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Nawal El-Gack

Doctor of Philosophy, (Development Studies)
Study Completed: 2007
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Participatory Approaches to Development: An Analysis of the Experiences of Development Projects in Sudan

Ms El-Gack examined the experiences of participatory development projects in Sudan. Various participatory methods were used to identify the factors that influenced people’s participation and to find ways to improve the practice of development at grassroots level. A variety of factors were shown to influence participation: development providers’ policies, the credibility and behaviour of staff, the nature and amount of resources, socio-cultural norms, power relations, communities’ previous experiences, organisation, and the level of education. The research has also broadened understanding of development in practice. Ms El-Gack concluded that improving the practice of development requires three factors: firstly, an in-depth understanding of prevailing social, economic, political and physical environments; secondly, adopting a moral-obligatory approach; and finally, providing local communities with resources, information and skills

Dr John (Victoria University) Overton
Dr Janet Reid
Dr Maria Borovnik

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