as matured people and as such have been excluded right from decision making process, planning, implementation, supervision and evaluation of community development projects by community development stakeholders (Shaw, P.N. (2007).

The stakeholders in question include all parents, community leaders in the community. In some rare occasion, when the youths willingly participated in community development activities, they seem not to be given a free hand to participate in vital issues like, decision making process, project implementation, supervision and evaluation. Could it be that community leaders and other stakeholders are not convinced that if the youths are effectively involved in their own community development projects, it would to a great extent reduce abandonment of self-help projects, make significant impact on the lives of the people now and in future, as well as help to curb various social ills which has eaten very deep like cankerworms into the fabrics of societies world over. Hence, the essence of this study which focused on examining youths participation in self help community development in Benin City, Edo State.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The overall aim of this study is to critically examine youths participation in self help community development in Benin City, Edo State. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;

  1. Ascertain self-help community development projects embarked upon by communities in Benin City, Edo State.
  2. Ascertain the extent of youth participation in self help community development.
  3. Ascertain the areas of youth’s involvement in self help community development.
  4. Determine the constraints to youth’s involvement in self help community development in Benin City, Edo State.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following questions;

  1. What are the self-help community development projects embarked upon by communities in Benin City, Edo State?
  2. What is the extent of youth participation in self help community development in Benin City?
  3. What are the areas of youth’s involvement in self help community development?
  4. What are the constraints to youth’s involvement in self help community development in Benin City, Edo State?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will be beneficial to policy makers, community leaders, community development officials, administrators, government and non-governmental organizations as well as other researchers. The findings of the study will be beneficial to policy makers because they will use the recommendations of the study to develop policy, rule and regulation. The findings of the study will be beneficial to community leaders. The study will reveal the weakness in youth participation so that the community leaders will correct their errors. The findings of the study will be beneficial to community development officials who will learn how to formulate and improve upon civil participation. The findings of the study will help the administrators to identify the methods and media of transmitting and disseminating information to their targeted subjects.

The findings of the study will be beneficial to government and nongovernmental organizations for they will use the recommendations of the study to identify community problems for possible improvement. The findings of the study will be beneficial to the researchers or it will give room for further studies on youth participation. The findings of the study will be beneficial to the society at large, for when the youth participation and community development is integrated well, there will be peaceful coexistence.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is structured to generally evaluate youths participation in self help community development in Benin City, Edo State.

However, the study will further ascertain self-help community development projects embarked upon by communities in Benin City, Edo State, ascertain the areas of youth’s involvement in self help community development, and determine the constraints to youth’s involvement in self help community development in Benin City, Edo State.

The respondents for this study will comprise youths in Benin City, Edo State.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.


1.8 Definitions of Terms

Community:

Persons in the same environment putting their resources together to develop their area.
Development means a new state has been reached as consequences of developing.

Community Development:

As something dealing with the sequence through which communities (or their segments) go as they advance from pre-industrial to industrial ones.

Development Programme:

Project capable of improving the living standard of communities.

Youth Participation:

Youth participation is the active engagement of young people throughout their own communities. It is often used as a shorthand for youth participation in any many forms, including decision-making, sports, schools and any activity where young people are not historically engaged


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was on the evaluation of youths participation in self help community development in Benin City. The study is was specifically carried out to ascertain self-help community development projects embarked upon by communities in Benin City, Edo State, ascertain the extent of youth participation in self help community development, ascertain the areas of youth’s involvement in self help community development, and determine the constraints to youth’s involvement in self help community development in Benin City, Edo State

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 141 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were youths in Benin City, Edo State.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. The self-help community development projects embarked upon by communities in Benin City, Edo State include; involved in rural electrification project, water bore-hole, construction of community market, construction of drainage facilities, community health centre project, and community school renovation project.
  2. The extent of youth participation in self help community development in Benin City is low.
  3. Youth’s does not participate in the project planning process, in determining the type of facilities needed for the project, in making suggestions for improvement, and supervision of projects so as to achieve desired project objectives of self help community development.
  4. The constraints to youth’s involvement in self help community development in Benin City, Edo State include; not given free hand to be actively involved in community development projects, low educational background of majority of the youths, lack of commitment of some community leaders to involve the youths leading to out migration of youths, conflict in the community due to corruption and fund mismanagement, parents don’t allow their children to be involved in community development projects, and lack of clear ideas of what the projects has to offer.

5.3 Recommendation

With respect to the findings and the aim of this study, the researchers therefore recommend that;

  1. Community development stakeholders should see the youths as an important segment of the populace and future custodian of the community, who should be given opportunity like others, in all aspects of community development efforts such as, in the planning process, implementation, supervision and evaluation of community projects.
  2. Parents should make the education of their youths a top priority so that they can actively be involved in community development activities, as this will contribute immensely to civic engagement of youths than parental modeling.
  3. The elders in the community should cooperate and co-exist in a peaceful and friendly environment with youths who are the prospective elders and leaders of tomorrow.
  4. Government and non-governmental organizations should also assist various communities in their self-help development projects like water borehole project, to enable them improve their standard of living.

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