The baobab metaphor for sustainable organisational development at the grassroots

This paper summarises part of a research project undertaken in rural Niger. It aims to provide an insight into the development and working of grassroots organisations and the communities in which they operate. Arising from research conducted in five workshops, which involved almost 160 people from 54 community-based organisations, the metaphors of the baobab and eucalyptus trees were found to have strong cultural associations for the participants and helped explain the importance of long-term and deep-rooted interventions rather than short-term and ephemeral projects. This paper also adds to the contemporary debate within development agencies on capacity building of sustainable human development.