Articles authored by Brehony, Eamonn


Engaging with and assisting marginalised communities remains a major challenge for governments of developing countries, as many national development strategies tend in practice to further marginalise chronically poor communities. Development aid strategies, including poverty-reduction initiatives, have focused primarily on economic development. As a result they have contributed to the erosion of the asset base of these communities, and in particular their access to natural resources.

There is considerable focus nowadays on the involvement of communities in planning their own projects. Much of this involvement is in the form of verbal communication whereby villagers inform development workers of their problems and how they propose to solve them. Drawing on experience from two projects in Uganda and Ethiopia, this article argues that the starting point for any project planning in a community context is the current practice of that community.