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Impacts of participatory development

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Title:
Impacts of participatory development a case study in rural Nicaragua
Creator:
Stevenson, Christianya Marie
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Denver, CO
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University of Colorado Denver
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English
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xi, 141 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Community development -- Case studies -- Nicaragua ( lcsh )
Community development ( fast )
Nicaragua ( fast )
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Case studies. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Case studies ( fast )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 135-141).
Thesis:
Sociology
General Note:
Department of Sociology
Statement of Responsibility:
by Christianya Marie Stevenson.

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ocm50726429
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Full Text
IMPACTS OF PARTICIPATORY DEVELOPMENT:
A CASE STUDY IN RURAL NICARAGUA
by
Christianya Marie Stevenson
B.A., Fort Lewis College, 1994
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Sociology
2002


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Christianya Marie Stevenson
has been approved
by


Stevenson, Christianya Marie (M.A., Sociology)
Impacts of Participatory Development: A Case Study in Rural Nicaragua
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Candan Duran-Aydintug
ABSTRACT
Participation is central to contemporary development. The literature denotes
that participation encourages investment, decision-making, empowerment, and
sustainability, and therefore broadens the impact of poverty alleviation. In the
process, development also creates a new dependency. Paradoxically, development
started out to meet peoples needs, but has ended up leading them to articulate needs
in terms of development capabilities. This qualitative study examines the impacts
of participatory development processes on a traditional and a newly developing
community in the hope of understanding differences between the literature
expectations and reality, and to define the emerging trend of new dependency in
development.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
IV


DEDICATION
It was my Mother who planted the shine in my eyes, the independence in my heart,
and the strength to follow my dreams. I dedicate this thesis to my dear Mother for
her unconditional support and understanding of my efforts due to these qualities that
she has instilled within me.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
My thanks to my advisors, Candan Duran-Aydintug, Joel Edelstein, and Richard
Anderson, for their guidance and patience throughout my classes, field research, and
writing over the last three years, as well as their personal counsel in the little
problems that arose during my thesis process.
I would like to thank the Sociology Department at the University of Colorado at
Denver for the scholarship funding that was awarded to me in order to do my field
research in Nicaragua, Central America. I would not have been able to make the
trip without this financial support and greatly appreciate the belief and trust in my
abilities as a student.
Thanks also go to Douglas Murray, my friend and mentor, for all of his advice over
the years. Although not an official member of my thesis committee, he was able to
help guide my research in many ways.
Special love and thanks to my wonderful brother for all of his formatting and
computer advise regarding my paper. It was ugly without him, and his patience
with my non-existent computer skills in person and over the phone saved the face of
my thesis.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge all of the many dear family and friends that have
given their time, ideas, and friendship to me as I moved through the process.
Muchas gracias por tu amistad, tu catino, y tu amor, para siempre.


CONTENTS
Figures.......................................................xi
CHAPTER
1. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM....................................1
Development Today........................................1
Emerging Trends..........................................2
Significance.............................................3
Definition of Terms......................................5
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE....................................7
Participatory Development................................7
Definitions.......................................8
Assumptions.......................................9
Benefits of Participation..................13
Barriers of Participation..................15
Power............................................18
Dependency..............................................20
Newly Developing and Traditional Communities............22
Conclusion..............................................26
vu


3. METHODOLOGY
28
Research Questions.......................................28
The Study................................................29
Project Interviews and Information Review.........30
Participant Observation......................... 31
Community Interviews..............................32
Data Analysis............................................36
4. BACKGROUND AND CASE STUDIES.................................36
The History..............................................36
The Setting..............................................42
Case Studies.............................................45
Respondents..............................................50
5. FINDINGS....................................................62
Theoretical Perspectives.................................65
Investment........................................65
Participation Encourages Decision-Makers..........76
Empowerment.......................................82
viii


Project Sustainability
90
Leadership.........................................97
Defining the Emerging Trend.............................101
Dependency........................................109
6. CONCLUSION OF STUDY:
WHITHER THE NEW DEPENDENCY.................................118
The New Dependency......................................118
Further Participatory Development Lessons...............120
Impacts of Participatory Development..............120
Comparing Communities.............................123
Respondent Conclusions............................124
Limitations of the Study................................126
Theoretical Implications and Suggestions for the Future.127
APPENDIX
A. COMMUNITY MEETING PROFILE.................................131
B. INTERVIEW GUIDELINE QUESTIONNAIRE.........................132
C. ROUND TWO QUESTIONNAIRE...................................134
IX


BIBLIOGRAPHY
135
x


FIGURES
Figure
1.1 Nicaragua Map...................................................130
xi


CHAPTER 1
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Development Today
Development projects have become increasingly important in economically
stressed and developing countries around the globe, many due to increased poverty
and devastating natural disasters. According to Nathan (1995), the development
process has seen an evolution of focus in recent years from technical assistance and
funding to the alleviation of poverty via the incoiporation of local ideas and
knowledge by the beneficiaries of the development project. Participation has been
the key component for social change and sustainability in the reformed processes.
With use and integration of local knowledge in project planning and
implementation, people are able to invest in their own development, make decisions
about their needs, and voice their opinions. By incorporating participation as a
philosophy within their daily lives, people become empowered to improve their
situations and sustain their own needs. In this way, participation also broadens and
sustains the impact of development on poverty alleviation.
1


Emerging Trends
Due to recent natural disasters, such as the 1998 Hurricane Mitch in
Nicaragua and Honduras, such organizations around the world as the International
Group of Voluntary Associations, the Center for Promotion and Development of the
Population (CEPRODEP), Overseas Development Authority, the World Bank,
United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and other aid
agencies and sponsor countries, are now donating funds to rebuilding the affected
countries. Communities with the specific aim of resettlement receive international
funds in order to rebuild homes, provide potable water, and help with basic living
necessities. What is emerging among these resettlement communities? Instead of
participatory development resulting in empowerment of the poor, communities
appear to be experiencing a degree of dependence upon international funding, using
their gained knowledge and skills earned from the development process to adjust
their lives to incoiporate development into their daily work and labor force.
Paradoxically, where development started out to meet the needs of the people, it has
instead lead the poor to articulate their needs in terms of what development is
capable of offering. This is the new dependency. These communities are an
important focus to the field of development, because they may differ significantly
from the participation in traditional societies envisioned by development advocates.
2


In order to further understand the emergence of a new dependency, it is critical to
examine the organization, objectives, and leadership within a traditional and a
newly developing community, and compare the similarities and differences that
exist within their participatory development.
Significance
My interest in participatory development stemmed from the existing
literature and my previous experiences in Latin America. The literature suggests
that with participation of the poor, these people will benefit economically and
socially by experiencing a respected voice, receiving benefits as equals, and being
empowered by their efforts. In the last decade, I have worked and traveled
throughout Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and most Central American countries.
Each trip has provided me a new understanding of the people, then- culture, and their
poverty. Given my experience in various countries within Latin America, I have a
distinct interest in seeing these people succeed in their economic, social, and
emotional development, and I embraced the hope of the participatory development
models in an effort to improve others .lives to a point of, at least, modest comfort
and equality.
Nicaragua was chosen as the location of my study for several reasons. It is a
Developing Country. Nicaragua has some history and experience with foreign
support for development purposes since before the devastation of the Contra War
3


and the natural destruction of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Having spent much time in
Central America, I wanted to continue my studies in the isthmus. I have two
advisors that have contacts and acquaintances in Nicaragua from earlier periods of
their lives that had taken them to the country. Thus, my opportunities to make
contacts and find projects to study were higher in Nicaragua than in other Central
American countries. Through the sponsorship of one of these development
channels, the Friendship City Project (FCP) organization, I had the option to go to
Nicaragua to study participation on the potable water project in the Jalapa Valley.
Lastly, Nicaragua presented one of the only countries in Central America that I had
never been to before, and I wanted to add another country and its cultures to my
existing Latin American repertoire and knowledge.
In this qualitative study, I look at the impacts of participatory development
on two rural communities in Nicaragua. I explore the type and level of investment
of local Nicaraguan residents, and assess this investment in terms of active
participation, decision-making, and empowerment within the individual and the
community. I, additionally, speculate on the emergence of and relationships .
between individual participation, empowerment, and leadership on the overall .
sustainability within the community. Consequently, I discuss the emergence of the
new dependency in relation to the participatory development process.
This study on the impacts of participatory development in rural Nicaragua
will contribute to our understanding of this form of social change and sustainable
4


development. The study will also inform the field of development research on the
recent emerging trends being seen in newly created and resettlement communities
by expanding our knowledge of what constitutes development, sustainability, and
dependency. It is my hope that through better comprehension of the expectations of
participatory development and the differences emerging within newly developing
communities via current models of development through participation, we can
rethink the role and impact of participation in the development process and
encourage important social change.
Definition of Terms
For the purposes of this paper, Central America consists of Guatemala, El
Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Panama and Belize, although
geographically belong to the isthmus, are not consistently represented in the Central
American literature, and full accounts of these countries are not available in the said
material. Latin America consists of Mexico, Central America, and South America,
for historical understanding. The terms Indians and native Americans are used
interchangeably in this text to describe the native peoples of the New World. The
New World is defined as the North and South American continents when they were
first discovered by the Spaniards from the Old World, defined as Europe and :
developed countries of the era.
5


The term Developing Countries is used in this thesis to signify countries that
constitute a high population rate, a low income, an unstable economic system, a
non-existent health care, a high mortality rate, and an increasing poverty, and are
recipients of international funding and aid for development purposes.
6


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Participatory Development
Recently, participation has been used to represent ethnical, cultural and
societal rights and issues. Due to unsuccessful attempts by conventional
development models to alleviate poverty and provide social improvements in
Developing Countries, there has been a change in dialogue toward citizen
participation methods that incorporate and empower the poor and increase the
success and sustainability of development efforts in the process (Nathan, 1995).
These concepts of participation and sustainability have existed throughout history,
but were recognized in the 1970s during a United Nations (UN) conference as a
strategy to broaden and maintain the impact of development on the alleviation of
poverty. In the last twenty years, participation has become a focus in the
development field, taking precedence in the 1980s and throughout the 1990s.
Participatory approaches have become recognized as offering hopes of long-term
development and poverty alleviation, and are widely embraced by organizations
such as the UN, USAID, US Foreign Assistance Program, World Bank,
InterDevelopment Bank (IDB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other
7


aid organizations and donor countries. A variety of buzzwords and models
demonstrate the concepts (Participatory Action Research-PAR, Rapid Rural
Appraisal-RRA, Participatory Research Methods-PRM).
Definitions
Barraclough et al (1988) define the role of participation in development,
more than merely raising the rate of economic growth and level of average
income per capita, it means people having sufficient livelihood to lead an
adequate life. Those groups that have been poor and powerless should
furthermore be able to participate in decisions which influence their lives.
Development requires a guarantee of human rights, democratic participation,
and a measure of political, cultural, and economic autonomy. Development
should improve the use of a country's human and natural resources
independent of foreign control (p. 5).
Various development theorists (Robinson et al 1990, Mathur 1986, Tri 1986, Lisk
1985, Cemea 1985) further define this concept and suggest that participatory
development is the active involvement of people, with choices in planning,
execution, and evaluation of the projects. In this way, the development process is
significant to the people as it promotes active participants in all stages of their
development and living improvements (Schmale 1993, Fals-Borda and Rahman
1990, Lisk 1985). Lisk (1985) takes into account that participation includes
contributions of non-material human needs such as equity, social justice, basic
human rights and related freedoms (p. 15). Respect for knowledge, participation,
8


and change at the local level promotes a contribution toward commitment and
responsibility as well as leadership and organizational skills.
Others define participatory development as incorporating strategies in which
local knowledge and cultures are utilized and respected (Bunch 1982, Gardner and
Roseland 1989, Altieri and Anderson 1986). In this way, participation is initiated
and managed by the people via methods that take into consideration an
understanding of the region, culture, and environment of the participants.
For the purposes of this thesis, participation within development is in
accordance with the definition of Nathan (1995), in which she states that
participation is a philosophy and a course of action that genuinely enhances
peoples power to improve their socio-economic and political conditions primarily
through their own knowledge and praxis (p.15). With this definition, a foundation
is laid for how participation encourages empowerment and sustainability in the
development processes, and therefore will act as a basis for my discussion.
Assumptions
The assumptions of participatory development center around bottom-up
methodologies in which people contribute to their own development efforts, which
becomes meaningful to them (Friedmann, 1992,. Sinclair 1995). Participatory
development uses a slow process in which peoples cultures are understood,
traditions are respected, and there is an effective use of a leadership and network
9


already in place (Rogers, 1983). Sinclair (1995) emphasizes, "Participants in many
of the newer movements tend to define themselves more and organize more around
issues of identity and community as well as the traditional issues of class, anti-
imperialism, and workers' rights" (p. 4). More and more, people have recognized
strength and power in organized and cooperative voice in order to promote social
change and human rights. Participation of the underprivileged classes in popular
movements for social change assists in enforcing the basic and imperative needs of
the poor (Grant 1998, McCamant 1968). The end of all action is interpersonal
security (Rogers 1983). This empowerment of the underprivileged classes represent
the hope and goal of sustainable social change in this region and the world.
Civic participation has become an integral part of society. Organizing to
participate is based on influencing agencies and initiatives through mobilization.
This is achieved through outreach, boycotts, picketing, petitions, and grassroots
methods of building rapport and participatory responsibility within the community.
People become involved through groups and organizations that have similar
interests and can provide emotional support (Forester 1999, Putnam 2000). With
mutual beliefs, a bond is created and action in numbers is represented through
organization of the members. Participation incorporates members of the society
around .an interestin order to become involved with communal processes of change.
Outcomes are most often achieved through non-profit organizations (NPO) by
providing forms of monetary and educational assistance.
10


Participation is collaborative. This is unique in bringing multiple
perspectives together through mediation, negotiation, and facilitation (Forester
1999, Putnam 2000). Listening and learning are achieved through open discussions
by members. Participation is beneficial especially in cases in which the government
is unable to provide effective solutions to pertinent issues, and therefore the group
must come to an agreement or consensus through creativity and compromise as a
whole (Putnam 2000, Radin 1997). In collaboration via the participatory process,
decisions are made through active involvement, discussion, and creativity to resolve
an issue.
Participation is reinforcing, due to a sense of responsibility, trust, and benefit
for those involved. Generalized reciprocity is an important key to participation
within the community (Putnam 2000). Reciprocity is giving with the understanding
that something is gained and is conducive to some level of trust. When this exists in
a community, participants feel safe in their contributions. This is imperative in
successful participation.
Society is impacted by individuals invested in changing specific issues
deemed important to them (Forester 1999). Personal investment is the support and
involvement of people, and serves as the mechanism in which important community
issues are addressed directly by those affected, and members of the society are
entrusted and encouraged to resolve issues that are critical to them. Brentlinger
(1995) suggests that a dialectic relationship exists between individuals and social
11


and economic conditions. The community nurtures the individual, giving hope and
opportunity to the person, and is itself dependent upon the individuals who are part
of it. Brentlinger concludes, A collective spirit emerges (p. 266). A deeper
understanding of the problem and the process is achieved by all involved through
decision-making and awareness.
In todays society, community networks expand and cross boundaries of
class, religions, race, cultures, and ethnicity (Putnam 2000, Parr 1995). We are now
faced with populations and technology that connect us with other cultures around
the world. Participation reflects the involvement of all aspects of varying societies.
It builds upon skills learned in stages that make personal empowerment and
sustainability reachable.
Within participatory development, the role of outsiders should be
facilitative, only used to advise and support peoples efforts to overcome poverty
from the inside (van Heck 1979, Rogers 1983). Grassroots and non-governmental
organizations (NGO) often utilize participatory methods of development, due to
informal and flexible objectives and an initiation by the people themselves. In most
cases, leaders are of the same culture and status, and therefore the poor are more
inclined to affiliate themselves with the organizations, which deal with the same
issues as the people (van Heck 1979). There also tends to be visible benefits and
rapid results from the smaller projects that grassroots organizations support, thus
decreasing the fear of being involved.
12


Benefits of Participation. Participatory action in the development process
creates satisfaction in material and non-material needs (equality, human rights,
social justice) of the beneficiaries. Participation is generated by the poor and
transferred from participant to participant. This process broadens social relations. It
is people-oriented, providing autonomy and control over development management
(Alamgir 1989, Mehmet 1978). Being surrounded by relationships and networks of
people increases the knowledge and understanding of others in the community and
promotes mutual support, cooperation, trust, and reciprocal action.
Participation encourages large numbers of support within a community
because of the specific array of interests and causes, and it offers a solution to
becoming involved with others who are directly involved in the same issues. It is
selective in interest, and therefore, more powerful in that special area. There is also
a higher willingness to accept changes over time when there is a personal
investment by the people (Tri 1986, Mathur 1986).
Another benefit of participation is that community planning and organization
shapes public learning (Putnam 2000, Forester 1999). This learning creates
awareness of issues that exist and of opportunities to help make a change in
something valuable. People increase their skills, confidence, and ownership of the
issue in the process of organizing and planning. They listen to other perspectives,
13


understand the issues, become aware of possibilities for action, and work as a group
to accomplish change. The educative nature of participation contributes to human
development. Learning through communication and action creates an open
atmosphere that is conducive to empowerment of those involved.
The strength of collaboration in participation is that members of the group
are represented in creating a solution together. Each member has a say in what
decisions are made, and are encouraged to promote their beliefs, understand other
perspectives, and work together for the good of the group and the problem. This
represents a personal investment in something that is important to them. People are
empowered through this process because of their active involvement via an open
structure. Collaboration through investment is conducive to learning about others
and their issues in order to find a solution that is acceptable to each member.
Another important aspect of the participatory process is the encouragement
of people to sustain their efforts and further resolve other important issues. People
are encouraged to take on future challenges and demonstrate skills of negotiation
and open collaboration. Programs and organizations are created to address specific
problems that are addressed by community members. Community members work
together to resolve a problem, find strength through supportive groups, and
measures are incorporated to maintain what they receive. Forester (1999) explains,
"there's a 'developmental process' of building leadership in participatory [research]
processes., dialogue is important to such learning" (p. 123). In understanding the
14


problem and becoming involved in action to resolve it, communication among
active members is imperative. One person relates an experience that is shared by
another, which becomes a mutual cause for action. In this way, there is a network
for involvement of an issue by the people in a participatory manner. Members
relate to each other and their problems through active communication (Forester
1999, Rogers 1983, Putnam 2000). The most effective communication occurs
among homophilous individuals and groups, and therefore local recognition,
participation and respect for local leadership allows effective sharing of information
(Rogers 1983). Through the utilization of traditional practices, people preserve their
cultural identity and use their natural channels of communication to improve their
lives (Alamgir 1989, Lisk 1985, Mathur 1986, Rogers 1983).
Participation increases efficiency of the development process by respecting
and utilizing local information, based on the peoples intimate understanding of
their history, environment, and culture. Another benefit of participatory
development is that it promotes human rights and basic needs (Rahnema 1992).
Local mobilization helps spread projects over a wider area, expediting its
completion, access to public services, greater control over delivery systems,
distribution of finances from foreign organizations to local communities, and
lowering costs (Griffin and Knight 1989, Uphoff 1988).
Barriers of Participation. Participation does not always amount to equality
or sustainability, and is itself distributed unequally because motivation, skills, and
15


resources are also unequal in distribution. There are two types of barriers to
participatory development: internal and external. These barriers provide an
understanding of the distribution inequalities.
Internal barriers consist of conditions of poverty and a lack of economic
resources. Economic pressures lead to limited participation. Putnam (2000) points
out that economic hard times lower our incomes, ...stress rises, and civic
engagement falls (p 193). Other internal barriers are the physical inaccessibility to
water, land, and good soil, leading people to migrate to areas where they can obtain
work. Also included as a barrier in this area of participation is the lack of awareness
in options, available resources, and necessary skills (Mathur 1986, Korten 1984). A
fourth aspect holding people back from participatory development are those of
cultural obstacles, such as illiteracy, language, culture, skepticism, avoidance of
risk-taking, isolation, alienation, and lack of time (Tri 1986, Uphoff 1991, Sims and
Leonard 1990, Rogers 1983). Subsistence living tends to diminish collective
identity and educational opportunities, and cultivate fatalistic and conservative
attitudes and ideals.
A weakness of collaboration in the participatory development process is that
multiple perspectives may make it difficult to achieve consensus on an issue (Radin
1997). When people have strong ideas about an issue, it is imperative to understand
the implications in order to make a decision that takes into account different
16


interests of its members. Without some level of consensus or majority decision,
creative outcomes are not realized and participatory development stalls.
External barriers are defined at societal and agency levels. On the societal
level, the poor often do not have access to political freedom, such as voting and
equal representation, and have restrained access to education and information
opportunities (Alamgir 1989). At the agency level, there tends to be limited
expertise and organization, as well as a lack of training and preparation (Korten
1984, Cox 1992). A weakness of participation is that although there are often large
numbers supporting NPOs and other grassroots groups, they are not always
organized in a functional manner, and therefore, can be problematic in obtaining an
effective outcome. Without direction and organization of issues and the people
involved, the group does not have momentum to make changes or promote
successful empowerment of its members. Participation often does not occur due to
agency unawareness and unskilled personnel or the inability to implement actions
that promote empowerment.
Not all interests are represented by external sponsors. The business with the
highest budget will find more participatory success by some members, and
therefore, less fortunate sectors in the society will not have an equal level of
representation. Often, decisions are made by representatives instead of directly by
the members that are affected by the issue.
17


Power
Power is a key factor that influences social change (Dobyns et al 1971).
Bacharach and Botwinick (1992) define power as the ability to achieve intended
effects. Others say that power is based on the control of information, education
level, social standing, access to resources and technology, intelligence, energy
levels, property, and personality (Galbraith 1983, Dahl 1961, Rogers 1983). Wrong
(1979) looks at organization and solidarity of people as fundamental to the access of
power. Using local practices puts people in a position of power and expertise, and
thus helps people invest in the new development. They personally take
responsibility and try to ensure the efficiency of the project operation.
Amstein (1969) constructed a citizen participation ladder in which
participation without the redistribution of power is an empty and frustrating
process for the powerless (p. 216). Her ladder consists of eight rungs, which are
from bottom to top: manipulation, therapy, informing, consultative, placation,
partnership, delegated power, and citizen participation. Amstein calls the lower
three rungs nonparticipation and the center rungs degrees of tokenism. The five
bottom rungs together constitute what is called window-dressing rituals in which
power is not effectively incorporated and redistributed by the players. These rituals
give the appearance of involvement, but power is withheld from those participating
18


at these levels. Only when people reach the top three rungs do they achieve power
and control.
Participation is an effective aspect of the process of community change and
planning. There is power behind human beliefs and maintenance in the process of
accomplishing a social world that reflects those traditions. Although change is
difficult to accept and achieve, upon the realization of necessary action, people
create a force within society that promotes meaningful community action. In this
way, all members of society are represented and hold power through their actions
for change (Forester 1999, Putnam 2000).
The essence of any social change is the exchange of new ideas and personal
knowledge, relayed to others in a complex network within society. Rogers (1983)
implies that information is key to eliminating uncertainty. The social structure of a
community can promote or impede successful exchange of information within
development. People that possess access to information and have extensive
communication networks hold the power to affect the development process and the
social structure of the community. Nathan (1995) concludes, Power, like
participation, is both a means and an end (p. 33). In this sense, power is crucial in
understanding change in social and economic development, participation, and
empowerment.
19


Dependency
Another issue within development is that of dependency in which external
and internal forces create an intricate whole based upon interests and resources. On
the communal level, dependency occurs in relation to resources (Fisher 2001,
Gronbjerg 1990, David & Zakus 1998). The needs for biological survival and
personal security become human priorities, until once secured, at which point, social
needs dominate. According to the literature, resource dependency is the internal
adaptation to external environmental pressures and changes in order to secure
resources for human survival. Brentlinger (1995) states, work inevitably
influences and changes the barrio... [people] become conduits for resources (p.
322). It is expected that resources lead to prosperity on the local level. The
extraction of these resources, whether human or natural, is the key to survival and
economic growth. Foreign and internal interests become compatibly dependent
based on the mutual resources. This dependency influences organizational
behavior.
According to David & Zakus (1998), community participation in dependent
societies is used solely for supplying resources, rather than for its other intrinsic
values. This leads to flaws in the participatory process, lower than expected results,
and Ultimately, the participatory mechanisms became additional dependencies...
20


and not integral components of a process of community development (1). The
dependency on resource needs outweighs the participatory opportunity. Nathan
(1995) concurs, participation is frequently constrained at best and at worst,
devolves into new and subtle forms of manipulation and dependency (p. 32).
Brentlinger (1995) continues with this issue, The Nicaraguan campesinos were
treated as more or less cooperative objects of manipulation.. .when the money ran
out everything stopped, because only the money held it together (321). People
cannot only go to meetings and labor on their own benefits, but must also
incorporate their ideas and actions in a way that includes them into the process and
produces their desired results. Nathan further notes, Participation is meaningless
when the efforts and outcomes are symbolic (p. 28). Without this foundation of
active involvement, they fall into dependency upon external forces to accomplish
their needs, losing any sense of self-accomplishment or hope.
Summers (1986) suggests there are complex interdependencies between
communities and rural development. Development has both beneficial and harmful
affects often perpetuating hierarchical dependency (So 1990, Brentlinger 1995).
Developing communitys work with local and international funding, which shapes a
dynamic of dependency within their development process. The two contradictory
processes coexist. Brentlinger further suggests that Nicaraguans express constant
desire to have closer relations to people from the United States to become linked.
21


People receive material aid through these social links. This suggests that there are
now more dynamic modes of dependency within development.
Newly Developing and Traditional Communities
Hammond (1989) states, Making a virtue of necessity,... problems force
the people of the asentamientos (resettlement camps) to rely on their own
resources... and... depend crucially on the contribution of nonprofessionals and
volunteers (p. 31). Development funds have recently become more available to
involuntary displacement or resettlement of people due to (1) direct state action for
development projects, (2) refugee movements from war- or political persecutions,
and (3) natural disaster damage relief from droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes, and
floods, in which people are forced to leave or are left without homes or land and are
in need of a place to reside. Shami (1993) defines population displacement as the
process of collective dislocation and/or settlement of people away from their normal
habitat by a superior force (p. 5). Those affected are experiencing the opportunity
to rebuild on new land donated by NPOs and NGOs. Shami furthers this,
focusing on long-term social implications rather than relief and emergency
measures highlights the roles played by displaced peoples in development strategies
and postwar reconstruction (p. 5). These communities are prime candidates for the
receipt of further international funding for new home construction, electricity,
latrines, and potable water projects in response to poverty-tom conditions, and the
22


help supplied is used in obtaining the most basic of necessities. Hammond (1989)
states, Rudimentary houses and muddy paths make new asentimientos
(resettlement camps) appear dreary. But they soon take on the look of thriving
small communities, as people complete their houses and plant gardens (p. 27).
According to migration theory, various types of migration movements have
been regarded in the literature to be by-products of development and modernization,
which were seen as opportunities to modernize isolated and rural traditional
communities through integration into larger populations (Pryor 1975, Lewis 1982,
Woods 1982). People are dislocated due to nature-tom and poverty stricken
environments or other development projects that require resettlement because the
community is in the path of projects, such as dams. Case studies showed high
human costs and increasingly more development organization involvement, and a
trend away from migration theory (Breokensha and Scudder 1968, Colson 1971,
Fahim 1968, Silverman 1971, Cemea 1994). Natural disaster displacement, war
victims, and development relocation was explored in the context of involuntary
migration (Hansen and Oliver-Smith 1982, Loizos 1981, Olson 1979).
Displacement becomes a process in which dislocation and resettlement are
complimentary rather than distinct themes, in which various forces evolving before,
during, and after people actually migrate (Shami 1993, Scudder 1976).
There are social implications of displacement. The impact on age, gender,
geography, and social aspects vary in resettlement strategy. According to Scudder
23


(1976) multi-dimensional stress includes physiological, psychological, and
sociocultural problems, in which people go through a period of reconciliation to
their irreversible loss and change. Murphy (1985) adds to this terming behavior as
helplessness. Hammond (1989) concurs, An emergency mentality also hampers...
action (31). Relocated populations often cling to familiar rituals and traditions.
During this phase, relocated peoples are intolerant of innovations or modernization
methods (Scudder 1976, Oliver 1981). This focus on physical and social recovery
of community represents the strong role of economic and social strategies from
social ties, kinship, and family in dealing with change in both traditional and newly
developing communities. Scudder (1976) speaks of reintroduction of aspects
within the traditional rituals and symbols into the displaced community as new
expressions for identity in their emerging environment. However, in relocated
communities, these strategies are affected by the peoples perception of their
displacement situation as temporary or permanent. This is important in defining the
success of integration into host societies (Shami 1993). The physical implications
of displacement are rudimentary housing, lack of production, infectious disease due
to crowded temporary housing, material shortages, economic mismanagement and
organization, infertile land, and poverty (Hammond 1989).
These resettlement issues are not new to Nicaragua and have an impact on
the country. According to Hammond (1989), approximately ten percent of
Nicaraguas population was displaced in refugee settlements during the Contra War.
24


Relocation during this period of time was often used to implement revolutionary
strategies to aid in the governments political and military process. Another purpose
was to produce agriculture. Because men were often away from the communities to
defend the country, women took a more active role in participation within the
communities and the farming. In the resettlement communities, Hammond explains
that teachers educated children by day and adults by night. Medical care was often
provided by a nurse or aid and health brigade representatives. Hammond further
states that for the displaced people in Nicaragua, the new environment was often
problematic. They have been uprooted overnight from their homes and
possessionswhich were meager to start withto a new, strange place. Used to
extreme isolation, they now have neighbors a few meters away in every direction.
Having always worked independently, they must learn to cooperate (p. 29).
Currently, there are resettlement communities in northern and eastern Nicaragua in
response to Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
Traditional societies are assumed to be rural, isolated, disease-ridden,
ignorant, and backward (Pryor 1975, Lewis 1982, Woods 1982, Al-Jameel 1966).
Brentlinger (1995) states that traditional communities are primitive, which signifies
a culture in existence before western domination, and therefore lacks the civilized
influence of European standards. Brentlinger further defines native as a lack of
sophistication and education. Other assumptions suggest that traditional societies
are nomadic, with mythical and superstitious rituals (Scudder 1976). Often
25


considered to be colonial, they use social strategies of kinship and family ties as
support. Members are usually poor, depending upon economic networks within the
kinship (Burt 1993). There is a set leadership in place, and the community has
experience together, using local ties, family, and kinship networks and businesses to
cope with changes and upheavals (Shami 1993, Fukuyama 2002)). Men are seen as
leaders, whereas the traditional place for women was in the home (Hammond 1989).
Development goals aim to alleviate the poverty in traditional societies, as well as
modernize traditional peoples.
Conclusion
The importance of development projects in Central America, and
specifically in Nicaragua, has become significant due to decreased economic
stability, increased poverty, and damages incurred from natural disasters in this area.
Development projects have existed in varying forms throughout history, and has
seen an evolution in focus from monetary and technical training to the inclusion of a
social aspect and use of local knowledge as a method to broaden and sustain
development and alleviate poverty.
Participation is an effective tool for social change and community
development. The stages of participatory development start with investment and
build toward independent decision-making, and on to empowerment and
sustainability. Community members mobilize for political justice and social
26


equality in an effort to accomplish public action for change regarding important
issues to them. People demonstrate an interest in problems that affect them and,
through support from and involvement with others, have created and molded society
as we see it today. This further leads to personal empowerment and community
sustainability. The active participation of society members and organizations has
experienced various successful outcomes in promoting social change. There is
power behind such participatory processes and action, but it can also lead to issues
of dependency. In traditional societies, although considered to be isolated and
backward, members use participation in their daily strategies with family ties.
Within resettlement communities, participation is used to recover the community
and establish their new environment. People use traditional methods of living to
reconstruct their new community and give them a sense of identity. This is
intertwined with skills learned via participation with foreign donors: a new
resourcefulness and a dependency to achieve their needs. It is now imperative that
we understand the impacts of participatory development on local beneficiaries in
traditional and newly developing communities, and how they are changing and
adapting to this form of international assistance.
27


CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY
In order to understand the impacts of participatory development on rural
communities, I conducted fieldwork in Nicaragua from August to December, 2001
and February to March, 2002. The focus of my investigation was one traditional
rural community and one newly created rural community in the Jalapa Valley that
were both involved in participatory development projects. The purpose of my
research was to understand and rethink the role and impact of participation in the
development process. This was guided by several research questions.
Research Questions
My research was guided by the following questions: 1) When people feel
that a development project is important to them and they want it in their community,
do they invest in it?; 2) Does active participation encourage people to be creative
players and decision-makers?; 3) Do people become empowered when they are
actively participating and involved?; 4) Are projects more likely to be sustained and
maintained efficiently by the community without foreign assistance due to active
participation, personal investment, and individual empowerment?; and 5) In
traditional societies, is there a set leadership in place for decision-making?
28


The Study
I used a purposive sample to study. The two communities that were chosen,
Champiney and El Trapiche, represent traditional rural and newly created rural
communities in Nicaragua that I believed would yield a comprehensive
understanding of the valley, its people, and the projects there. According to the
literature review mentioned in Chapter Two, a traditional society is rural and
isolated, with a kinship network, in which there is a set leadership, and is
established with various economic and class levels. El Trapiche represented a
traditional and existing community within the criteria, whereas Champiney was a
newly developing community without set leadership, experience, or infrastructure in
place currently. Its inhabitants were displaced due to Hurricane Mitch and its after-
affects of to a lack of previous housing. For these reasons and according to the
literature, El Trapiche and Champiney represented opposite ends of the spectrum in
which I could effectively study a traditional and a newly developing community.
The interview respondents were selected from a sample of the local members of
both communities to represent a range of social class, professions, education levels,
and individual status within the community. A more detailed description of the
communities and respondents is included in Chapter Four.
29


In order to collect data, I used various qualitative research methods,
including semi-structured interviews, participant observation, daily field notebook
records, and secondary data analysis. Upon collection, I systematically recorded the
information gathered from the above-mentioned qualitative methods for future
analysis. Babbie (1995) notes that these forms of field research are relevant and
appropriate for topics that are not easily quantifiable and are used to make initial
observations, discover background information, and create general conclusions
regarding issues and further research.
The qualitative methods used in this study are considered to yield data high
in validity but low in reliability and generalizability. The information from this
study, therefore, should be considered suggestive and exploratory, and not definitive
in nature.
Project Interviews and Information Review
I began my study by investigating the existing projects in both communities.
I gathered information systematically on the details of each project in order to
understand its mission, funding, who brought it to the community, size,
involvement, and it benefits or barriers to the community. Using informal
interviews, I spoke to community leaders, the Jalapa mayor, and other key
informants in the Valley to obtain information, written contracts, and details of each
project. During the interviews and discussions, I wrote notes, words, and phrases
30


that would let me remember the major ideas of the conversation. At this stage, I
also obtained secondary data, which included community project proposals,
organizational giants, meeting notes, and correspondence records. These records
and data were obtained from helpful employees at the mayors office in Jalapa,
project representatives, and community leaders. I, then, wrote the details of each
project in my field notebook, and later used this information to create my interview
guideline. All information was referenced to the projects.
Participant Observation
This research method constitutes the majority of my study. For three
months, I spent time in each community in order to gain rapport with the members
and get a sense of the daily routine and the local life there. I involved myself in the
communities by physically helping with the various projects, talking informally to
everyone I met, purchasing snacks from local vendors, and attending community
meetings.
Using my field notebook, I kept daily notes on the days activities, any
conclusions and impressions of each of the events, and my thoughts on various
people, places, or things that had occurred to me that day. All information was
logged by date and referenced to the community in which it took place.
I went to community meetings on an invitation basis. In total, I attended five
community meetings in Champiney and El Trapiche, all regarding existing or
31


upcoming development projects. The format was always a lecture and discussion
style. When attending these events, I used a meeting profile that had been
developed prior to doing my research (see Appendix A). Through observation of
the meetings, I systematically collected the information on who was in attendance,
who spoke in public, gender issues, class issues, who held the meeting, the goal of
the meeting, its organizational structure, duration, and results. The information
collected was then recorded in my field notebook to be used in analysis. I tape-
recorded the first meeting at the consent of the members. However, due to the
constant talking of multiple attendees, the recording was loud and impossible to
understand or transcribe. For all other meetings, I recorded information by hand.
Community Interviews
In addition to participant observation and collecting information on the
various projects, I conducted semi-structured, open-ended interviews with various
members of both communities (see Appendices B & C). I interviewed fourteen
respondents from each town, 28 in total. Each respondent was asked the same
questions. I interviewed each respondent two times, each interview lasting
approximately forty-five minutes to two hours. The respondents were chosen in a
purposive manner in order to yield a comprehensive understanding of the situation: I
was looking for representation of varying social status and class, education levels,
participation activities, and professions. I included in my study from both
32


communities at least three members of the leadership board, one teacher,
respondents who were not involved in various projects, storeowners, housemothers,
single women, and laborers. All interviews were held in or around the home of the
respondent. Many were held while sitting inside the home if there was space, or
outside on plastic chairs by then- doors. In Champiney, some of the interviews were
done on the cement foundations of the houses being built in Champiney, whereas in
El Trapiche, we sat on their covered dirt porches. One interview in Champiney with
a housewife was held in her convenience store as she attended to customers.
Another was held in an office, connected to the home, and one El Trapiche man
requested that the interview be held in one of the community leaders home.
Nearly every respondent was visited at least once before the interview date,
usually accompanied or advised by the community leaders. This was an
introduction visit to discuss what was going to happen and gain rapport. I was
unable to meet seven respondents before the initial interview due to lack of
coordination or availability in our schedules or because I met the respondents at the
first interview.
I requested that each respondent read and sign a consent form at the
beginning of the first interview. All initial visits, consent forms, and interviews
were conducted in Spanish, the official language of Nicaragua. Because not many
people speak English in the Jalapa Valley, I started each conversation in Spanish,
and nobody tried to communicate with me in English or any language other than
33


Spanish. If respondents could not read or write, I read it to them, and they signed or
had a family sign for them. They were given a choice to record the interviews. Ten
respondents agreed, and I tape-recorded the interviews with them. I also wrote
notes, words, and phrases along with the tape-recording, in order to later log
thoughts and impressions of the interview. One respondent agreed to tape the
interviews, and some of the discussion was recorded successfully. However, he
decided at a later point that he felt more comfortable with not taping the rest of the
inteiviews and therefore I have limited taped information from this respondent. One
tape from another respondent was somehow destroyed in the transfer and travel
process, but my notes and transcriptions from both interviews have remained intact.
For the respondents that disagreed to taping the interviews, I scribbled their answers
by hand, using phrases, words, sentences, and ideas to record their experiences.
The first round of interviews consisted of questions regarding the five
participatory development processes that the literature denotes: investment,
decision-making, empowerment, sustainability, and leadership. Also included in
this interview were personal perspectives and importance of participation and
development. The second round of interviews were conducted to clarify
information obtained in the first round of interviews and to fill any gaps in detail
that had not yet been answered. The second interview also contained several
questions pertaining to the new dependency that I had seen emerge from the first
34


interviews. Like the first round, the second interviews were conducted in or around
respondent homes. ............
For many of the interviews, the key respondent was accompanied by family
members, friends, and passers-by. Often these people would inject their opinions
into the conversation or answer the question before the chosen respondent, and this
often influenced the answer of the key respondent. However, in this society where
everybody is around constantly, it was inappropriate for me to ask these extra
people to leave the interview and the key respondents did not ever do that either.
Therefore, the answers by anybody other than the chosen respondent were recorded
and noted in the interview log. I also redirected the same question to the respondent
again to ensure that I received a response from the intended person.
All respondents were willing to be a part of the study with me, although
several men and women were quite shy, making such comments as they hoped they
could answer my questions appropriately, be helpful to my research, and help in the
understanding of the development processes. Over one half of them asked if they
had given me good information or if they had helped me when the first interview
was completed. I reassuringly told them they had good stories and information to
share. They all seemed less timid and anxious in the second interviews. There was
only one person that agreed to do the interviews with me, but when I arrived at her
home to conduct the first one, she had changed her mind, and decided to not
participate in the study because she was shy and unsure of how she could help me.
35


As quickly as possible after each interview, I took some time to write my
impressions, reactions, and thoughts of the time spent together. For all interviews, I
systematically translated and transcribed the information, both from the recordings
if these were applicable and from my notes for every interview. Each respondent
was assigned a number in order to maintain confidentiality in the study.
Data Analysis
All of the information was filed into one of seven categories, based on the
five research questions, the emerging trend, and demographics and background
information. All of the information and responses for a particular respondent were
kept together and each individual was put into a community file. All files were kept
in a computer spreadsheet. This technique of filing made cross-referencing and data
analysis more manageable.
I referred to my original questions in order to make sense of and analyze the
collected and filed data. I looked for any information from the interviews,
observations, and secondary analysis that would answer or negate each question,
and identified responses that spoke toward or against the emerging trend that I had
observed and had shaped my research questions. Similarities and differences per
community in the data and responses were identified in order to understand the
norms and general principles of the Jalapa Valley societies. I also looked for further
impacts and trends that emerged within the development context.
36


CHAPTER 4
BACKGROUND AND CASE STUDIES
The History
To understand today's overwhelming poverty, dependence, and development
issues in Nicaragua, it is necessary to be familiar with the region's history. Central
Americas history is based upon natural and human resources, in which labor,
supplies, and communities have been subject to control and subjugation of foreign
and internal governments and markets. This background is an integral factor in
understanding the current situation and possible development methods for the
present and the future.
The Spanish conquest in Central America was the search for resources, land,
and fame. Upon arrival, the Spanish conquistadors overcame the native Americans,
due to their organizational strength, advanced weapons, diseases causing a sickness
and death among the native peoples, slave raiding that depleted the native
populations, and attacks on the native agricultural and commercial systems.
The conquistadors put into place a system of class structure and domination
through paid tribute. Spain controlled labor, trade, commodity prices, and exports,
while introducing foreign crops. New food production and raw materials shifted the
37


economic and political conditions of the conquered. This created dependence on the
Spanish crown. As Wolf (1997) explains about native Americans,
Abandoning their own subsistence activities, they became specialized
laborers in a putting-out system, in which the entrepreneurs advanced both
production goods and consumption goods against commodities to be
delivered in the future. Such specialization tied the native Americans more
firmly into continent-wide and international networks of exchange, as
subordinate producers rather than partners (p. 194).
This cycle reshaped the domains of the New World.
The Spanish Crown increasingly transferred lands and labor to agricultural
entrepreneurs, granting trusteeships that employed Indian tributes and labor for
landholder interests in exchange for Christianizing the natives. Royal officials
oversaw this system. Haciendas and large landowners superceded the trusteeships,
becoming less dependent on royal officialdom, and instead owners in full control of
land and labor for meeting demands. Indian communities grew around the
periphery of centralized haciendas.
Native elites introduced coffee to Central America in the mid 1800's for
export trade. This industry relied heavily upon ownership of large amounts of land,
concentrated in the hands of a few, and intense cheap physical labor by the
oppressed native classes. Coffee production dispossessed local peasants and Indian
farmers from their lands, legislating communal landholdings out of existence.
tli
The banana industry was also introduced in Central America in the late 19
century. Largely foreign owned, they invested in public utilities and land,
38


squeezing out local growers and displacing communal landholdings. Banana
companies employed natives to work the land, created local entrepreneurs, and
controlled the local politics.
External powers continued to pursue economic, political, and security
resources and interests within Central America. Europe, in particular, Spain and
England, ruled the Central American isthmus until 1821, until the formal
independence of the provinces. The United States became involved in Latin
American foreign policy in the early 19the century, when it promoted a
transisthmian canal and took action as the principal power to protect the western
hemisphere by signing the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. Foreign and local elite's
control the political system and gain income from export of products for
consumption by them, not the masses. Therefore, the common citizen is not
important as a consumer, but is rather cheap and vulnerable labor. Changes to
benefit the masses would result in economic dislocation and personal sacrifices.
Booth and Walker (1999) define dependency as a "complex political, economic, and
social phenomenon serving to block development of the majority in privilege-
dominated third world countries with heavily externally-oriented economies in.
which the benefits of economic growth do not trickle down to the majority" (p. 15).
A system of power and control had been established, with imperialism and free
market economy in place, shaping and reinforcing the domination/subordination
cycle into the present situation.
39


Modes of adaptation and rebellion emerged from this system (Rogers 1983,
McCamant 1968). The roots of conflict encompass lowered income, unequal
distribution of wealth and land, and a general lowered living standard.
Nicaragua is a unique case in Central American history. It has experienced a
change from a dictatorship and violent conflict, to a revolution and alternative
government, United States opposition, and finally to relative democratic
reformation. Within Nicaragua, President Zelaya (1893-1909) negotiated with
several foreign powers for a canal. In response, the US encouraged opposition, and
put into place puppet governments within Nicaragua. In 1927, Augusto Sandino
resisted US occupation within the country. Anastasio Somoza and the National
Guard killed Sandino at the negotiation table in 1934, taking power until 1979.
Under the family regime, although violent and corrupt, Nicaragua experienced rapid
agricultural modernization and export expansion in the 1960's and 70's. The
country's growth per capita grew, but inflation soared. The gap between the rich
and the poor grew drastically, while unemployment increased and people lost their
homes in the 1972 earthquake. Land and wealth became investments intertwined
with the Somoza family business, while the economy deteriorated. Opposition
against the government was formed, to which Somoza Debayle responded with a
declaration of a state of siege in 1974.
Popular uprisings among middle classes and peasant farmers and laborers
strove to end the bloody regime. The Sandinista Front for National Liberation
40


(FSLN), also known as Sandinistas, was formed by the union of insurrection and
guerilla groups. Forming coalitions with all opposition parties and organizations,
the FSLN received financial, organizational, and human resources for its cause. On
July 19, 1979, the Sandinistas overthrew Somoza, putting into place a revolutionary
government, emphasizing in participatory government, social and economic
reforms, and electoral systems. The Reagan administration began a policy of
pressure against the Sandinistas. The multifaceted campaign to undermine the
FSLN government via the Contra War killed the economy and Nicaragua was
unable to support itself. The Sandinistas lost to Violeta Chamorro in a democratic
election in 1990.
During the military regimes and authoritarian rule in the 1970's and 80's,
there was uneven growth as the shift from agricultural production to industrial
manufacturing increased. Export prices for major commodities dropped sharply in
the late 1970s and early 1980s, and the ensuing region-wide recession disrupted
production, scared away foreign capital, deteriorated living conditions, and
stimulated class conflict and reforms. Central American governments accumulated
huge foreign debt loans. With their eroding economies, they were forced into neo-
liberal structural adjustment programs. Steps taken in these rigid economic
programs include the balancing of public budgets by cutting service subsidies,
downsizing government employees, privatizing state-owned enterprises,
deregulating the private sector, devaluing currencies, and reducing tariff barriers.
41


These programs have brought price stability, improved trade, and decreased
inflation in Latin America, but have also increased the disparity between the
wealthy and impoverished, and have created more social and economic inequalities.
Structural programs are still in effect presently.
Green (1997) focuses on social, environmental, and urban issues that have
emerged from the historical process experienced in Central America. Commodity
trade, raw materials, and human resources drove colonial expansion and increased
the dependency of foreign power, shaping today's Latin America. Roads, bridges,
railroads, and telecommunications were built in the region in order to develop the
commodity trade. However, the overuse of people, land, and resources has had
enormous social and environmental affects on Latin America, demonstrating such
characteristics as extreme land erosion, loss of fertility in crop production, displaced
rural farmers, high death rates and illness, and the loss of self-sufficiency.
The Setting
Bordering on Honduras and Costa Rica (See Figure 1.1), Nicaragua is the
largest country in Central America, with a population of 4,918, 393 as of July, 2001.
Fifty-eight percent of its population is between the ages of 15 and 64 years, and the
life expectancy rate for the total population is 69 years of age. The literacy of the
total population is 65.7%. Its land use is split between permanent pastures, crops,
and forests and woodlands, with only 9% arable land. Nicaraguas cash crops are
42


coffee, cotton, sugar cane, bananas, and tobacco. Com, beans, and rice are primary
domestic crops. Currently, the country is experiencing serious deforestation due to
pests, soil erosion, and water pollution.
The country is characterized by economic instability, land tenancy problems,
illiteracy, instability within national institutions and a lack of support from the
government. These components affect the participation in development projects.
Other physical problems, such as the vulnerability to weather conditions and natural
disasters, threaten the success of development in Nicaragua. In 1998, Hurricane
Mitch destroyed homes, property, and crops. This year, an expected dry season due
to El Nino could be costly to the agricultural sector of rural Nicaragua.
Another issue that affects participation in development is the poverty in
Nicaragua. Poverty motivates social and economic change due to the decline in
living conditions, but it is not a natural or inevitable state (Booth and Walker 1999,
LaFeber 1993). According to the 1997 Human Development Report, poverty is
defined by three perspectives: the income perspective, the poverty line where the
income or the expenditure level is below minimum, and adequate diet and
requirements are unaffordable; the basic needs perspective, in which poverty is die
deprivation of requirements for minimally acceptable fulfillment of human needs,
including food, which goes beyond die lack of private income, and includes need for
basic services that must be provided by the community, as well as recognizing
employment and participation; and the capability perspective, in which poverty
43


represents the absence of basic abilities to function, where a person is unable to
achieve adequate nourishment, clothing, and shelter, and avoiding morbidity. This
includes participating in community life.
It is estimated that 50% of the population in Nicaragua is living below the
poverty line, with 18% making under $2.00 US dollars per day, and the
unemployment rate is currently at 20%. Nicaraguas per capita income in 2001 was
$484 US dollars, and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $2562 million US
dollars. Poverty is characterized by unequal distribution of land, lack of education,
an inadequate and scarce health system, and population increases, which prevail in
Nicaragua.
Poverty is a grave issue that negatively impacts participatory development in
Nicaragua. According to van Heck (1979), poverty prevents people from the
possibility of receiving credit, often forcing them to respond by leaving their homes
and families for employment elsewhere. Another issue of poverty is that of the
needs and expectations of the people: a project often cannot meet all of these needs,
and therefore people are at times reluctant to commit to the requirements. There is
also a tendency to not care for the land and home if the people do not own it, a
problem due to the fact that many people in Nicaragua do not hold titles to their
property. Lastly, some participate in a development project for the benefits only,
and do not invest or sustain it.
44


Jalapa is the capital of the department of Nueva Segovia in Nicaragua the
first gate to my research site. Seated in a valley, it is surrounded by mountains and
forests, but the lowlands are a hub of agricultural activity, supporting such crops as
tobacco, coffee, rice, beans, and com for export and national consumption. From
the city, one road leading to the border of Honduras serves as the main access point
to the many little communities that exist or are being created along it, such as the
two communities that I chose to study. Most of the communities have long histories
in the valley, having survived the Sandinista-Contra War during the 1980s. There
are landmarks and gravesites along the road and hillsides. The dirt highway is filled
with public transportation, cattle-driven carts, horseback riding, cars, and
pedestrians at any given time, as people commute between their communities and
Jalapa.
Case Studies
I was: first informed about Champiney through the Boulder-Jalapa
Friendship City Project (FCP) that was building a potable water project in.the new
community. Champiney was created in 1999 as a response to the displaced families
that existed in the area from Hurricane Mitch and successive foreclosures of farms
that occurred in its aftermath. The mayors office in Jalapa, in conjunction with and
financing from the French FCP of Champiney negotiated the purchase of 18
manzanas (1.5 acres approximately each), and donated the land for division and
45


distribution into individual family parcels. It is estimated that approximately 3000
people will live in Champiney once full to capacity, and currently over half of these
residents are living on their donated land in wooden shacks. In order to receive a
parcel of land, families must prove displacement from or a lack of previous property
or home.
Shortly after the land became available, and the town was named Champiney
after its donor, the first fifty families arrived. The Nicaraguan government, with
help from Taiwan, provided fifty pre-fabricated houses that were assembled in three
neat rows by the recipients in a couple of months. This led to problems between the
fifty recipient families and the other inhabitants that had arrived and were not
receiving homes..:
The Boulder-Jalapa FCP water project in Champiney began approximately a
year later, in 2000. Each family was put into one of eight squads, which rotated
work schedules on a daily basis. They acquired the proceeds and aid of the FCP
organization after applying to FCP and receiving social support from other
community leaders that had already received aid from the same organization. FCP
maintains one representative and one local foreman to organize, build, and manage
the water project.
The Office of American States (OAS) started a countrywide project of .
building adobe houses shortly after the water project commenced. After months of
planning, they started making adobe and building frames in a grid pattern.
46


However, their progress has been delayed by the rainy season, costing the
community adobe bricks, time, and community support. With this project, the
recipients are required to have a representative from each family working from 8-4
daily, except Sunday. Often due to husbands working away or excluded from the
home, women and children are left to work on the housing project. With the
rigorous daily schedule, many people are not able to work for food, and therefore,
another project provides gallons of rice, beans, com, and oil to the families. There
is much discontent among the locals regarding the OAS housing project, because of
its rigid regulations and the continued length of completion from six months to one
year. Many people have dropped from the project to build their own homes, with
great economic difficulty. However, the majority continues.
Slated for the future is a project for electricity, and another for the building
of chicken coops and pigpens. Other possibilities for development projects that
were mentioned on a community level are a coffee mill, a milk and cheese factory,
cattle space, a school and preschool, and a credit project.
Daily, the OAS managers roll into town with four-wheel drive trucks,
unlocking the storehouse doors, which house the construction materials for the
housing project. Community people arrive, crowding around its doors, and prepare
to begin another day in the sun or rain. Some women make their way to the main
public water taps. There, it is swampy and muddy due to extended use for bathing
and washing clothes. In the fifty pre-fabricated homes, residents prepare for their
47


days. Having homes already in place, each of these families are able to focus on
other basic needs, such as electricity and income-generating projects. They
continue on in their daily routines and wait for the day the projects pertinent to them
commence.
After arriving in the Jalapa Valley and welcomed by the community of
Champiney, I started to meet people from surrounding communities. One of these
was the leader of El Trapiche, a friend to the FCP representative that I worked with
in Champiney. I was invited to some meetings and educational trainings for a credit
project that was commencing in El Trapiche, and so started visiting that community
and its members. El Trapiche is a more traditional community in the sense that it
has been established for generations, with known power structures, set leadership,
organized communication channels, and people with many years of experience
living together. They are not as worried about their simple basics but are instead
looking at bettering their quality of life. Nearly all the residents in El Trapiche have
homes with walls and floors, running water taps, electricity and an established
community. Houses dot the land from the road to the mountains in an unorganized
fashion. They have a school, a health center, and a community center. There is an
organized community board, as well as a water board that manages the collection of
community fees for its maintenance.
The leader of El Trapiche has been so for years. He visits many community
members and others in order to educate them regarding new projects, possibilities
48


for future funding, and organization ideas. Every foreigner is a possible contact,
and he takes special care to include him or her in new ideas and add them to his
network.
Projects in El Trapiche have served a wide range of benefits, such as the
school, health center, potable water, latrines, and stoves. Some of these were
constructed by the community as a whole, while others consist of fewer people with
a more specific purpose. Sponsors have been the national government, FCP
organizations in Colorado and Minnesota, Reed College delegations from Oregon,
and other personal interests based on relationships with the leader and El Trapiche
families. Most members have been involved in previous projects and are friends or
contacts of the leader of El Trapiche. There is less direct participation or
representation from the community here, due to the type and size of projects, and
the level of personal need.
In El Trapiche, the current project is a credit-based loan program, funded by
a family in Colorado, and managed via a local planning and lending committee in
the community. The U.S. representative of the credit project spent six months in El
Trapiche in trainings with the local committee members, preparing them for a
sustainable project. They also built an office with a computer for the project
meeting place. In order to receive a loan, collateral must be proven, such as land
deeds, store or home titles. The money is used mainly to fund crops, with the first
of tire repayments coming due at the end of the crop seasons. However, several of
49


the loans went to store and bar owners. Many people were not included in this
project due to limited funds and relationship to the leader.
Other possible projects in El Trapiche are the repairs of the town road, the
community center roof, electricity for sectors that do not yet have it, more latrines,
more stoves, a water pump project, cattle space, improving agricultural techniques,
and maintaining the health center.
Daily in El Trapiche, families go to their respective fields to plant, irrigate,
and harvest their crops. Many people scatter to various meetings and community
boards. Some women stay home to cook food that was grown from their gardens or
on their trees, and make baskets to sell at local markets and to international
delegations that come to the area. The majority of residents in El Trapiche have
potable water taps and washing is done at home. Children in their school uniforms
walk to classes.
Respondents
In Champiney, I interviewed eight female and six male respondents. Each
was interviewed twice, originally to obtain general information regarding
participation and perspectives on development. The second interviews allowed me
to obtain more profound responses to specific questions that had not yet been
\
answered in the first interviews. All respondents were asked the same questions.
Four respondents were living in the prefabricated houses. One of these included a
50


small convenience store inside. Seven respondents were building their adobe
houses while currently living in tiny wooden shacks, and two were living in their
hand-built wood and adobe shacks, and not involved in any housing projects. One
of these hand-made houses had a small convenient store. JFour of the respondents
were from the Jalapa valley and ten came from other parts of Nicaragua. Three
respondents were in Champiney due to losses incurred by Hurricane Mitch in 1998,
one respondent bought his land from his brother, and ten reported that they were
renting and had no land or home due to lack of funds and family properties. Three
respondents earn a living by cooking food in their homes to sell in and around the
community, one is an architect, one does odd jobs to earn money, and one is a
teacher. I also included in my Champiney sample a respondent in agriculture, a
tobacco farm worker, a construction worker, two house-mothers, one that runs a
store in her home, two maids, and one guard. Two respondents were divorced, one
separated, one single, six living with mates, and four were married. The average
number of children was 4.9.
In El Trapiche, there were six female and eight male respondents. All
respondents were interviewed two times and in these, were asked the same
questions. Eleven have their own houses with land, fruit trees, and animals. One
respondent had a house with a small plot, and two had wooden shacks, in which one
of these had no land or animals. Nine of the respondents were from the valley, with
seven directly from El Trapiche, and five came from other parts of Nicaragua. Each
51


respondent had lived in EL Trapiche for more than six years. Two respondents
came to the community to be with mates, seven live on their family land, and five
came to El Trapiche looking for work in agriculture. Seven of the respondents
make a living in agriculture, one is a teacher, and one owns a small convenient store
in her home. Also included in the list of respondents are a basket maker, three
housemothers, and one tobacco farm worker. Ten are married, one single, and three
live with their mates. The average number of children is 4.8.
In the newly developing community of Champiney, people reported being
anxious about the new people moving into the community. Four respondents stated
they had problems with their new neighbors for various reasons. Only one person
stated that she knew everyone. When asked about trust within Champiney, the
overall conclusion was that many felt they could leave their homes, but from
observations in the field, most people do not leave them unattended.
Another issue for Champiney respondents was the difference in house styles:
three were prefabricate homes and the construction of adobe houses. Still others not
included in any projects were living in wooden shacks around the periphery of the
community. Some beneficiaries of the prefabricated houses admitted jealousy due
to the appearance of the adobe housing projects, but also commented that they had
not lost as much time, energy, and salary as had those involved in the latter housing
project. One respondent even commented that adobe would not hold up in a
hurricane, but the prefabricated material would endure.
52


Only one respondent in El Trapiche reported having a problem with
somebody in the community. All other respondents said they were united, amiable,
and in good relations with each other. Ten respondents stated they knew everyone
in the community. When asked about trust within the community, again the
answers were that there is a lot of trust, but not in everyone. People could leave
their homes, but from observations, the home is not usually left unattended.
Respondents from both communities were in accordance with the rest of
their neighborhoods, signifying that the needs of the people were those of their
communities. Each family was in approximately the same economic and social
situation within both communities, with similar needs and expectations. This
promotes community support of development projects.
After spending months observing, working on projects, and visiting people,
people recognized me, spoke to me on the street, and invited me into their homes. I
gained rapport and was welcomed into both communities. I interviewed a total of
twenty-eight respondents. Out of the fourteen from Champiney and fourteen from
El Trapiche, I noticed several that stood out as having certain characteristics as
defined in the development process or to possess personal qualities that are relevant
to the discussion of this thesis. I therefore have chosen a sample within my sample
of respondents to describe in more detail for the readers benefit and understanding.
I have given them false names in order to conceal the identity of the respondent and
53


maintain their confidentiality. Although the names are not, the accounts and
situations are true and correct according to my fieldwork.
In Champiney, Jorge became an ideal example of someone who incorporated
participatory development from his investment in the projects to obtaining skills and
voice from his involvement, and finally a certain degree of empowerment and some
understanding of sustainability. He was always open to speak with me. After his
wife served coffee with several teaspoons of sugar a Nicaraguan favorite we
would sit in his plastic chairs outside of the door to his small shack and talk about
projects, the community, and tell stories. He grew up in a near-by town in a poor
family, but left the area when he was thirteen years old in order to leam to read.
After years of cotton farming, Jorge joined the Sandinista army and was educated,
and managed troops in the mountains. He returned to the Jalapa valley where he
married and worked in construction. Jorge started working with foreign
delegations. Since then, he has continued working with projects, enjoys a network
of contacts, and has the knowledge and power to make decisions and sustain his
efforts. A man with a nice smile and humble manner, he is a hard worker and fights
to obtain a better living for his family and the community.
Also demonstrating someone who followed and incorporated the philosophy
of participatory development was Samuel, an older family man that moved to El
Trapiche in the early 1970s looking for work in order to provide for his family.
Earning money doing agricultural work, his family bought into a cooperative when
54


the Sandinistas came into power in 1979, which gave him titled land and the
capability to grow food. Samuel became involved in the first project in El Trapiche,
the building of the public school, funded by a Christian group from Minnesota. He
recognized the importance of organization and liked the foreign contacts he made.
He is a gentle man, and demonstrates concern for the people around him.
Manuela represents a person in Champiney that has invested in some of the
projects and has taken a part in making decisions regarding these. She also
understands something about sustainability. However, she does not display a high
level of personal empowerment or a commitment to decision-making processes for
the community, nor is sustainability an issue for her outside of the projects in which
she has played a role. However, she does use her experience to think about new
projects and solicite if the opportunity arises in front of her. Manuela is a young
grandmother living in one of the prefabricated homes. Bom in Jicaro, she moved to
the Jalapa Valley with her family when she was a child. Manuela went to school
and now ensures that her children attend as much as possible. Living together with
her family and children and divorced from her husband, she decided to apply for
one of the Champiney plots of land in order to gain some independence and have
her own home. She was one of the first families there, and has seen the changes that
have taken place in the community as it grows. Now, preparing food for sale on the
street, she provides for her family. We sat on plastic chairs in front of her house,
and shared stories. With a warm, beautiful smile, Manuela was not afraid to tell me
55


her thoughts and problems with the community, her neighbors, and the development
processes taking place there. .
Constancia of El Trapiche also represents a person that has invested in
nearly all of the projects within the community and has taken a part in making
decisions regarding these. She understands sustainability and has become
empowered to a certain degree. She has decided however, to remain outside of the
leadership roles and her commitment to decision-making and sustainability
processes are limited, and are instead roles for the project boards to take care of,
although she is aware of the importance of these. She has close contacts within the
community and project boards, which gives her the opportunity to partake in all
projects that arrive. Active in education and her church, she also takes part in the
conservation and school boards for the community. Constancias family has been in
El Trapiche for generations. She lives near family, with her husband and family in
an adobe home with a long porch that runs along her house. She belongs to a
womans artisan cooperative and is a housewife.: She.is a strong and independent
woman with a contagious laugh. We talked openly about her life in El Trapiche.
Soraya from Champiney displays characteristics of investing in projects for
need, and has attended meetings regarding these, but has largely remained outside of
the decision-making and empowerment roles, and expects the community leadership
to sustain the communal benefits other than her own belongings. She is a loyal
worker however, and sees the opportunity to gain benefits through projects. She is
56


unable to read or wiite. Also bom in Jicaro, her family did not have land or a home,
and she applied to receive a plot of land in Champiney. She now lives in a tiny
shack with her family, and is separated from her husband. She works daily on the
construction of her home, but does not take part in any leadership roles. She too
makes food to sell in the community and the Valley. I first met Soraya in the town
center of Champiney. I approached her about my study, and we sat on the raised
cement of one of the unfinished houses, in the shade and started to talk. She is an
older woman with a worn face and a realistic understanding of life in Nicaragua,
and her one goal is to get a home so she can have a guarantee of a roof over her
head and a better life. She had not had much personal contact with foreigners,
although she has been exposed to them often due to the projects in the Valley. She
asked that I share her information with the world to promote an understanding of
what life is like in Nicaragua.
Josefa is another respondent from El Trapiche that has invested in projects
and attended meetings regarding these. She takes part in decision-making, has not
incorporated an empowerment role into her life. She believes that the community
leadership is in place to sustain any communal benefits, but also expects people to
take care to maintain their own benefits and become involved in helping the
community. She believes that with support from the community, the leadership can
succeed but has no power as an individual. Originally bom in Chusli, just down the
road, Josefa came to El Trapiche to be with her mate after finishing high school.
57


She is a housewife and participates in the community. Her home is in the foothills,
a cement and adobe house with a wide front porch. She was very shy and worried
that she would be unable to answer my questions, but once started, she had no
problem in responding and felt good about helping my study.
Robexta has participated in the water project and in fact, started to work on
the housing project. However, after several months, her family had no food to eat,
and she got sick, missing too many days to be allowed to keep her house and stay in
fair standing with the rest of the members in the housing project. She is now on her
own to build her house, and currently lives in a two-room shack with a dirt floor.
She represents a person who has worked on projects if necessary, but lacks the
investment, decision-making, and empowerment processes. She does not think
about community sustainability, and barely maintains her house and family. She
works as a maid for a family in the Valley, and lives with her mate and children.
Although she reported having some friends in Champiney, she is outside of the
community development for the most part. Roberta invited me into her home, and I
sat on a wood bench as she cooked over a wood fire, holding a small baby, and
talking to me. She had difficulty understanding a couple of the questions without an
explanation, but she could read and write. My presence was strange, as she had not
had one-on-one contact with a foreigner before, especially in her home, and I was
on some level an obligation for her. However, we did end up gaining some rapport,
and she was quite willing to tell me her side of the Champiney story.
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Timoteo took part in the first latrine project that came to El Trapiche, but has
since then, remained outside of any development project. He does not invest nor
make decisions in the community or projects, and does not demonstrate a need to
sustain any communal benefits. He is not an active member of the community, but
has many people he communicates with in and around El Trapiche. He is not
dependent on anybody but himself, and for this demonstrates a sense of personal
empowerment, but feels no power outside of his home. I sat in the hammock and he
was on a wooden stool outside of his wooden shack. He lives with his wife and
children outside of the community on a small plot of land, without running water or
electricity. Although he reads and writes, he discourages his children from
attending school and his wife from taking part in community meetings or
cooperatives. He works in agriculture, working daily in the fields around the
community. He told me the only time he had spoken to foreigners was when a
group came to help build his latrine, and he enjoyed that immensely. He was very
welcoming and opened up to me easily. He is a tall man with startling blue eyes
that spoke of life experiences.
Although I do not go into detail about the rest of the people in my sample,
there are of course, other respondents that I describe or refer to as I discuss the
issues of my study. My overall impression of, and something I believe to be
important to mention about, the people in Champiney, El Trapiche, and the Jalapa
Valley is that they are a warm and welcoming people with an intermixed culture of
59


traditional heritage and savvy entrepreneurs. They are simply trying to make ends
meet in a world in which they do not have much, if any, national support or
economic comforts, and are reliant upon the weather, nature, and all that these
bring, as well as the other people who make up and act as a citizens support
network in the valley. This network of family is incorporated into foreign dealings
and guides much of how business gets done. Each person played an important role
in relaying what community life in Champiney and El Trapiche is like to me, and
how people there are impacted by the processes of participatory development.
The community leaders played an important role in my research. Originally
in the Jalapa Valley to help build part of the water system with an FCP delegation, I
met two of the leaders in Champiney through the on-site U.S. representative on the
first day in the community. I also met two of the leaders in El Trapiche through the
same FCP representative. After some time spent observing both communities, these
leaders introduced me to other leaders and respondents, and suggested who in the
community may fit into the profile I was looking for, whether it be a teacher,
housewife, or agricultural farm worker. Upon my request and in all sincerity, the
leaders chose people from their communities that represented projects from both
towns, as well as those that disagreed with or were not involved in projects or
community activities. However, it must be said that the leaders influence on my
study is great in that they provided the doors to open to the majority of my
respondents and although I knew several people through my observations, many of
60


the members of the community participated in my study without question at the
request of their leader, and no other reason.
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CHAPTER 5
FINDINGS
My original idea for research in Nicaragua was to study the community
participation efforts of the FCP water project in Champiney. I had an interest in the
positive affects of participation outlined by the existing participatory development
literature on the people, and this project reflected what I thought was to be a truly
representative project: the people had organized within the community to ask for
assistance to obtain a basic need within the community: potable water. I was
interested in this because the case was not a foreign power coming into the
community and assuming the peoples needs, but instead the community
acknowledged this need and invited the help via the means of an organized water
board that represented the community as a whole. However, when I arrived in the
Jalapa valley, and started spending time in Champiney, I noticed from the first day
the organized begging of various members from the community. They united as a
group to ask for financial help for any enterprise possible. Financial assistance was
expected, and the people solicited for money. Instead of seeing an organized
invitation to enter the community for a specific need that was recognized by the
community members, I noticed the organized process of soliciting and accepting
any benefits offered. In the process of development, instead of meeting peoples
62


needs, it became apparent that they instead articulated their needs in terms of what
development was capable of offering. This was not representative of the
expectations of participatory development and sustainability.
As mentioned in Chapter Two, the literature regarding participatory
development revolves around development that includes local knowledge,
experience and culture when researching, planning and overseeing projects. The
theory behind it is that when the local people are involved in the decision to do a
project, and when the project is considered to be needed by the community, it is
more favorably accepted and people become involved in decision-making and
planning processes. With this, development advocates learn about local knowledge
that is beneficial to the success of the project, and the locals become invested and
take ownership of what is occurring in their community. This investment and
commitment should lead to sustainability of the project. The participation process
should also lead to personal and group empowerment, having taken part in a project,
and feeling personal success at its completion. This in turn should lead to increased
participation in future projects and community decisions, education, and leadership
within the community and furthered actions in dying to improve their own situation,
depending less on outside and foreign help. I wasnt seeing this but I was not sure
why.
Therefore, I decided to study the impacts of participatory development by
comparing two communities, a traditional community that represents the
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expectations of the literature, and a newly developing community that is not yet
represented in the participatory development literature. I wanted to know if the
participatory development process was similar in its expectations and impacts in
both types of communities.
My original research questions regarding the participation and perceptions of
people in the potable water project evolved into other questions regarding the
impacts of all the varying projects in the Champiney and how this newly developing
community was dealing with the development funds as it emerged into existence.
Babbie (1995) notes, The field researcher... can continually modify the research
design as indicated by the observations... or changes in what he or she is studying
(p. 297). At that point, I decided to study both the developing and the traditional
society to understand any differences between the two in regards to participatory
development and the new dependency of the people on development sponsorship.
The final research questions emerged from my observations of the two communities
and how certain characteristics within them differed from the expectations of
contemporary participatory development advocates and literature. Therefore, I
designed my study and questions to examine the participatory phases and its end
results in the development process.
According to the participatory literature, the participatory development
process consists of stages reached when skills are obtained and provide the
capability of using them in a meaningful way. From this literature, I expected to
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find that: 1) people invest in development projects when it is important to them and
they want it in their community; 2) once invested, active participation encourages
people to be creative players and decision-makers; 3) using skills to make decisions
and be creative players in the community, people become empowered when they are
actively participating and involved; 4) due to active participation, personal
investment, and individual empowerment, projects are more likely to be sustained
and maintained efficiently by the community without foreign or outside assistance;
and 5) in traditional societies, there is an established leadership in place for
decision-making.
Theoretical Perspectives
Investment
What makes something important enough to participate in it, to take time
from the urgent needs of daily living in an economically deprived country, and give
of oneself to acquire it? The first stage of participatory development is personal
investment. From the research conducted, few people involve themselves in
something that does not reflect a personal need, obligation, or desire. People invest
their time, energy, materials, and money when they believe the project is beneficial
to fulfill a personal need. However, the importance of a project does not always
equate to investment in it. Depending on needs, the relationship with others
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involved in the planning and implementation of the project, limited resources, and
obtainable project goals and work schedules, some respondents implied that
investment in a project is not always possible for them. The project benefits were
still very important, however some were unable to comply with the required
participation schedules and did not invest in the project. One of the first stages of
participatory development is the investment of the project and all it entails: work,
time, and problem solving. In order to invest, people have to believe it is an
important and worthy project to them. People invest when the benefit is a need
being fulfilled, in which people have the basics to live comfortably and they look
forward to projects that can either bring them money or repair existing benefits and
structures.
The first research question asked when people feel a project is important and
they want it in their community, do they invest in it? This question was determined
by a subset of questions regarding perceptions of the importance of the projects and
the types of investment required to complete them. Results suggest projects are
important when they fulfill a personal or community need. Jorge commented on the
Champiney projects, All are important fundamentals... to have direct change. In
Champiney, all respondents talked about the past, current, and most of the future
projects were necessary for the survival of the community: land with titles, housing
and materials, potable water, electricity, a cheese and milk factory, trees, a school, a
preschool, a health center, and latrines. One respondent suggested a coffee mill,
66


while another remarked, I want a credit project, some financing for a business for
women... so my wife can sell her crafts. She could make some money. Roberta
stated, a project for animals is important. Chickens, pigs, and cattle would help us
with food... we need to have work in die barrio. The importance of animals and
credit was confirmed by several other respondents.
The three most important projects to the respondents were water, with 100%
support, houses (n=13), and electricity (n=9). These numbers show a consolidation
for the importance of the projects. Soraya, the small older woman sitting on the
cement foundation of her unfinished house, summed up the sentiment of the
community, We can not live without houses and water. Manuela, the outspoken
woman living in a prefabricated house remarked, with clean water in our houses,
we will have no more river washing. Another respondent talked about the
importance of electricity in the community, We will be able to have refrigerators
and coolers. Our stores can stay open at night because with light it will be safer for
the people. A young single mother furthered the issue of importance for
electricity, we will have less disturbances from drunks... I think we have a lot of
drinking because there is nothing else to do when .it is dark and we do not have
light. Jorge confirmed the priority of the projects and their importance, Water and
houses are imperative. After these, I can work more calmly on the electricity... it is
greatly important, but also something we have lived without for a long time now.
Each project signifies essential basic needs for personal and communal purposes,
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and all Champiney respondents (n=14) represented these projects as worthy and
important for investment..
In El Trapiche, all respondents mentioned current or future projects that
were needed to help alleviate some of the pressure of poverty and needs within the
community: electricity to various sectors, road penetration from the mountains to
transport market goods, roof repairs to the community building, to obtain a medic
and supplies for the community health center, new latrines for more people, a
preschool, potable water in the high mountains, a credit project, and more wood-
burning stoves with chimney filtration. A friendly young mother wanted to see a
school fence, the school is right on the road. I worry about the children. Another
respondent stated, I would like to see financial aid for education, you know, help
with clothes and supplies and adult classes.
The three most important projects according to the respondents were
electricity (n=12), health center maintenance (n=5), and new and repaired latrines
(n=5). A young man who is active in the community explained, All [projects] are
important and good. Electricity is important because I am hooked up illegally... we
borrow our electricity from next door. Many respondents confirmed this need.
Samuel commented on the health center, the health center is very important here.
We have this new building from a past project, and nothing in it.. .we need to
control it5. Josefa, through her shyness, confirmed this issue, my daughter is a
nurse. The projects represent basic needs for personal or community benefits not
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yet acquired, and all respondents (n=14) signified their importance for investment.
However, people demonstrated more variation in their need priorities within the
community of El Trapiche.
The importance of projects however, does not necessarily signify or equate
to investment. Two respondents from Champiney were not involved in any housing
project, but were involved in the water project. One respondent from El Trapiche
was not involved in any project, and one had been involved in a project in the past,
but neither were currently a part of projects in the community. Seven El Trapiche
respondents stated the importance of projects but were not invested in them due to
their exclusion by leaders. Timoteo from El Trapiche commented on the
importance of some projects, but he could not afford to invest so much required
time in them. He explained, Some projects take too long to finish. I lose money
when I have to commit to long projects. He gestured to his many children, I have
a family to feed. No, we do not take part in it [projects]... [economic] decisions are
too often forgotten in the benefits. Roberta in Champiney, looking at her dirt floor,
confirmed this, we were part of the housing project. We wanted help with a home.
But, they require us to work all day, every day, and we did not eat. We got sick and
missed too many days. The requirements for projects are often too economically
draining and physically demanding for the participants to comply with and
complete, or community relationships inhibit active participation.
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Another deciding factor for the importance of projects and peoples
investment in them is the duration of each project. Champiney is a community in
which the members have devoted nearly all of their time to large-scale projects.
These benefit the majority of the community but cost them large amounts of time
and labor in the process. For this, nine respondents stated that short projects were
preferred because they could see the benefits sooner, they did not lose much time
and salary with the requirements, people are not as negatively affected, and there is
less work. Manuela stated, There is less work to do and there are more resources
you can save for food. You gain a salary sooner too. Another respondent
confirmed the preference of shorter projects, they get things going to finish with
results. Five respondents preferred longer projects, because they covered the
majority of people due to larger funds, longer time, more benefits and education,
possibilities for earning money, and more value in the barrio. One respondent
explained, they bring more to the barrio, they are bigger in value. Another
respondent commented, if you can make money doing it, then there is more time to
earn. Jorge concluded, longer projects are more ample, but shorter ones cost less.
They are both veiy important. However, all Champiney respondents included in
the long-term housing project complained that they had suffered greatly, and several
would have looked for other housing options if they had known how long and
difficult it was going to be for them.
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Results from El Trapiche were the opposite: five respondents preferred
shorter projects for the same reasons mentioned above. One respondent added, in
long projects, there is a possibility of running out of money and leaving it
unfinished. Nine respondents preferred longer projects because people could
advance more, there are higher levels of involvement, increased coverage to the
community, more investment required to finish the work, satisfying aesthetic
appearance, more time in the project, and more opportunities to work and make
contacts. Samuel stated, if projects are longer, people work more and get more
involved. They advance more. Timoteo furthered this, there is more to get.
Another respondent said, more people are guaranteed work. For the majority of
El Trapiche respondents, projects that are longer give people the opportunity to
invest themselves with others, participate in its end results, and become more
invested and caring in the community. As seen by their development history, this
community continues to experience short projects that cover only a minority of the
people, and thus for them, important projects would be those with wider outreach.
Respondents defined three types of importance: 1) social importance, in
which they invested because they would obtain social rewards, 2) material benefits,
in which their needs would be fulfilled, and 3) community poverty alleviation, in
which the community would experience a better level of living. When asked what
makes a project important, common responses in both communities were the
organized union of people, the mutual cooperation to fulfill their needs, the goal to
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alleviate some of the poverty that exists there, the visibility for Nicaragua and its
people, to improve well being, and to accomplish something when the community
cannot get help on their own. Samuel explained, projects are able to give answers
to the needs here, and Jorge confirmed, they give us the ability to run with the
many needs here. Another respondent summed, they offer good administration,
and they do not distinguish between people. There is help for everyone... an
organized union.
The various foims of participation the people are required to invest are
imperative in understanding if projects are worthy of investment. This topic speaks
to issues of what peoples investment means to them, as well as relays the level of
investment they commit to themselves and the project, hi response to the kind of
investment required to complete a project, the majority of the respondents in
Champiney (n=10) said that physical labor was required. One respondent summed
this sentiment, ... we can not give anything else. Four other respondents, along
with labor, stated that the investment required to get a project done was the
solicitation of further projects, financial support of foreign organizations,
organization of the projects and the community, and to be at the disposal of
whatever project may come. Jorge confirmed this, Time is a fundamental part... to
be disposed to help, more than anything else. Another respondent commented, I
keep looking for projects, take into account what we need, and keep participating.
Two respondents suggested that an investment would be via personal financing or a
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community fund. Labor is the investment that is required by the masses to actually
complete the project.
In El Trapiche, respondents (n=l 1) also stated that physical labor was the
investment required to complete a project. A poor ragged woman with no shoes
explained, I can not give anything else. I am too poor... nothing but work.
Timoteo furthered this response, labor is all one can give. However, other
suggestions given were the investment of time, ideas, the donation of material goods
when possible, support of international organizations, and solicit future projects.
One respondent suggested that a community union or a working board be created as
the branch of investment, and one respondent stated, money is a form of
investment. Samuel summed what investment is to him and the community, To
donate materials. To provide the actions of your own hands and participate... and
to solicite for more support. The findings here suggest that people are willing to
work on projects to acquire the needed benefits, but the investment for the majority
stops with labor.
Respondent perceptions of what is gained or lost in the projects reflect their
involvement in decision-making issues and creativity within their development.
When asked what they gain from the projects, respondents in Champiney said they
received benefits of.the projects, such as water, housing, and land. However, six
respondents stated they received a better life, comfort, solidarity, work, and support
from the projects that come to their community. One young vocal mother stated, I
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get land and a house for my kids and a place to do my work. I get more comfort in
m own space. I have more happiness, and a better life as a family with my
children. Jorge confirmed this statement, the entire family wins. It is
mentionable. Common responses to what is lost from a project were that people
lose force, health, time, schooling, and a salary to buy food and money when
involved with projects. One respondent said she lost nothing. Eight of the
respondents stated that even though they suffered in some projects, they had to
continue with it to benefit. These findings from the majority suggest that people
gain only material benefits from projects. However, a few people mentioned more
internal benefits that may act as instruments of change in ones life.
In El Trapiche, people gained material benefits, help from international
organizations, service from the projects, new ideas, support, and friendships
between the community and foreigners. Samuel commented, I gain friendship with
the community and with foreigners. One respondent furthered this sentiment, we
receive help from our international brothers. A critical but active woman stated
that people win with projects, and therefore the community is living to wait for a
projecf. Timoteo stated, I got one of the first latrines. Nothing else. We do not
get anything else. Two respondents mentioned that the community loses when
everyone is not involved and foreigners lose trust in unfinished or ill-maintained
projects. Constancia confirmed this issue, we could lose the benefits if they are not
maintained. They are part of the project, someone donated them, and we have to
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maintain them well. Other losses were in time and work. Eight respondents stated
that they lose nothing from projects. Here, people spoke of gaining benefits and
friendships with foreigners. Although contact with others is seen to stimulate new
ideas and processes, few respondents talked about gaining independent and creative
thinking.
The above results show that projects are important when they fulfill a
personal need, as in Champiney. Here the important projects were repeatedly water,
houses, and electricity, all basic survival necessities. In El Trapiche, the projects
were not representative of basic living requisites, but importance was also based
upon fulfilling personal needs or the ability to obtain a benefit for a public project,
such as acquiring electricity to various sectors that now receive it illegally, the
reparation of the community center roof, or newer latrines. Respondents defined
three types of importance: 1) social importance, in which they invested because they
would obtain social rewards, 2) material benefits, in which their needs would be
fulfilled, and 3) community poverty alleviation, in which the community would
experience a better level of living. When projects are important, people are willing
to give what they are able to, most often their physical labor and time. However,
responses showed that the investment stops there for the majority. The size of the
need determines the duration and importance of the projects for the people. If
projects provide the opportunity to receive large benefits, earn a salary, or work
closely with others, people will endure lengthened time frames. Otherwise, shorter
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projects allow participants to receive benefits more quickly, which was reported as a
crucial factor in determining importance and investment. When the project does not
represent a personal need or fulfill a desire, people are less likely to invest in it, and
have more of an option to decline. However, importance does not necessarily
equate to investment. Projects must reflect a need, have achievable requisites, have
a manageable duration of time to completion, and be somewhat convenient to the
participant.
Participation Encourages Decision-Makers
The following stage of participatory development, once invested in the
projects, should lead to independent decision-makers. Participation signifies
investment. People do make their own decisions to participate, vote on issues that
are important to them, and some implementation aspects of the various projects,
which directly affect them, such as work and time requirements and benefit rules for
the community. However, these issues are not often planned by the majority and
decisions do not reflect true participation or representation of the community in all
stages of the development process.. It is not necessarily required for all participants
to take a leadership role, but it is the expectation of participatory development to
acquire and utilize skills learned in this process to take an active role in making
conscious decisions on issues that affect the people, as well as become involved in
the process in some way. Participation is non-representative when there are only a
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few who take part in deciding and resolving issues based on partial involvement by
the majority. People participate to benefit, but the majority involve themselves in
order to fulfill the minimal requirements possible. The process does not necessarily
become meaningful to them. These actions are not conducive to a process of active
decision-making that encourages creative players in their dl levelopment.
This research question looks at whether active participation encourages
creativity and decision-making. Questions revolved around participation, personal
decision-making and voice, what is gained or lost in projects, and the importance of
participation for current and future projects. Understanding why people participate
is necessary in order to determine if there are patterns in what invites decision-
makers from the process. Results show that people participate in order to benefit
from the projects and improve themselves and their lives. In response to why they
were participating in the various community projects, responses ranged from the
need to have and own things, to improve oneself and the community, to alleviate
suffering to work together with people, to work for the future of their children, and
because they are citizens of the community. A talkative woman from Champiney
stated, I like to participate. I am interested in it to better the community. Another
Champiney respondent remarked, it is important to participate because it is more
like a community with the need to improve. An El Trapiche respondent summed
the investment of participation, it is very important to help with the needs here...
projects are the most important things there are. Citizens with similar needs are
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encouraged to partake in opportunities in which they gain materially and improve in
their overall life within the community.
The importance of participation is also a crucial factor in determining what
activates decision-making. If participation efforts are not considered important, it is
unlikely meaningful decisions will be made. In Champiney, when asked if
participation is important, every respondent (n=14) stated yes, although they
disagreed with or were not involved currently in any project. According to
respondents, participation brings solutions, further arrangements and negotiations,
mobilization of the people, and education. Soraya exclaimed, of course, one gains
in ideas. Another respondent stated, we are more connected to foreigners, we can
speak about ideas and try to bring in new projects. Many respondents commented
that without participation, there is no project, there is no advancement, and they are
unable to do anything. As one respondent stated, when one succeeds, everyone
succeeds with participation. Another respondent confirmed this, If we do not
participate, we have nothing. Without mobilization, without some movement, there
is no project. Findings here suggest that through participation in projects, people
have access to foreign contacts, ideas, and material benefits, which is considered by
respondents to be important. These reflect common characteristics of decision-
makers and leaders, as mentioned in the literature.
All El Trapiche respondents (n-14) also stated that participation is important
to them because without it, there is no conformity of the community, no
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consciousness as a group, there are no benefits, and participation helps bring them
what they need, and they learn. One respondent said, participation formalizes the
community, leaving practice, and moving us forward.... Constancia cheerfully
confirmed this position stating, participation is the force to get things and bring in
development. Another respondent stated, if one participates, one better
understands. The poor woman in dirty worn clothes and barely clad children
running around on the dirt floor, summed, help comes to the poor and we benefit.
According to respondents in both communities, participation is considered to be
important because it encourages a process of moving forward, as well as benefiting
the poor through their efforts. People obtain benefits and some move further toward
a new process of thinking that includes new ideas and an optimistic future.
Another measure of whether participation encourages decision-making
qualities was to explore the roles respondents would like to take in future projects.
All respondents except one in Champiney (n=13) and all in El Trapiche (n=14)
stated that they would participate in future projects, if they are able to depending on
their health, then- situation, and if they could benefit from the projects that come.
Common responses in both communities reflected this was the idea and their hope.
One Champiney respondent stated, it is the hope. We are disposed to participate.
The young and active husband from El Trapiche confirmed this, we have to. If
God is willing, we will wait for another project and see what is needed the most.
Another El Trapiche respondent summed, Being alive, I am disposed to participate
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and teach others. In both communities, respondents demonstrated an expected
requirement to be at the disposal of whatever project arrives in the neighborhood.
Respondents did not reflect independent decision-makers, but instead, saw
themselves as subjects for any future opportunity. Only if they are physically
unable or it does not serve a purpose for them will respondents not participate in
projects.
Respondents perceived that investment in the projects signified automatic
participation in the decision-making processes. Only two in El Trapiche stated that
they did not have any involvement in project planning the two that had no
involvement in development projects. The rest of the respondents in Champiney
(n=14) and in El Trapiche (n=12) stated that they had taken part in the decision to
do most of the projects in the community. One respondent remarked, we are
participating and this means we can make decisions. A respondent from El
Trapiche furthered this argument, when one decides, one works faster with this
investment to move forward. Eleven respondents in Champiney considered
themselves to be an active part in decision-making and planning in their community,
whereas in El Trapiche, nine respondents considered themselves to be an active part
of decision-making in the community. According to respondents, participation
equates to decision-making. However, only those that had benefited had made any
decisions.
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When asked about how much voice people currently have in decision-
making processes in their community, 100% of the respondents in Champiney stated
they had varying degrees of voice and vote as one person stated. Jorge remarked,
more than anything, we have voice here. Eight of the fourteen respondents were
not on any community or project board, but all had worked in at least one project.
Eight respondents had been to a meeting in the last month and six had been to one in
the last eight months. In El Trapiche, thirteen of the fourteen respondents said they
had voice to some degree, all of which had been involved in a project. One
respondent claimed, We make decisions when we are invited to. We support the
decisions of the leader. Another respondent stated, I am included and can speak.
Seven of the fourteen respondents were not on any kind of community or project
board, and all but one respondent had been involved in at least one project. Eight
respondents had been to a meeting within the last month and four had been to one in
the last year. The responses in both communities are similar. They show varying
levels of voice within the community and approximately one half of the respondents
attend meetings or have worked on a board, representing some decision-making
qualities within the group.
The above results demonstrate that people believe in participation as a
method to obtain benefits and make connections with people that would otherwise
be unavailable to them. With participation, respondents reported that they have
access to a new way of thinking and some economic advantage. However, the
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majority of respondents did not demonstrate creative thinking and active decision-
making. Instead, in making decisions, they participate with the rest of the
community as a group, often as spectators, with the decision-making process on a
groupthink level with only partial representation. They gain material benefits and
friendships, which reflect an importance in building bonds and is, reportedly,
equivalent to decision-making. However, there is a lack of creative or self-thinking.
Although approximately one half of the respondents have worked on a project
board, there is not a pattern of independent decision-making but instead the
embracing of whatever requisites are required to obtain international development
funds in response.to any critical conditions or needs that can be sponsored
internationally. This willingness to do anything possible as a community to obtain
assistance makes independent decision-making dysfunctional in the development
and participation process.
Empowerment
The expected impacts of participatory development define stages through
which the person advances until a certain level of skill and empowerment exist and
can be utilized to improve ones own situation. Having thus far seen that the above
stages are not always reached, nor are the expectations in the literature acquired,
there is no foundation in place for the succeeding stages to thrive and grow. It is at
this point in which empowerment is not achievable. Participation does not
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necessarily lead to empowerment, but instead, participants promote themselves as
subjects within the development process, unable to overcome their accustomed
status as dependent rather than independent actors. Further steps must be taken in
order to invest and incorporate the process into the core of their lives, and therefore
be capable of growing inwardly.
For the third research question regarding the achievement of personal
empowerment, I asked questions regarding how respondents participated in the
various projects, obligated or forced to participate, and choice and benefit of
participation. The findings show that a leadership role is not common and only a
few people demonstrate these qualities. Even more startling is that less than half
stated they solicited new projects, and not one respondent mentioned they had
thought of a method to overcome some of their needs without project assistance.
This was startling because I had seen from earlier observations that nearly everyone
in the Valley solicited for personal funding when possible. Responses suggested
that there was not a high level of personal power or desire to change important
issues to them. When asked how people participated in projects, all respondents in
both communities (n=28) said in labor. One respondent stated that he gave money,
while several others mentioned that they hired help to do the physical labor required
in the Champiney housing project. Manuela from Champiney stated as she dished a
pitcher of warm milk, I worked in the house so my kids could eat. [My kids]
helped participate in the water project. Seven from Champiney and five from El
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Trapiche stated that they had helped solicit or plan for the projects. One El Trapiche
respondent stated, when you participate in some way, you are giving opportunity to
be a community. Over half of the respondents demonstrated they were not
empowered to a level of participating in the planning of projects.
Personal empowerment often reflects doing tasks in the community and
projects at the will of the person in order to better oneself and others. Therefore, I
asked if respondents felt obligated to participate. Twelve respondents in Champiney
stated that they felt obligated to participate on projects because they are a part of the
community, with one vocal man stating, Eveiyone is committed to find a solution
together. We unite to achieve our needs. Another respondent added, everyone
does what they can, everyone is in the same place.... Seven of these respondents
felt they were forced to work on projects on a personal level, due to pressures by the
rest of the community and leaders and themselves, but nobody is forced to
participate without making their own choices. One respondent confirmed this,
many are resisting the houses. But the community acts as a force, and I force
myself. Another respondent stated, we are forced by the beneficiaries, by other
people in the barrio. We are good with this because it is for the well-being of the
community. The remaining respondents confirmed that participation in the
projects was voluntary in the community. Jorge stated, It is all voluntary. Being
part of the community and a project reflects a certain obligation to participate.
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Therefore, they are not participating because they are empowered, but rather,
because of personal needs and their obligations to the community as members.
In El Trapiche, eleven respondents stated that they were obligated to
participate, because it is the way to well being. The critical woman stated, it is a
responsibility to the community. Constancia remarked, We have to support
participation so we can receive the results of the work. Six respondents admitted
they were forced to work due to pressure from the community, then- families, and
their needs as beneficiaries. However, as in Champiney, respondents were not
forced to work, but made their own decisions to participate. Timoteo stated, I am
forced for the family. I am a part of things, I am part of the community. The poor
lady said, My husband is forcing me to help get some water. Another respondent
concluded, Sometimes one feels there is not an entrance or an exit. People are
forced for the needs and help for the family. I force myself for my need. Only one
respondent mentioned that there was force from management organizations. The
remaining respondents stated that participation was voluntary. Samuel remarked, I
never feel forced. People in both communities are obligated to participate because
they are members of their communities, their families, organizations, and their
needs, but are not forced to take part in the projects.
A key issue that adds to the determination and understanding of
empowerment is if people work on projects for themselves or for others. When
asked if they participate in projects that do not directly or personally benefit them,
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eight Champiney respondents said no. Manuela stated, No, I want to receive
something. Another respondent concurred, Only if I am a beneficiary. Six said
that they helped because it was their responsibility, they like to cooperate and help
others, and to promote solidarity. One respondent explained, I like to watch and
learn. I get involved because I like to help people. Jorge commented, Yes, in
some. Sometimes just to cooperate. Yet another respondent concluded, we
always have to participate for solidarity. Five of these six respondents who said
they would participate without benefiting are or were involved in the community
board, with only one respondent helping without any responsibility to a community
office. This was a grandparent, strong and able, who liked to make jokes about the
bureaucracy of project organization. In El Trapiche, ten respondents stated that they
do not participate in projects that do not benefit them personally. Timoteo stated,
no, I need the benefits. Another respondent concurred, If a person does not
benefit, they can not participate. However, four respondents said they helped when
they do not benefit because they like to help, to listen to opinions, and to support
others. The active community man explained, yes, I always help. It is not his or
hers, but it is everyones. Samuel stated, I like to learn from others. Maybe the
form they use will serve me in the future. I can learn and apply them. Oh yes, I will
make my mistakes, but I will improve them too. Another respondent concluded,
Sometimes I go, even if I do not get anything. I go if I am invited to. Two of
these respondents are or were on the community board, one was a close friend to a
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leader, and one had no responsibility to the community, but helped because she did
not want to be left out. The majority of respondents in both communities do not
participate in benefits that do not somehow relate to them. Very few have
incorporated the responsibility of others needs into their participation, and the
majority of those who do are required to do so by then elected positions.
The final question regarding empowerment was if, being a participant in the
community, they were empowered to make changes there? Findings showed that
respondents view empowerment as working together to obtain a benefit. When
people physically work on a project, people believe this to be personal
empowerment: working successfully with the community to obtain material benefits
and social relationships. Where development advocates define empowerment as
personal independence, respondents defined it as individual cooperation and social
benefit. In Champiney, ten respondents said they were empowered to help make
changes, if the community supported them. One respondent replied, everyone,
with organization, is empowered and can make changes.... every one has to do it
equally. Another respondent stated, I have the desire to be able to work for
further help. I learned this in projects... I have a desire to change. All respondents
(n=14) explained they could speak, support, vote, work, and cooperate with the
community as a whole. Jorge confirmed this, Yes, I am empowered to make
changes, with the rest of the people in the barrio. The majority of Champiney
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respondents reported having the ability to share ideas and help in community
changes but were reluctant to advocate for them or lead the process.
Eight El Trapiche respondents stated they were empowered and have the
right to make changes with the community. Eleven respondents agreed that they
could share ideas and promote change. One respondent stated, With my
experience in projects, I want more changes and can make decisions. One robust
male respondent remarked, I have the power to make changes with the
community. Josefa commented, I have no power to make changes without the
people. Timoteo explained, If someone brings help, people learn and gain the
capacity to improve things. I am empowered to improve the community. The
majority of El Trapiche respondents demonstrated the ability to support community
changes and discuss new ideas, but is not empowered to do so.
However, being included and having a voice in the community does not
necessarily constitute empowerment. Four Champiney and six El Trapiche
respondents reported not being empowered or possessing the ability to make
changes to their communities. Manuela stated, No, I am not empowered. I can
give opinions in the community, but I do not have the power to change life here.
Roberta concluded, If there is a change [in the community], I do not have the right
to be in it. But I can speak, and try to resolve problems and help in the community.
Three El Trapiche respondents stated that if they were not a part of the community
leadership, they were not empowered to make any changes. Another respondent
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stated, I do not have much right to promote change. If I were more integrated here,
I would have more power, but I can not make changes. Another woman confirmed
this, No, because I am not advised by the leaders. I do not take part in them.
Even if they felt they could voice their opinions in the community, many
respondents were unable to make changes or felt empowered toward change. For
these respondents, empowerment was not a personal option, but remained the
responsibility of others in the community.
The above responses suggest that empowerment is not a guaranteed response
to participation in development, but there in fact, needs to be further steps taken to
incorporate participation within the development process to feel empowered.
Leadership roles are taken only by a few, with the majority unwilling or unable to
take their participation to a higher level. All respondents felt obligated to participate
because of personal needs and as members of their communities, but not one was
forced to participate. Most respondents were able to voice their opinions and
enjoyed working with others. Their definition of empowerment was seen as
working mutually to obtain their benefits. In this way, nearly everyone is
empowered. However, without assistance and support from other community
members, they were not individually empowered to make changes on their own or
lead others to mobilize for further development, but instead felt comfortable in
being a participant without the ownership of responsibility. Again, these findings
suggest that if there is not active participation within the various levels of the
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development process, and as a result, there is a lack of incorporation of participation
as a philosophy in daily lives. Therefore, empowerment is not reached.
Project Sustainability
Without reaching the stages of investment, decision-making, and
empowerment on a personal and community level, sustainability of the projects is
left as an issue to be dealt with at a later date for most people. It is an external issue
in which maintenance is at times provided for via the inclusion of a project plan, but
long-term goals are not valid issues in a world in which daily needs are barely met.
Projects are considered answers to the problems, and will continue to be so. The
steps taken within the participatory development process are not often applied to
future problem solving or care of projects, and thus limits the sustainability of the
community and the participatory development skills.
This research question examines whether, with active participation, personal
investment, and individual empowerment, projects are more likely to be sustainable
by the community, without foreign assistance. The subset of questions included the
status of community maintenance, projects in need of repairs, maintenance
responsibilities, and perceptions of sustainability. Once completed, maintenance of
the projects should reflect a level of sustainability based on individual responsibility
to take care of their benefits and efforts.
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Full Text

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IMPACTS OF PARTICIPATORY DEVELOPMENT: A CASE STUDY IN RURAL NICARAGUA by Christianya Marie Stevenson B.A., Fort Lewis College, 1994 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Sociology 2002

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This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Christianya Marie Stevenson has been approved by Date

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Stevenson, Christianya Marie (M.A., Sociology) Impacts of Participatory Development: A Case Study in Rural Nicaragua Thesis directed by Associate Professor Candan Duran-Aydintug ABSTRACT Participation is central to contemporary development. The literature denotes that participation encourages investment, decision-making, empowerment, and sustainability, and therefore broadens the impact of poverty alleviation. In the process, development also creates a new dependency. Paradoxically, development started out to meet peoples' needs, but has ended up leading them to articulate needs in terms of development capabilities. This qualitative study examines the impacts of participatory development processes on a traditional and a newly developing community in the hope of understanding differences between the literature expectations and reality, and to defme the emerging trend of new dependency in development. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication. Signed IV

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DEDICATION It was my Mother who planted the shine in my eyes, the independence in my heart, and the strength to follow my dreams. I dedicate this thesis to my dear Mother for her unconditional support and understanding of my efforts due to these qualities that she has instilled within me.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT My thanks to my advisors, Candan Duran-Aydintug, Joel Edelstein, and Richard Anderson, for their guidance and patience throughout my classes, field research, and writing over the last three years, as well as their personal counsel in the little problems that arose during my thesis process. I would like to thank the Sociology Department at the University of Colorado at Denver for the scholarship funding that was awarded to me in order to do my field research in Nicaragua, Central America. I would not have been able to make the trip without this fmancial support and greatly appreciate the belief and trust in my abilities as a student. Thanks also go to Douglas Murray, my friend and mentor, for all of his advice over the years. Although not an official member of my thesis committee, he was able to help guide my research in many ways. Special love and thanks to my wonderful brother for all of his formatting and computer advise regarding my paper. It was ugly without him, and his patience with my non-existent computer skills in person and over the phone saved the face of my thesis Lastly, I want to acknowledge all of the many dear family and friends that have given their time, ideas, and friendship to me as I moved through the process. Muchas gracias por tu amistad, tu carino, y tu amor, para siempre

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CONTENTS Figures ........................................................................................................ xi CHAPTER 1. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM ...................................................... l Development Today ........................................................................ Emerging Trends ............................................................................. 2 Significance ..................................................................................... 3 Definition ofTetms ......................................................................... 5 2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ........................................................ 7 Participatory Development .............................................................. 7 Definitions ........................... ............................................... 8 Assumptions ........................................................................ 9 Benefits of Participation ................... .................... 13 Barriers of Participation ...................... ................. 15 Power ................................................................................. l8 Dependency ........................................... ....................................... 20 Newly Developing and Traditional Communities ......................... 22 Conclusion ............................................. ...................................... 26 Vll

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3. METHODOLOGY .......... .... ........... . .............. .......... ... .... ............... 28 Research Questions .... ........................... .............. ............. ......... 28 The Study ....................................................................................... 29 Project Interviews and Infmmation Review ...................... 30 Participant Observation ..................................................... 31 Community Interviews ............ . ... ............ .............. ......... 32 Data Analysis ........................................................ ........................ 36 4 BACKGROUND AND CASE STUDIES ... ... ........ .... ... ........... .... . .... 36 The History ........................................................................... ........ 3 6 The Setting ... ................................................................................. 42 Case Studies ................ ........................... .............. ....................... 45 Respondents . ........................................................................ ........ 50 5. FINDINGS ........ ........................................... ............. .............. ........ 62 Theoretical Perspectives ......................................... .............. ....... 65 Investment .... ... .... . ...... ... .... ....... ....... ....... ... . ...... . ....... 65 Participation Encourages Decision-Makers ...................... 76 Empowerment ........................................... .............. ........ 82 Vlll

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Project Sustainability ................................................ ........ 90 Leadership ..... .............. .................................................... 97 Defining the Emerging Trend ................. ............. ... .......... ....... 101 Dependency .............................................................. ...... 109 6. CONCLUSION OF STUDY: WHITHER THE NEW DEPENDENCY .......................................... 118 The New Dependency .............. .................................................. 118 Further Participatory Development Lessons ......................... ..... 120 Impacts of Participatory Development .... .... ... .... .......... 120 Comparing Communities ............ ............. ...................... 123 Respondent Conclusions ................................................. 124 Limitations of the Study ............. . ........................ ..................... 126 Theoretical Implications and Suggestions for the Future ............ 127 APPENDIX A. COMMUNITY MEETING PROFILE ......................... ..................... 131 B. INTERVIEW GUIDELINE QUESTIONNAIRE ........ ..................... 132 C. ROUND TWO QUESTIONNAIRE ................................................... 134 IX

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BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................ . ........... ............... ........ ....... 135 X

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FIGURES Figure 1.1 Nicaragua Map ........................................................................................ 130 X1

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CHAPTER 1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Development Today Development projects have become increasingly important in economically stressed and developing countries around the globe, many due to increased poverty and devastating natural disasters. According to Nathan (1995), the development process has seen an evolution of focus in recent years from technical assistance and funding to the alleviation of poverty via the incorporation of local ideas and knowledge by the beneficiaries of the development project. Participation has been the key component for social change and sustainability in the reformed processes. With use and integration of local knowledge in project planning and implementation, people are able to invest in their own development, make decisions about their needs, and voice their opinions. By incorporating participation as a philosophy within their daily lives, people become empowered to improve their situations and sustain their own needs. In this way, participation also broadens and sustains the impact of development on poverty alleviation. 1

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Emerging Trends Due to recent natural disasters such as the 1998 Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua and Honduras, such organizations around the world as the International Group ofVoluntary Associations, the Center for Promotion and Development of the Population (CEPRODEP), Overseas Development Authority, the World Bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and other aid agencies and sponsor countries, are now donating funds to rebuilding the affected countries. Communities with the specific aim of resettlement receive international funds in order to rebuild homes, provide potable water, and help with basic living necessities What is emerging among these resettlement communities? Instead .of participatory developmentresulting in empowerment of the poor, communities appear to be experiencing a degree of dependence upon international funding, using their gained knowledge and skills earned from the development process to adjust their lives to incorporate development into their daily work and labor force. Paradoxically, where development started out to meet the needs of the people, it has instead lead the poor to articulate their needs in terms of what development is capable of offering. This is the new dependency. These communities are an important focus to the field of development, because they may differ significantly from the participation in traditional societies envisioned by development advocates. 2

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In order to further understand the emergence of a new dependency, it is critical to examine the organization, objectives, and leadership within a traditional and a newly developing community, and compare the similarities and differences that exist within their participatory development. Significance My interest in participatory development stemmed from the existing literature and my previous experiences in Latin America. The literature suggests that with participation of the poor, these people will benefit economically and socially by experiencing a respected voice, receiving benefits as equals, and being empowered by their efforts. In the last decade, I have worked and traveled throughout Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and most Central American countries. Each trip has provided me a new understanding of the people, their culture, and their poverty. Given my experience in various countries within Latin America, I have a distinct interest in seeing these people succeed in their economic, social, and emotional development, and I embraced the hope ofthe participatory development models in an effort to improve .lives to a point of, at least, modest comfort and equality. Nicaragua was chosen as the location of my study for several reasons. It is a Developing Country. Nicaragua has some history and experience with foreign support for development purposes since before the devastation of the Contra War 3

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and the natural destruction of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Having spent much time in Central America, I wanted to continue my studies in the isthmus. I have two advisors that have contacts and acquaintances in Nicaragua from earlier periods of their lives that had taken them to the country. Thus, my opportunities to make contacts and fmd projects to study were higher in Nicaragua than in other Central American countries. Through the sponsorship of one of these development channels, the Friendship City Project (FCP) organization I had the option to go to Nicaragua to study participation on the potable water project in the Jalapa Valley. Lastly, Nicaragua presented one of the only countries in Central America that I had never been to before, and I wanted to add another country and its cultures to my existing Latin American repertoire and knowledge. In this qualitative study, I look at the impacts of participatmy development on two rural communities in Nicaragua. I explore the type and level of investment of local Nicaraguan residents, and assess this investment in terms of active participation, decision-making, and empowerment within the individual and the community. I, additionally, speculate on the emergence of and relationships between individual participation, empowerment, and leadership on the overall sustainability within the community. Consequently, I discuss the emergence of the new dependency in relation to the participatory development process . : This study on the impacts of participatory development in rural Nicaragua will contribute to our understanding of this form of social change and sustainable 4

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development. The study will also inform the field of development research on the recent emerging trends being seen in newly created and resettlement communities by expanding our knowledge of what constitutes development, sustainability, and dependency. It is my hope that through better comprehension of the expectations of participatory development and the differences emerging within newly developing communities via current models of development through participation, we can rethink therole and impact of participation in the development process and encourage important social change. Definition of Terms For the purposes of this paper, Central America consists of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Panama and Belize, although geographically belong to the isthmus, are not consistently represented in the Central American literature, and full accounts of these countries are not available in the said materiaL. Latin America consists of Mexico, Central America, and South America, for historical understanding. The terms Indians and native Americans are used interchangeably in this text to describe the native peoples of the New World. The New World is defmed as the North and South American continents when they were first discovered by the Spaniards from the Old World, defmed as .Europe and developed countries of the era. 5

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The term Developing Countries is used in this thesis to signify countries that constitute a high population rate, a low income, an unstable economic system, a non-existent health care a high mortality rate, and an increasing poverty, and are recipients of international funding and aid for development purposes. 6

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CHAPTER2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Participatory Development Recently, participation has been used to represent ethnical, cultural and societal rights and issues. Due to unsuccessful attempts by conventional development models to alleviate poverty and provide social improvements in Developing Countries, there has been a change in dialogue toward citizen participation methods that incorporate and empower the poor and increase the success and sustainability of development efforts in the process (Nathan, 1995). These concepts of participation and sustainability have throughout history, but were recognized in the 1970's during a United Nations (UN) conference as a strategy to broaden and maintain the impact of development on the alleviation of poverty. In the last twenty years; participation has become a focus in the development field, taking precedence in the 1980's and throughout the 1990's. Participatory approaches have become recognized as offering hopes of long-term development and poverty alleviation, and are widely embraced by organizations such as the UN, USAID, US Foreign Assistance Program, World Bank, InterDevelopment Bank (IDB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other 7

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aid organizations and donor countries. A variety of buzzwords and models demonstrate the concepts (Participatory Action Research-PAR, Rapid Rural Appraisal-RRA, Participatory Research Methods-PRM). Definitions Barraclough et al (1988) defme the role of participation in development, more than merely raising the rate of economic growth and level of average income per capita, it means people having sufficient livelihood to lead an adequate life. Those groups that have been poor and powerless should furthermore be able to participate in decisions which influence their lives. Development requires a guarantee of human rights, democratic participation, and a measure of political, cultural, and economic autonomy. Development .. should improve the use of a country's human and natural resources independent of foreign control (p. 5). Various development theorists (Robinson et al1990, Mathur 1986, Tri 1986, Lisk 1985, Cemea 1985) further defme this concept and suggest that participatory development is the active involvement of people, with choices in planning, execution, and evaluation of the projects. In this way, the development process is significant to the people as it promotes active participants in all stages of their development and living improvements (Schmale 1993, Fals-Borda and Rahman 1990, Lisk 1985). Lisk ( 1985) takes into account that participation includes contributions of non-material human needs such as "equity, social justice, basic human rights and related freedoms" (p. 15). Respect for knowledge, participation, 8

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and change at the local level promotes a contribution toward commitment and responsibility as well as leadership and organizational skills. Others defme participatory development as incorporating strategies in which local knowledge and cultures are utilized and respected (Bunch 1982, Gardner and Roseland 1989, Altieri and Anderson 1986). In this way, participation is initiated and managed by the people via methods that take into consideration an understanding of the region, culture, and environment of the participants. For the purposes of this thesis, participation within development is in accordance with the defmition ofNathan (1995), in which she states that participation is "a philosophy and a course of action that genuinely enhances people's power to improve their socio-economic and political conditions primarily through their own lmowledge and praxis" (p.15). With this defmition, a foundation is laid for how participation encourages empowerment and sustainability in the development processes, and therefore will act as a basis for my discussion. Assumptions The assumptions of participatory development center around bottom-up methodologies in which people contribute to their own development efforts, which becomes meaningful to them (Friedmann, 1992, Sinclair 1995). Participatory development uses a slow process in which people's cultures are understood, traditions are respected, and there is an effective use of a leadership and network 9

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already in place (Rogers, 1983). Sinclair (1995) emphasizes, "Participants in many of the newer movements tend to defme themselves more and organize more armmd issues of identity and community as well as the traditional issues of class, anti imperialism, and workers' rights" (p. 4). More and more, people have recognized strength and power in organized and cooperative voice in order to promote social change and human rights. Participation of the underprivileged classes in popular movements for social change assists in enforcing the basic and imperative needs of the poor (Grant 1998, McCamant 1968). The end of all action is interpersonal security (Rogers 1983). This empowetment of the underprivileged classes represent the hope and goal of sustainable social change in this region and the world. Civic participation has become an integral part of society. Organizing to participate is based on influencing agencies and initiatives through mobilization. This is :achieved through outreach, boycotts, picketing, petitions, and grassroots methods of building rapport and participatory responsibility within the community. People become involved through groups and organizations that have similar interests and can provide emotional support (Forester 1999, Putnam 2000). With mutual beliefs, a bond is created and action in numbers is represented through organization of the members. Participation incorporates members of the society around an interest: in order to become involved with communal processes of change. Outcomes are most often achieved through non-profit organizations (NPO) by providing forms of monetary and educational assistance. 10

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Participation is collaborative. This is unique in blinging multiple perspectives together through mediation, negotiation, and facilitation (Forester 1999, Putnam 2000). Listening and learning are achieved through open discussions by members. Participation is beneficial especially in cases in which the government is unable to provide effective solutions to pertinent issues, and therefore the group must come to an agreement or consensus through creativity and compromise as a whole (Putnam 2000, Radin 1997). In collaboration via the participatory process, decisions are made through active involvement, discussion, and creativity to resolve an issue. Participation is reinforcing, due to a sense of responsibility, trust, and benefit for those involved. Generalized reciprocity is an important key to participation within the community (Putnam 2000). Reciprocity is giving with the understanding that something is gained and is conducive to some level of trust. When this exists in a community, participants feel safe in their contributions. This is imperative in successful participation. Society is impacted by individuals invested in changing specific issues deemed important to them (Forester 1999). Personal investment is the support and involvement of people, and serves as the mechanism in which important community issues are addressed directly by those .affected, and members of the society are entrusted and encouraged to resolve issues that are critical to them. Brentlinger (1995) suggests that a dialectic relationship exists between individuals and social 11

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and economic conditions. The community nmtures the individual, giving hope and opportunity to the person, and is itself dependent upon the individuals who are part of it. Brentlinger concludes, "A collective spirit emerges" (p. 266). A deeper understanding of the problem and the process is achieved by all involved through decision-making and awareness. In today's society, community networks expand and cross boundaries of class, religions, race, cultures, and ethnicity (Putnam 2000, Parr 1995). We are now faced with populations and technology that connect us with other cultures around the world. Participation reflects the involvement of all aspects of varying societies. It builds upon skills learned in stages that make personal empowerment and sustainability reachable. Within participatory development, the role of outsiders should be facilitative, only used to advise and support people's efforts to overcome poverty from the inside (van Heck 1979, Rogers 1983). Grassroots and non-governmental organizations (NGO) often utilize participatory methods of development, due to informal and flexible objectives and an initiation by the people themselves. In most cases, leaders are of the same culture and status, and therefore the poor are more inclined to affiliate themselves with the organizations, which deal with the same issues as the people (van Heck 1979). There also tends to be visible benefits and rapid results from the smaller projects that grassroots organizations support, thus decreasing the fear of being involved. 12

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Benefits of Participation Participatory action in the development process creates satisfaction in material and non-material needs (equality, human rights, social justice) of the beneficiaries. Participation is generated by the poor and transferred from participant to participant. This process broadens social relations. It is people-oriented, providing autonomy and control over development management (Alamgir 1989, Mehmet 1978). Being surrounded by relationships and networks of people increases the knowledge and understanding of others in the community and promotes mutual support, cooperation, trust, and reciprocal action . Participation encourages large numbers of support within a community because of the specific array of interests and causes, and it offers a solution to becoming involved with others who are directly involved in the same issues. It is selective in interest, and therefore, more powerful in that special area. There is also a higher willingness to accept changes over time when there is a personal investment by the people (Tri 1986, Mathur 1986). Another benefit of participation is that community planning and organization shapes public learning (Putnam 2000, Forester 1999). This learning creates awareness of issues that exist and of opportunities to help make a change in something valuable. People increase their skills, confidence, and ownership of the issue in the process of organizing and planning. They listen to other perspectives, 13

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understand the issues, become aware of possibilities for action, and work as a group to accomplish change. The educative nature of participation contributes to human development. Learning through communication and action creates an open atmosphere that is conducive to empowerment of those involved. The strength of collaboration in participation is that members of the group are represented in creating a solution together. Each member has a say in what decisions are made, and are encouraged to promote their beliefs, understand other perspectives, and work together for the good of the group and the problem. This represents a personal investment in something that is important to them. People are empowered through this process because of their active involvement via an open structure. Collaboration through investment is conducive to learning about others and their issues in order to fmd a solution that is acceptable to each member . Another important aspect of the participatory process is the encouragement of people to sustain their efforts and further resolve other important issues. People are encouraged to take on future challenges and demonstrate skills of negotiation and open collaboration. Programs and organizations are created to address specific problems that are addressed by community members. Community members work together to resolve a problem, fmd strength through supportive groups, and measures are incorporatedto maintain what they receive. Forester (1999) explains, "there's a 'developmental process' ofbuilding leadership in participatory [research] processes .. dialogue is important to such learning" (p. 123). In understanding the 14

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problem and becoming involved in action to resolve it, communication among active members is imperative. One person relates an experience that is shared by another, which becomes a mutual cause for action. In this way, there is a network for involvement of an issue by the people in a participatory manner. Members relate to each other and their problems through active communication (Forester 1999, Rogers 1983, Putnam 2000). The most effective communication occurs among homophilous individuals and groups, and therefore local recognition, participation and respect for local leadership allows effective sharing of information (Rogers 1983). Through the utilization of traditional practices, people preserve their cultural identity and use their natural channels of communication to improve their lives (Alamgir 1989, Lisk 1985, Mathur 1986, Rogers 1983). Participation increases efficiency of the development process by respecting and utilizing local information, based on the people's intimate understanding of their history, environment, and culture. Another benefit of participatory development is that it promotes human rights and basic needs (Rahnema 1992). Local mobilization helps spread projects over a wider area, expediting its completion, access to public services, greater control over delivery systems, distribution offmances from foreign organizations to local communities, and lowering costs (Griffm and Knight 1989, Uphoff 1988). Barriers of Participation. Participation does not always amount to equality or sustainability, and is itself distributed unequally because motivation, skills, and 15

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resources are also unequal in distribution. There are two types of barriers to participatory development: internal and external. These barriers provide an understanding of the distribution inequalities. Internal barriers consist of conditions of poverty and a lack of economic resources. Economic pressures lead to limited participation. Putnam (2000) points out that '-'economic hard times lower our incomes, ... stress rises, and civic engagement falls" (p 193). Other internal barriers are the physical inaccessibility to water, land, and good soil, leading people to migrate to areas where they can obtain work. Also included as a barrier in this area of participation is the lack of awareness in options, available resources, and necessary skills (Mathur 1986, Korten 1984). A fourth aspect holding people back from participatory development are those of cultural obstacles, such as illiteracy, language, culture, skepticism, avoidance of risk-taking, isolation, alienation, and lack of time (Tri 1986, Uphoff 1991, Sims and Leonard 1990, Rogers 1983). Subsistence living tends to diminish collective identity and educational opportunities, and cultivate fatalistic and conservative attitudes and ideals. A wealrness of collaboration in the participatory development process is that multiple perspectives may make it difficult to achieve consensus on an issue (Radin 1997). When people have strong ideas about an issue, it.is imperative to understand the implications in order to make a decision that takes into account different 16

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interests of its members. Without some level of consensus or majority decision, creative outcomes are not realized and participatory development stalls. External barriers are defined at societal and agency levels. On the societal level, the poor often do not have access to political freedom, such as voting and equal representation, and have restrained access to education and information opportunities (Alamgir 1989). At the agency level, there tends to be limited expertise and organization, as well as a lack of training and preparation (Korten 1984, Cox 1992). A weakness of participation is that although there are often large numbers supporting NPO's and other grassroots groups, they are not always organized in a functional manner, and therefore, can be problematic in obtaining an effective outcome. Without direction and organization of issues and the people involved, the group does not have momentum to make changes or promote successful empowetment of its members. Participation often does not occur due to agency unawareness and unskilled personnel or the inability to implement actions that promote empowerment. Not all interests are represented by external sponsors. The business with the highest budget will fmd more participatory success by some members, and therefore, less fortunate sectors in the society will not have an equal level of representation. Often, decisions are made by representatives instead of directly by the members that are affected by the issue. 17

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Power Power is a key factor that influences social change (Dobyns et al1971). Bacharach and Botwinick (1992) define power as the ability to achieve intended effects. Others say that power is based on the control of information, education level, social standing, access to resources and technology, intelligence, energy levels, property, and personality (Galbraith 1983, Dahl1961, Rogers 1983). Wrong (1979) looks at organization and solidarity of people as fundamental to the access of power. Using local practices puts people in a position of power and expertise, and thus helps people invest in the new development. They personally take responsibility and try to ensure the efficiency of the project operation. Arnstein (1969) constructed a citizen participation ladder in which "participation without the redistribution of power is an empty and frustrating process for the powerless" (p. 216). Her ladder consists of eight rungs, which are from bottom to top: manipulation, therapy, informing, consultative, placation, partnership, delegated power, and citizen participation. Arnstein calls the lower three rungs nonparticipation and the center rungs "degrees of tokenism". The five bottom rungs together constitute what is called ''window-dressing rituals" in which power is not effectively incorporated and redistributed by the players. These rituals give the appearance of involvement, but power is withheld from those participating 18

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at these levels. Only when people reach the top tlnee rungs do they achieve power and control. Participation is an effective aspect of the process of community change and plaruring. There is power behind human beliefs and maintenance in the process of accomplishing a social world that reflects those traditions. Although change is difficult to accept and achieve, upon the realization of necessary action, people create a force within society that promotes meaningful community action. In this way, all members of society are represented and hold power through their actions for change (Forester 1999, Putnam 2000). The essence of any social change is the exchange of new ideas and personal knowledge, relayed to others in a complex network within society. Rogers (1983) implies that information is key to eliminating uncertainty. The social structure of a community can promote or impede successful exchange of information within development People that possess access to information and have extensive communication networks hold the power to affect the development process and the social structure of the community. Nathan (1995) concludes, "Power, like participation, .is both a means and an end" (p. 33). In this sense, power is crucial in understanding change in social and economic development, participation, and empowerment. 19

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Dependency Another issue within development is that of dependency in which external and internal forces create an intricate whole based upon interests and resources. On the communal level, dependency occurs in relation to resources (Fisher 2001, Gronbjerg 1990, David & Zakus 1998). The needs for biological survival and personal security become human priorities, until once secured, at which point, social needs dominate. According to the literature, resource dependency is the internal adaptation to external environmental pressures and changes in order to secure resources for human survival. Brentlinger (1995) states, ''work inevitably influences and changes the barrio ... [people] become conduits for resources" (p. 322). It is expected that resources lead to prosperity on the local level. The extraction of these resources, whether human or natural, is the key to survival and economic growth. Foreign and internal interests become compatibly dependent based on the mutual resources. This dependency influences organizational behavior. . According to David & Zakus (1998), community participation in dependent societies is used solely for supplying resources, rather than for its other intrinsic values. This leads to flaws in the participatory process, lower than expected results, and "Ultimately, the participatory mechanisms became additional dependencies ... 20.

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and not integral components of a process of community development'' (1 ) The dependency on resource needs outweighs the participatory opportunity. Nathan (1995) concurs," . participation is frequently constrained at best and at worst devolves into new and subtle forms of manipulation and dependency" (p 32). Brentlinger (1995) continues with this issue, "The Nicaraguan campesinos were treated as more or less cooperative objects of manipulation ... when the money ran out everything stopped, because only the money held it together" (321). People cannot only go to meetings and labor on their own benefits, but must also incorporate their ideas and actions in a way that includes them into the process and produces their desired results. Nathan further notes, "Participation is meaningless when the efforts and outcomes are symbolic" (p. 28). Without this foundation of active involvement, they fall into dependency upon external forces to accomplish their needs, losing any sense of self-accomplishment or hope. Summers (1986) suggests there are complex interdependencies between communities and rural development. Development has both beneficial and harmful affects often perpetuating hierarchical dependency (So 1990, Brentlinger 1995). Developing community's work with local and international funding, which shapes a dynamic of dependency within their development process. The two contradictory processes coexist. Brentlinger further suggests that Nicaraguans express constant desire to have closer relations to people from the United States to become linked. 21

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People receive material aid through these social links. This suggests that there are now more dynamic modes of dependency within development. Newly Developing and Traditional Communities Hammond (1989) states, "Making a virtue of necessity, ... problems force the people of the asentamientos (resettlement camps) to rely on their own resources ... and ... depend crucially on the contribution of nonprofessionals and volunteers" (p. 31 ). Development funds have recently become more available to involuntary displacement or resettlement of people due to (1) direct state action for development projects, (2) refugee movements from war or political persecutions, and (3) natural disaster damage relief from droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods, in which people are forced to leave or are left without homes or land and are in need of a place to reside. Shami (1993) defmes population displacement as "the process of collective dislocation and/or settlement of people away from their normal habitat by a superior force" (p. 5). Those affected are experiencing the opportunity to rebuild on:new land donated byNPO's and NGO's. Shami furthers this, "focusing on long-term social implications rather than relief and emergency measures highlights the roles played by displaced peoples in development strategies and postwar reconstruction" (p. 5). These communities are prime candidates for the receipt of further international funding for new home construction, electricity, latrines, and potable water projects in response to poverty-tom conditions, and the 22

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help supplied is used in obtaining themost basic of necessities. Hammond (1989) states, "Rudimentary houses and muddy paths make new asentimientos (resettlement camps) appear dreary. But they soon take on the look of thriving small communities, as people complete their houses and plant gardens" (p. 27). According to migration theory, various types of migration movements have been regarded in the literature to be by-products of development and modernization, which were seen as opportunities to modernize isolated and rural traditional communities through integration into larger populations (Pryor 1975, Lewis 1982, Woods 1982). People are dislocated due to nature-tom and poverty stricken environments or other development projects that require resettlement because the community is in the path of projects, such as dams. Case studies showed high human costs and increasingly more development organization involvement, and a trend away from migration theory (Breokensha and Scudder 1968, Colson 1971, Fahim 1968, Silverman 1971, Cemea 1994). Natural disaster displacement, war victims, and development relocation was explored in the context of involuntary migration (Hansen and Oliver-Smith 1982, Loizos 1981, Olson Displacement becomes a process in which dislocation and resettlement are complimentary rather than distinct themes, in which various forces evolving before, during, and after people actually migrate (Shami .1993, Scudder 1976) . There are social implications of displacement. The impact on age, gender, geography, and social aspects vary in resettlement strategy. According to Scudder 23

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(1976) multi-dimensional stress includes physiological, psychological, and sociocultural problems, in which people go through a period of reconciliation to their irreversible loss and change. Murphy (1985) adds to this terming behavior as helplessness. Hammond (1989) concurs, "An emergency mentality also hampers ... action" (31 ). Relocated populations often cling to familiar rituals and traditions. During this phase, relocated peoples are intolerant of innovations or modernization methods (Scudder 1976, Oliver 1981). This focus on physical and social recovery of community represents the strong role of economic and social strategies from social ties, kinship, and family in dealing with change in both traditional and newly developing communities. Scudder (1976) speaks of"reintroduction" of aspects within the traditional rituals and symbols into the displaced community as new expressions for identity in their emerging environment. However, in relocated communities, these strategies are affected:by the peoples' perception of their displacement situation as temporary or pe1manent. This is important in defining the success of integration into host societies (Shami 1993). The physical implications of displacement are rudimentary housing, lack of production, infectious disease due to crowded temporary housing, material shortages, economic mismanagement and organization, infertile land, and poverty (Hammond 1989). These resettlement issues are not newto Nicaragua and have an impact on the country. According to Hammond (1989), approximately ten percent of Nicaragua's population was displaced in refugee settlements during the Contra War. 24

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Relocation during this period of time was often used to implement revolutionary strategies to aid in the governments' political and military process. Another purpose was to produce agriculture. Because men were often away from the communities to defend the country, women took a more active role in participation within the communities and the farming. In the resettlement communities, Hammond explains that teachers educated children by day and adults by night. Medical care was often provided by a nurse or aid and health brigade representatives. Hammond further states that for the displaced people in Nicaragua, the new environment was often problematic. "They have been uprooted overnight from their homes and possessions-which were meager to start with-to a new, strange place. Used to extreme isolation, they now have neighbors a few meters away in every direction. Having always worked independently, they must learn to cooperate" (p. 29). Currently, there are resettlement communities in northern and eastern Nicaragua in response to Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Traditional societies are assumed to be rural, isolated, disease-ridden, ignorant, and backward (Pryor 1975, Lewis 1982, Woods 1982, Al-Jameel1966). Brentlinger (1995) states that traditional communities are primitive, which signifies a culture in existence before western domination, and therefore lacks the civilized influence of European standards. Brentlinger further defmes native as a lack of sophistication and education. Other assumptions suggest that traditional societies are nomadic, with mythical and superstitious rituals (Scudder 1976). Often 25

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considered to be colonial, they use social strategies of kinship and family ties as support. Members are usually poor, depending upon economic networks within the kinship (Burt 1993). There is a set leadership in place, and the community has experience together, using local ties family and kinship networks and businesses to cope with changes and upheavals (Shami 1993, Fukuyama 2002)) Men are seen as leaders whereas the traditional place for women was in the home (Hammond 1989) Development goals aim to alleviate the poverty in traditional societies, as well as modernize traditional peoples. Conclusion The importance of development projects in Central America, and specifically in Nicaragua, has become significant due to decreased economic stability, increased poverty, and damages incurred from natural disasters in this area. Development projects have existed in varying forms throughout history, and has seen an evolution in focus from monetary and technical training to the inclusion of a social aspect and use of local knowledge as a method to broaden and sustain development and alleviate poverty. Participation is an effective tool for social change and community development. The stages of participatory development start with investment and build toward independent decision-making, and on to empowerment and sustainability. Community members mobilize for political justice and social 26

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equality in an effort to accomplish public action for change regarding impoliant issues to them. People demonstrate an interest in problems that affect them and, through support from and involvement with others, have created and molded society as we see it today. This further leads to personal empowerment and community sustainability. The active participation of society members and organizations has experienced various successful outcomes in promoting social change. There is power behind such paliicipatocy processes and action, but it can also lead to issues of dependency. In traditional societies, although considered to be isolated and backward, members use participation in their daily strategies with family ties. Within resettlement communities, participation is used to recover the community and establish their new environment People use traditional methods of living to reconstruct their new community and give them a sense of identity. This is intertwined with skills learned via participation with foreign donors: a new resourcefulness and a dependency to achieve their needs. It is now imperative that we understand the impacts of participatory development on local beneficiaries in traditional and newly developing communities, and howthey are changing and adapting to this form of international assistance. 27

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CHAPTER3 METHODOLOGY In order to understand the impacts of participatory development on rural communities, I conducted fieldwork in Nicaragua from August to December, 2001 and February to March, 2002. The focus of my investigation was one traditional rural community and one newly created rural community in the Jalapa Valley that were both involved in participatmy development projects. The purpose of my research was to understand and rethink the role and impact of participation in the development process. This was guided by several research questions. Research Questions My research was guided by the following questions: 1) When people feel that a development project is important to them and they want it in their community, do they invest in it?; 2) Does active participation encourage people to be creative players and decision-makers?; 3) Do people become empowered when they are actively participating and involved?; 4) Are projects more likely to be sustained and maintained efficiently by the community without foreign assistance due to active participation, personal investment, and individual empowerment?; and 5) In traditional societies, is there a set leadership in place for decision-making? 28

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The Study I used a purposive sample to study. The two communities that were chosen, Champiney and El Trapiche, represent traditional rural and newly created rural communities in Nicaragua that I believed would yield a comprehensive understanding of the valley, its people, and the projects there. According to the literature review mentioned in Chapter Two, a traditional society is rural and isolated, with a kinship network, in which there is a set leadership, and is established with various economic and class levels. El Trapiche represented a traditional and existing community within the criteria, whereas Champiney was a newly developing community without set leadership, experience, or infrastructure in place currently. Its inhabitants were displaced due to Hurricane Mitch and its after affects or to a lack of previous housing. For these reasons and according to the literature, El Trapiche and Champiney represented opposite ends of the spectrum in which I could effectively study a traditional and a newly developing community. The interview respondents were selected from a sample oftheJocal members of both communities to represent a range of social class, professions, education levels, and individual status within the community. A more detailed description of the communities and respondents is included in Chapter Four. 29

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In order to collect data, I used various qualitative research methods, including semi-structured interviews, participant observation, daily field notebook records, and secondary data analysis. Upon collection, I systematically recorded the information gathered from the above-mentioned qualitative methods for future analysis. Babbie (1995) notes that these forms of field research are relevant and appropriate for topics that are not easily quantifiable and are used to make initial observations, discover background information, and create general conclusions regarding issues and further research. The qualitative methods used in this study are considered to yield data high in validity but low in reliability and generalizability. The information from this study, therefore, should be considered suggestive and exploratory, and not defmitive in nature. Project Interviews and Information Review I began my study by investigating the existing projects .in both communities. I gathered information systematically on the details of each project in order to understand its mission, funding, who brought it to the community, size, involvement, and it benefits or barriers to the community. Using informal interviews, I spoke to community leaders, the Jalapa mayor, and other key informants in the Valley to obtain information, written contracts, and details of each project. During the interviews and discussions, I wrote notes, words, and phrases 30

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that would let me remember the major ideas of the conversation. At this stage, I also obtained secondary data, which included community project proposals, organizational grants, meeting notes, and conespondence records. These records and data were obtained from helpful employees at the mayor's office in Jalapa, project representatives, and community leaders. I, then, wrote the details of each project in my field notebook, and later used this information to create my interview guideline. All information was referenced to the projects. Participant Observation This research method constitutes the majority of my study. For three months, I spent time in each community in order to gain rapport with the members and get a sense of the daily routine and the local life there. I involved myself in the communities by physically helping with the various projects, talking informally to everyone I met, purchasing snacks from local vendors, and attending community meetings. Using my field notebook, I kept daily notes on the day's activities, any conclusions and impressions of each of the events, and my thoughts on various people, places, or things that had occurred to me that day. All information was logged by date and referenced to the community in which it took place. I went to community meetings on an invitation basis. In total, I attended five community meetings in Champiney and El Trapiche, all regarding existing or 31

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upcoming development projects. The format was always a lecture and discussion style. When attending these events, I used a meeting profile that had been developed prior to doing my research (see Appendix A). Through observation of the meetings, I systematically collected the information on who was in attendance, who spoke in public, gender issues, class issues, who held the meeting, the goal of the meeting, its organizational structure, duration, and results. The infom1ation collected was then recorded in my field notebook to be used in analysis. I tape recorded the first meeting at the consent of the members. However, due to the constant talking of multiple attendees, the recording was loud and impossible to understand or transcribe. For all other meetings, I recorded information by hand. Community Interviews In addition to participant observation and collecting information on the various projects, I conducted semi-structured, open-ended interviews with various members of both communities (see Appendices B & C). I interviewed fourteen respondents from each town, 28 in total. Each respondent was asked the same questions. I interviewed each respondent two times, each interview lasting approximately forty-five minutes to two hours. The respondents were chosen in a purposive manner in order to yield a comprehensive understanding of the situation: I was looking for representation of varying social status and class, education levels, participation activities, and professions. I included in my study from both 32

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communities at least three members of the leadership board, one teacher, respondents who were not involved in various projects, storeowners, housemothers, single women, and laborers. All interviews were held in or around the home of the respondent. Many were held while sitting inside the home if there was space, or outside on plastic chairs by their doors. In Champiney, some of the interviews were done on the cement foundations of the houses being built in Champiney, whereas in El Trapiche, we sat on their covered dirt porches. One interview in Champiney with a housewife was held in her convenience store as she attended to customers. Another was held in an office, connected to the home, and one El Trapiche man requested that the interview be held in one of the community leaders' home. Nearly every respondent was visited at lea:st once before the interview date, usually accompanied or advised by the community leaders. Tllis was an introduction visit to discuss what was going to happen and gain rapport. I was unable to meet seven respondents before the initial interview due to lack of coordination or availability in our schedules or because I met the respondents at the first interview. I requested that each respondent read and sign a consent form at the beginning of the first interview. All initial visits, consent fotms, and interviews were conducted in Spanish, the official language ofNicaragua. Because not many people speak English in the Jalapa Valley, I started each conversation in Spanish, and nobody tried to communicate with me in English or any language other than 33

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Spanish. If respondents could not read or write, I read it to them, and they signed or had a family sign for them. They were given a choice to record the interviews . Ten respondents agreed, and I tape-recorded the interviewswith them. I also wrote notes, words, and phrases along with the tape-recording, in order to later log thoughts and impressions of the interview. One respondent agreed to tape the interviews, and some of the discussion was recorded successfully. However, he decided at a later point that he felt more comfortable with not taping the rest of the inte1views and therefore! have limited taped information from this respondent. One tape from another respondent was somehow destroyed in the transfer and travel process, but my notes and transcriptions from both interviews have remained intact. For the respondents that disagreed to taping the interviews, I scribbled their answers by hand, using phrases, words, sentences, and ideas to record their experiences. The first round of interviews consisted of questions regarding the five participatory development processes that the literature denotes: investment, decision-making, empowerment, sustainability, and leadership. Alsoincluded in this interview were personal perspectives and importance of participation and development. The second round of interviews were conducted to clarify information obtained in the first round of interviews and to fill any gaps in detail that had not yet been answered. The second interview also contained several questions pertaining to the new dependency that I had seen emerge from the first 34

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interviews. Like the first round, the second interviews were conducted in or around respondent homes For many of the interviews, the key respondent was accompanied by family members, friends, and passers-by. Often these people would inject their opinions into the conversation or answer the question before the chosen respondent, and this often influenced the answer of the key respondent. However in this society where everybody is around constantly, it was inappropriate for me to ask these extra people to leave the interview and the key respondents did not ever do that either. Therefore, the answers by anybody other than the chosen respondent were recorded and noted in the interview log I also redirected the same question to the respondent again to ensure that I received a response from the intended person. All respondents were willing to be a part of the study with me, although several men and women were quite shy, making such comments as they hoped they could answer my questions appropriately, be helpful to my research, and help in the understanding of the development processes.-Over one half of them asked if they had given me good information orif they had helped me when the first interview was completed. I reassuringly told them they had good stories and information to share. They all seemed less timid and anxious in the second interviews. There was enly one person that agreed to do the interviews with me, but when I arrived at her home to conduct the first one, she had changed her mind, and decided to not participate in the study because she was shy and unsure of how she could help me. 35

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As quickly as possible after each intexview, I took some time to write my impressions, reactions, and thoughts of the time spent together. For all intexviews, I systematically translated and transcribed the information, both from the recordings if these were applicable and from my notes for every intexview. Each respondent was assigned a number in order to maintain confidentiality in the study. Data Analysis All of the information was filed into one of seven categories, based on the five research questions, the emerging trend, and demographics and background information. All of the information and responses for a particularrespondent were kept together and each individual was put into a community file. All files were kept in a computer spreadsheet. This technique of filing made cross-referencing and data analysis more manageable. I referred to my original questions in order to make sense of and analyze the collected and filed data. I looked for any information from the intexviews, obsexvations, and secondary analysis that would answer or negate each question, and identified responses that spoke toward or against the emerging trend that I had obsetved and had shaped my research questions. Similarities and differences per community in the data and responses were identified in order to understand the norms and general principles of the Jalapa Valley societies. I also looked for further impacts and trends that emerged within the development context. 36

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CHAPTER4 BACKGROUND AND CASE STUDIES The History To understand today's oveiWhelming poverty, dependence, and development issues in Nicaragua, it is necessary to be familiar with the region's history. Central America's history is based upon natural and human resources, in which labor, supplies, and communities have been subject to control and subjugation of foreign and internal governments and markets. This background is an integral factor in understanding the current situation and possible development methods for the present and the future. The Spanish conquest in Central America was the search for resources, land, and fanie. Upon arrival, the Spanish conquistadors overcame the native Americans, due to their organizational strength, advanced weapons, diseases causing a sickness and death among the native peoples, slave raiding that depleted the native populations, and attacks on the native agricultural and commercial systems. The conquistadors put into place a system of class structure and domination through paid tribute. Spain controlled labor, trade, commodity prices, and exports, while introducing foreign crops. New food production and raw materials shifted the 37

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economic and political conditions of the conquered. This created dependence on the Spanish crown. As Wolf (1997) explains about native Americans, Abandoning their own subsistence activities, they became specialized laborers in a putting-out system, in which the entrepreneurs advanced both production goods and consumption goods against commodities to be delivered in the future. Such specialization tied the native Americans more firmly into continent-wide and intemational networks of exchange, as subordinate producers rather than partners (p. 194). This cycle reshaped the domains of the New World. The Spanish Crown increasingly transferred lands and labor to agricultural entrepreneurs, granting trusteeships that employed Indian tributes and labor for landholder interests in exchange for Christianizing the natives. Royal officials oversaw this system. Haciendas and large landowners superceded the trusteeships, becoming less dependent on royal officialdom, and instead owners in full control of land and labor for meeting demands. Indian communities grew around the periphery of centralized haciendas. Native elite's introduced coffee to Central America in the mid 1800's for export trade. This industry relied heavily upon ownership of large amounts of land, concentrated in the hands of a few, and intense cheap physical labor by the oppressed native classes. Coffee production dispossessed local peasants and Indian farmers from their lands, legislating communal landholdings out of existence. The banana industry was also introduced in Central America in the late 19th century. Largely foreign owned, they invested in public utilities and land, 38

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squeezing out local growers and displacing communal landholdings. Banana companies employed natives to work the land, created local entrepreneurs, and controlled the local politics. External powers continued to pursue economic, political, and security resources and interests within Central America. Europe, in particular, Spain and England, ruled the Central American isthmus until 1821, until the formal independence of the provinces. The United States became involved in Latin American foreign policy in the early 19the century, when it promoted a transisthmian canal and took action as the principal power to protect the western hemisphere by signing the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. Foreign and local elite's control the political system and gain income from export of products for consumption by them, not the masses. Therefore, the common citizen is not important as a consumer, but is rather cheap and vulnerable labor. Changes to benefit the masses would result in economic dislocation and personal sacrifices. Booth and Walker (1999)defme dependency as a 11Complex political, economic, and social phenomenon serving to block development of the majority in privilege dominated third world countries with heavily externally-oriented economies in which the benefits of economic growth do not trickle down to the majority .. (p. 15). A system of power and control had been established, with imperialism and free mruket economy in place, shaping and reinforcing the domination/subordination cycle into the present situation. 39

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Modes of adaptation and rebellion emerged from this system (Rogers 1983, McCamant 1968). The roots of conflict encompass lowered income, unequal distribution of wealth and land, and a general lowered living standard. Nicaragua is a unique case in Central American history. It has experienced a change from a dictatorship and violent conflict, to a revolution and alternative government, United States opposition, and fmally to relative democratic reformation. Within Nicaragua, President Zelaya (1893-1909) negotiated with several foreign powers for a canal. In response, the US encouraged opposition, and put into place puppet governments within Nicaragua. In 1927, Augusto Sandino resisted US occupation within the country. Anastasio Somoza and the National Guard killed Sandino at the negotiation table in 1934, taking power until1979. Under the family regime, although violent and corrupt, Nicaragua experienced rapid agricultural modernization and export expansion in the 1960's and 70's. The country's growth per capita grew, but inflation soared. The gap between the rich and the poor grew drastically, while unemployment increased and people lost their homes in the 1972 earthquake. Land and wealth became investments intertwined with the Somoza family business, while the economy deteriorated. Opposition against the government was formed, to which Somoza Debayle responded with a declaration of a state of siege in 197 4. Popular uprisings among middle classes and peasant farmers and laborers strove to end the bloody regime. The Sandinista Front for National Liberation 40

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(FSLN), also lmown as Sandinistas, was formed by the union of insurrection and guerilla groups. Forming coalitions with all opposition parties and organizations, the FSLN received frnancial organizational, and hwnan resources for its cause On July 19, 1979, the Sandinistas overthrew Somoza, putting into place a revolutionary government, emphasizing in pa1ticipatory government, social and economic reforms, and electoral systems. The Reagan administration began a policy of pressure against the Sandinistas. The multifaceted campaign to undermine the FSLN government via the Contra War killed the economy and Nicaragua was unable to support itself. The Sandinistas lost to Violeta Chamorro in a democratic election in 1990. During the military regimes and authoritarian rule in the 1970's and 80's, there was uneven growth as the shift from agricultural production to industrial manufacturing increased. Export prices for major commodities dropped sharply in the late 1970's and early 1980's, and the ensuing region-wide-recession disrupted production, scared away foreign capital, deteriorated living conditions, and stimulated class conflict and reforms. Central American governments accwnulated huge foreign debt loans. With their eroding economies, : they were forced into nee liberal structural adjustment programs. Steps taken in these rigid economic programs include the balancing of public budgets by cutting service subsidies, downsizing government employees, privatizing state-owned enterprises, deregulating the private sector, devaluing currencies, and reducing tariff barriers. 41

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These programs have brought price stability, improved trade, and decreased inflation in Latin America, but have also increased the disparity between the wealthy and impoverished, and have created more social and economic inequalities. Structural programs are still in effect presently. Green (1997) focuses on social, environmental, and urban issues that have emerged from the historical process experienced in Central America. Commodity trade, raw materials, and human resources drove colonial expansion and increased the dependency of foreign power, shaping today's Latin America. Roads, bridges, railroads, and telecommunications were built in the region in order to develop the commodity trade. However, the overuse of people, land, and resources has had enormous social and environmental affects on Latin America, demonstrating such characteristics as extreme land erosion, loss of fertility in crop production, displaced rural farmers, high death rates and illness, and the loss of self-sufficiency. The Setting Bordering on Honduras and Costa Rica (See Figure 1.1 ), Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, with a population of 4,918, 393 as of July, 2001. Fifty-eight percent of its population is between the ages of 15 and 64 years, and the life expectancy rate for the total population is 69 years of age. The literacy of the total population is 65. 7%. Its land use is split between petmanent pastures, crops, and forests and woodlands, with only 9% arable land. Nicaragua's cash crops are 42

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coffee, cotton, sugar cane, bananas, and tobacco. Com, beans, and rice are primary domestic crops. Currently, .the country is experiencing serious deforestation due to pests, soil erosion, and water pollution. The country is characterized by economic instability, land tenancy problems, illiteracy, instability within national institutions and a lack of suppoli from the government. These components affect the participation in development projects. Other physical problems, such as the vulnerability to weather conditions and natural disasters, threaten the success of development in Nicaragua. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch destroyed homes, property, and crops. This year, an expected dry season due to El Nino could be costly to the agricultural sector of rural Nicaragua. Another issue that affects participation in development is the poverty in Nicaragua. Poverty motivates social and economic change due to the decline in living conditions, but it is not a natural or inevitable state (Booth and Walker 1999, LaFeber 1993). According to the 1997 Human Development Report, poverty is defined by three perspectives: the income perspective, the poverty line where the income or the expenditure level is below minimum, and adequate diet and requirements are unaffordable; the basic needs perspective, in which poverty is the deprivation ofrequirements for minimally acceptable fulfillment of human needs, including food, which goes beyond the lack of private income, and includes need for basic services that must be provided by the community, as well as recognizing employment and participation; and the capability perspective, in which poverty 43

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represents the absence of basic abilities to function, where a person is unable to achieve adequate nourishment, clothing, and shelter, and avoiding morbidity. This includes participating in community life. It is estimated that 50% of the population in Nicaragua is living below the poverty line, with 18% making under $2.00 US dollars per day, and the unemployment rate is currently at 20%. Nicaragua's per capita income in 2001 was $484 US dollars, and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $2562 million US dollars. Poverty is characterized by unequal distribution of land, lack of education, an inadequate and scarce health system, and population increases, which prevail in Nicaragua. Poverty is a grave issue that negatively impacts participatory development in Nicaragua. Acr;:ording to van Heck (1979), poverty prevents people from the possibility of receiving credit, often forcing them to respond by leaving their homes and families for employment elsewhere. Another issue of poverty is that of the needs and expectations of the people: a project often cannot meet all of these needs, and therefore people are at times reluctant to commit to the requirements. There is also a tendency to not care for the land and home if the people do not own it, a problem due to the fact that many people in Nicaragua do not hold titles :to their property. Lastly, some participate in a development project for the benefits only, and do not invest or sustain it. 44

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Jalapa is the capital of the department of Nueva Segovia in Nicaragua-the first gate to my research site. Seated in a valley, it is surrounded by mountains and forests, but the lowlands are a hub of agricultural activity, supporting such crops as tobacco, coffee, rice, beans, and com for export and national consumption. From the city, one road leading to the border of Honduras serves as the main access point to the many little communities that exist or are being created along it, such as the two communities that I chose to study. Most of the communities have long histories in the valley, having survived the Sandinista-Contra War during the 1980's. There are landmarks and gravesites along the road and hillsides. The dirt highway is filled with public transportation, cattle-driven carts, horseback riding, cars, and pedestrians at any given time, as people commute between their communities and Jalapa. Case Studies I was, first informed about Champiney through the Boulder-Jalapa Friendship City Project (FCP) that was building a potable water project in_ the new community. Champiney was created in 1999 as a response to the displaced families that existed in the area from Hurricane Mitch and successive foreclosures of farms that occurred in its : aftermath. The mayor's office .in Jalapa, in conjunction with and fmancing from the French FCP of Champiney negotiated the purchase of 18 manzanas (1.5 acres approximately each), and donated the land for division and 45

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distribution into individual family parcels. It is estimated that approximately 3000 people will live in Champiney once full to .capacity, and currently over half of these residents are living on their donated land in wooden shacks. In order to receive a parcel of land, families must prove displacement from or a lack of previous property or home. Shortly after the land became available, and the town was named Champiney after its donor, the first fifty families arrived. The Nicaraguan government, with help from Taiwan, provided fifty pre-fabricated houses that were assembled in three neat rows by the recipients in a couple of months. This led to problems between the fifty recipient families and the other inhabitants that had arrived and were not receiving The Boulder-Jalapa FCP water project in Champiney began approximately a year later, in 2000. Each family was put into one of eight squads, which rotated work schedules on a daily basis. They acquired the proceeds and aid of the FCP organization after applying to FCP and receiving social support from other community leaders that had already received aid from the same organization. FCP maintains one representative and one local foreman to organize, build, and manage the water project. The Office of American States (OAS) started a countrywide project of building adobe houses shortly after the water project commenced. After months of planning, they started making adobe and building frames in a grid pattern. 46

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However, their progress has been delayed by the rainy season, costing the community adobe bricks, time, and community support. With this project, the recipients are required to have a representative from each family working from 8-4 daily, except Sunday. Often due to husbands working away or excluded from the home, women and children are left to work on the housing project. With the rigorous daily schedule, many people are not able to work for food, and therefore, another project provides gallons of rice, beans, com, and oil to the families. There is much discontent among the locals regarding the OAS housing project, because of its rigid regulations and the continued length of completion from six months to one year. Many people have dropped from the project to build their own homes, with great economic difficulty. However, the majority continues. Slated for the future is a project for electricity, and another for the building of chicken coops and pigpens. Other possibilities for development projects that were mentioned on a community level are a coffee mill, a milk and cheese factory, cattle space, a school and preschool, and a credit project. Daily, the OAS managers roll into town with four-wheel drive trucks, unlocking the storehouse doors, which house the construction materials for the housing project. Community people arrive, crowding around its doors, and prepare to begin another day in the sun or rain. Some women make their way to the main public water taps. There, it is swampy and muddy due to extended use for bathing and washing clothes In the fifty pre-fabricated homes, residents prepare for their 47

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days. Having homes already in place, each of these families are able to focus on other basic needs, such as electricity and income-generating projects. They continue on in their daily routines and wait for the day the projects pertinent to them commence. After arriving in the Jalapa Valley and welcomed by the community of Champiney, I started to meet people from surrounding communities. One of these was the leader of El Trapiche, a friend to the FCP representative that I worked with in Champiney. I was invited to some meetings and educational trainings for a credit project that was commencing in El Trapiche, and so started visiting that community and its members. El Trapiche is a more traditional community in the sense that it has been established for generations, with known power structures, set leadership, organized communication channels, and people with many years of experience living together. They are not as worried about their simple basics but are instead looking at bettering their quality of life. Nearly all the residents in El Trapiche have homes with walls and floors, running water taps, electricity and an established community. Houses dot the land from the road to the mountains in an unorganized fashion. They have a school, a health center, and a community center. There is an organized community board, as well as a water board that manages the collection of community fees for its maintenance. The leader of El Trapiche has been so for years. He visits many community members and others in order to educate them regarding new projects, possibilities 48

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for future funding, and organization ideas. Every foreigner is a possible contact, and he takes special care to include him or her in new ideas and add them to his network. Projects in El Trapiche have served a wide range of benefits, such as the school, health center, potable water, latrines, and stoves. Some of these were constructed by the community as a whole, while others consist of fewer people with a more specific purpose. Sponsors have been the national government, FCP organizations in Colorado and Minnesota, Reed College delegations from Oregon, and other personal interests based on relationships with the leader and El Trapiche families. Most members have been involved in previous projects and are friends or contacts of the leader of El Trapiche. There is less direct participation or representation from the community here, due to the type and size of projects, and the level of personal need. In El Trapiche, the current project is a credit-based loan program, funded by a family in Colorado, and managed via a local planning and lending committee in the community. The U.S. representative of the credit project spent six months in El Trapiche in trainings with the local committee members, preparing them for a sustainable project. They also built an office with a computer for the project meeting place. In order to receive a loan, collateral must be proven, such as land deeds, store or home titles. The money is used mainly to fund crops, with the first of the repayments coming due at the end of the crop seasons. However, several of 49

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the loans went to store and bar owners. Many people were not included in this project due to limited funds and relationship to the leader. Other possible projects in El Trapiche are the repairs of the town road, the community center roof, electricity for sectors that do not yet have it, more latrines, more stoves, a water pump project, cattle space, improving agricultural techniques, and maintaining the health center. Daily in El Trapiche, families go to their respective fields to plant, irrigate, and harvest their crops. Many people scatter to various meetings and community boards. Some women stay home to cook food that was grown from their gardens or on their trees, and make baskets to sell at local markets and to international delegations that come to the area. The majority of residents in El Trapiche have potable water taps and washing is done at home. Children in their school uniforms walk to classes. Respondents In Champiney, I interviewed eight female and six male respondents. Each was interviewed twice, originally to obtain general information regarding participation and perspectives on development. The second interviews allowed me to obtain more profound responses to specific questions that had not yet been answered in the first interviews. All respondents were asked the same questions. Four respondents were living in the prefabricated houses. One of these included a 50

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small convenience store inside. Seven respondents were building their adobe houses while currently living in tiny wooden shacks, and two were living in their hand-built wood and adobe shacks, and not involved in any housing projects. One of these hand-made houses had a small convenient store. Four of the respondents were from the Jalapa valley and ten came from other parts of Nicaragua. Three respondents were in Champiney due to losses incurred by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, one respondent bought his land from his brother, and ten reported that they were renting and had no land or home due to lack of funds and family properties. Three respondents earn a living by cooking food in their homes to sell in and around the community, one is an architect, one does odd jobs to earn money, and one is a teacher. I also included in my Champiney sample a respondent in agriculture, a tobacco farm worker, a construction worker, two house-mothers, one that runs a store in her home, two maids, and one guard. Two respondents were divorced, one separated, one single, six living with mates, and four were married. The average number of children was 4.9. In El Trapiche, there were six female and eight male respondents. All respondents were interviewed two times and in these, were asked the same questions. Eleven have their own houses with land, fruit trees, and animals. One respondent had a house with a small plot, and two had wooden shacks, in which one of these had no land or animals. Nine of the respondents were from the valley, with seven directly from El Trapiche, and five came from other parts of Nicaragua. Each 51

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respondent had lived in EL Trapiche for more than six years. Two respondents came to the community to be with mates, seven live on their family land, and five came to El Trapiche looking for work in agriculture. Seven of the respondents make a living in agriculture, one is a teacher, and one owns a small convenient store in her home. Also included in the list of respondents are a basket maker, three housemothers, and one tobacco farm worker. Ten are married, one single, and three live with their mates. The average number of children is 4.8. In the newly developing community of Champiney, people reported being anxious about the new people moving into the community. Four respondents stated they had problems with their new neighbors for various reasons. Only one person stated that she knew everyone. When asked about trust within Champiney, the overall conclusion was that many felt they could leave their homes, but from observations .in the field, most people do not leave them unattended. Another issue for Champiney respondents was the difference in house styles: three were prefabricate homes and the construction of adobe houses . Still others not included in any projects were living in wooden shacks around the periphery of the community. Some beneficiaries ofthe prefabricated houses admitted jealousy due to the appearance of the adobe housing projects, but also commented that they had not lost as much time, energy, and salary as had those involved in the latter housing project. One respondent even commented that adobe would not hold up in a hurricane, but the prefabricated material would endure. 52

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Only one respondent in El Trapiche reported having a problem with somebody in the community All other respondents said they were united, amiable, and in good relations with each other. Ten respondents stated they knew everyone in the community. When asked about trust within the community, again the answers were that there is a lot of trust, but not in everyone. People could leave their homes, but from observations, the home is not usually left unattended. Respondents from both communities were in accordance with the rest of their neighborhoods, signifying that the needs of the people were those of their communities. Each family was in approximately the same economic and social situation within both communities, with similar needs and expectations. This promotes community support of development projects. After spending months observing, working on projects, and visiting people, people recognized me, spoke to me on the street, and invited me into their homes. I gained rapport and was welcomed into both communities. I interviewed a total of twenty-eight respondents. Out of the fourteen from Champiney and fourteen from El Trapiche, I noticed several that stood out as having certain characteristics as defmed in the development process or to possess personal qualities that are relevant to the discussion of this thesis. I therefore have chosen a sample within my sample of respondents to describe in more detail for the reader's benefit and understanding. I have given them false names in order to conceal the identity of the respondent and 53

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maintain their confidentiality. Although the names are not, the accounts and situations are true and correct according to my fieldwork. In Champiney, Jorge became an ideal example of someone who incorporated participatory development from his investment in the projects to obtaining skills and voice from his involvement, and fmally a certain degree of empowerment and some understanding of sustainability. He was always open to speak with me. After his wife served coffee with several teaspoons of sugar -a Nicaraguan favorite -we would sit in his plastic chairs outside of the door to his small shack and talk about projects, the community, and tell stories. He grew up in a near-by town in a poor family, but left the area when he was thirteen years old in order to leam to read. After years of cotton farming, Jorge joined the Sandinista army and was educated, and managed troops in the mountains. He returned to the Jalapa valley where he married and worked in construction. Jorge started working with foreign delegations. Since then, he has continued working with projects, enjoys a network of contacts, and has the knowledge and power to make and sustain his efforts. A man with a nice smile and humble manner, he is a hard worker and fights to obtain a better living for his family and the community. Also demonstrating someone who followed and incorporated the philosophy of participatory development was Samuel, an older family man that moved to El Trapiche in the early 1970's looking for work in order to provide for his family. Earning money doing agricultural work, his family bought into a cooperative when 54

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the Sandinistas came into power in 1979, which gave him titled land and the capability to grow food. Samuel becan1e involved in the first project in El Trapiche, the building of the public school, funded by a Christian group from Minnesota. He recognized the importance of organization and liked the foreign contacts he made. He is a gentle man, and demonstrates concern for the people around him. Manuela represents a person in Champiney that has invested in some of the projects and has taken a part in making decisions regarding these She also understands something about sustainability. However, she does not display a high level of personal empowerment or a commitment to decision-making processes for the community, nor is sustainability an issue for her outside of the projects in which she has played a role. However, she does use her expelience to think about new projects and solicite if the opportunity arises in front ofher. Manuela is a young grandmother living in one of the prefabricated homes. Born in Jicaro, she moved to the Jalapa Valley with .her family when she was a child. Manuela went to school and now ensures that her children attend as much as possible. Living together with her family and children and divorced from her husband, she decided to apply for one of the Champiney plots of land in order to gain some independence and have her own home. She was one of the first families there, and has seen the changes that have taken place in the community as it grows. Now, preparing food for sale on the street, she provides for her family. We sat on plastic chairs in front of her house, and shared stories. With a warm, beautiful smile, Manuela was not afraid to tell me 55

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her thoughts and problems with the community, her neighbors, and the development processes taking place there. Constancia of El Trapiche also represents a person that has invested in nearly all of the projects within the community and has taken a part in making decisions regarding these. She understands sustainability and has become empowered to a certain degree. She has decided however, to remain outside of the leadership roles and her commitment to decision-making and sustainability processes are limited, and are instead roles for the project boards to take care of, although she is aware of the importance of these. She has close contacts within the community and project boards, which gives her the opportunity to partake in all projects that arrive Active in education and her church, she also takes part in the conservation and school boards for the community. Constancia's family has been in El Trapiche for generations. She lives near family, with her husband and family in an adobe home with a long porch that tuns along her house. She belongs to a woman s artisan cooperative and is a housewife She.is a strong and independent woman with a contagious laugh. We talked openly about her life in El Trapiche. Soraya from Champiney displays characteristics of investing in projects for need, and has attended meetings regarding these, but has largely remained outside of the decision-making and empowerment roles, and expects the community leadership to sustain the communal benefits other than her own belongings. She is a loyal worker however, and sees the opportunity to gain benefits through projects. She is 56

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nnable to read or write. Also born in Jicaro her family did not have land or a home, and she applied to receive a plot of land in Champiney. She now lives in a tiny shack with her family, and is separated from her husband She works daily on the construction of her home, but does not take part in any roles. She too makes food to sell in the community and the Valley. I first met Soraya in the town center ofChampiney. I approached her about my study, and we sat on the raised cement of one of the unfinished houses in the shade and started to talk. She is an older woman with a worn face and a realistic nnderstanding of life in Nicaragua, and her one goal is to get a home so she can have a guarantee of a roof over her head and a better life. She had not had much personal contact with foreigners, although she has been exposed to them often due to the projects in the Valley. She asked that I share her information with the world to promote an nnderstanding of what life is like in Nicaragua. Josefa is another respondent from El Trapiche that has invested in projects and attended meetings regarding these. She takes part in decision-making, has not incorporated an empowerment role into her life. She believes that the community leadership is in place to sustain any communal benefits, but also expects people to take care to maintain their own benefits and become involved in helping the community. She believes that with support from the community, the leadership can succeed but has no power as an individual. Originally born in Chusli, just down the road, Josefa came to El Trapiche to be with her mate after finishing high school. 57

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She is a housewife and participates in the community. Her home is in the foothills a cement and adobe house with a wide front porch. She was very shy and worried that she would be unable to answer my questions but once started, she had no problem in responding and felt good about helping my study. Roberta has participated in the water project and in fact started to work on the housing project. However, after several months, her family had no food to eat, and she got sick, missing too many days to be allowed to keep her house and stay in fair standing with the rest of the members in the housing project. She is now on her own to build her house, and currently lives in a two-room shack with a dirt floor She represents a person who has worked on projects if necessary, but lacks the investment, decision-making, and empowerment processes. She does not think about community sustainability, and barely maintains her house and family. She works as a maid for a family in the Valley, and lives with her mate and children. Although she reported having some friends in Champiney, she is outside of the community development for the most part. Roberta invited me into her home and I sat on a wood bench as she cooked over a wood fire, holding a small baby, and talking to me. She had difficulty understanding a couple ofthe questions without an but she could read and write. My presence was strange, as she had not had one-on-one contact with a foreigner before, especially in her home, and I was on some level an obligation for her. However, we did end up gaining some rapport, and she was quite willing to tell me her side of the Champiney story. 58

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Timoteo took part in the first latrine project that came to El Trapiche, but has since then, remained outside of any development project. He does not invest nor make decisions in the community or projects, and does not demonstrate a need to sustain any communal benefits. He is not an active member of the community, but has many people he communicates with in and around El Trapiche. He is not dependent on anybody but himself, and for this demonstrates a sense of personal empowerment, but feels no power outside of his home. I sat in the hammock and he was on a wooden stool outside of his wooden shack. He lives with his wife and children outside of the community on a small plot of land, without running water or electricity. Although he reads and writes, he discourages his children from attending school and his wife from taking part in community meetings or cooperatives. He works in agriculture, working daily in the fields around the community. He told me the only time he had spoken to foreigners was when a group came to help build his latrine, and he that immensely. He was very welcoming and opened up to me easily. He is a tall man. with startling blue eyes that spoke of life experiences. Although I do not go into detail about the rest of the people in my sample, there are of course, other respondents that I describe or refer to as I discuss the issues ofmy study. My overall impression of, and something I believe to be important to mention about, the people in Champiney, El Trapiche, and the Jalapa Valley is that they are a warm and welcoming people with an intermixed culture of 59

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traditional heritage and savvy entrepreneurs. They are simply trying to make ends meet in a world in which they do not have much, if any, national support or economic comforts, and are reliant upon the weather, nature, and all that these bring, as well as the other people who make up and act as a citizens' support network in the valley. This network of family is incorporated into foreign dealings and guides much of how business gets done. Each person played an important role in relaying what community life in Champiney and El Trapiche is like to me, and how people there are impacted by the processes of participatory development. The community leaders played an important role in my research Originally in the Jalapa Valley to help build part of the water system with an FCP delegation, I met two of the leaders in Champiney through the on-site U S representative on the first day in the community. I also met two of the leaders in El Trapiche through the same FCP representative After some time spent observing both communities these leaders introduced me to other leaders and respondents, and suggested who in the community may fit into the profile I was looking for, whether it be a teacher, housewife, or agricultural farm worker. Upon my request and in all sincerity, the leaders chose people from their communities that represented projects from both towns, as well as those that disagreed with or were not involved in projects or community activities. However, it must be said that the leaders' influence on my study is great in that they provided the doors to open to the majority of my respondents and although I knew several people through my observations, many of 60

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the members of the community participated in my study without question at the request of their leader, and no other reason. 61

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CHAPTERS FINDINGS My original idea for research in Nicaragua was to study the community participation efforts of the FCP water project in Champiney. I had an interest in the positive affects of participation outlined by the existing participatory development literature on the people, and this project reflected what I thought was to be a truly representative project: the people had organized within the community to ask for assistance to obtain a basic need within the community: potable water. I was interested in this because the case was not a foreign power coming into the community and assuming the peoples' needs, but instead the community acknowledged this need and invited the help via the means of an organized water board that represented the community as a whole. However, when I arrived in the Jalapa valley, and started spending time in Champiney, I noticed from the first day the organized begging of various members from the community. They united as a group to ask for fmancial help for any enterprise possible. Financial assistance was expected, and the people solicited for money. Instead of seeing an organized invitation to enter the community for a specific need that was recognized by the community members, I noticed the organized process of soliciting and accepting any benefits offered. In the process of development, instead of meeting people's 62

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needs, it became apparent that they instead articulated their needs in terms of what development was capable of offering. This was not representative of the expectations of participatory development and sustainability. As mentioned in Chapter Two, the literature regarding participatory development.revolves around development that includes local knowledge, experience and culture when researching, planning and overseeing projects. The theory behind it is that when the local people are involved in the decision to do a project, and when the project is considered to be needed by the community, it is more favorably accepted and people become involved in decision-making and planning processes. With this, development advocates learn about local knowledge that is beneficial to the success of the project, and the locals become invested and take ownership ofwhatis occurring in their community. This investment and commitment should lead to sustainability of the project. The participation process should also lead to personal and group empowerment, having taken part in a project, and feeling personal success at its completion. This in tum should lead to increased participation in future projects and community decisions, education, and leadership within the community and furthered actions in ttying to improve their own situation, depending less on outside and foreign help. I wasn't seeing this but I was not sure why . Therefore, I decided to study the impacts of participatory development by comparing two communities, a traditional community that represents the 63

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expectations of the literature, and a newly developing community that is not yet represented in the participatory development literature. I wanted to know if the participatory development process was similar in its expectations and impacts in both types of communities. My original research questions regarding the participation and perceptions of people in the potable water project evolved into other questions regarding the impacts of all the varying projects in the Champiney and how this newly developing community was dealing with the development funds as it emerged into existence. Babbie (1995) notes, "The field researcher ... can continually modify the research design as indicated by the observations ... or changes in what he or she is studying" (p .. 297). At that point, I decided to study both the developing and the traditional society to understand any differences between the two in regards to participatory development and the new dependency of the people on development sponsorship. The fmal research questions emerged from my observations of the two communities and how certain characteristics within them differed from the expectations of contemporary participatory development advocates and literature. Therefore, I designed my study and questions to examine the participatory phases and its end results in the development process. According to the participatory literature, the participatory development process consists of stages reached when skills are obtained and provide the capability of using them in a meaningful way. From this literature; I expected to 64

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fmd that: 1) people invest in development projects when it is important to them and they want it in their community; 2) once invested, active participation encourages people to be creative players and decision-makers; 3) using skills to make decisions and be creative players in the community, people become empowered when they are actively participating and involved; 4) due to active participation, personal investment, and individual empowerment, projects are more likely to be sustained and maintained efficiently by the community without foreign or outside assistance; and 5) in traditional societies, there is an established leadership in place for decision-making. Theoretical Perspectives Investment What makes something important enough to participate in it, to take time from the urgent needs of daily living in an economically deprived country, and give of oneself to acquire it? The first: stage of participatory development is personal investment. From the research conducted, few people involve themselves in something that does not reflect a personal need, obligation, or desire. People invest their time, energy, materials, and money when they believe the project is beneficial to fulfill a personal need. However, the importance of a project does not always equate to investment in it. Depending on needs, the relationship with others 65

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involved in the planning and implementation of the project, limited resources and obtainable project goals and work schedules, some respondents implied that investment in a project is not always possible for them. The project benefits were still very important, however some were unable to comply with the required participation schedules and did not invest in the project. One of the first stages of participatory development is the investment of the project and all it entails: work, time, and problem solving. In order to invest, people have to believe it is an important and worthy project to them People invest when the benefit is a need being fulfilled in which people have the basics to live comfortably and they look forward to projects that can either bring them money orrepair existing benefits and structures. The first research question asked when people feel a project is important and they want it in their community, do they invest in it? This question was determined by a subset of questions regarding perceptions ofthe importance of the projects and the types of investment required to complete them. Results suggest projects are important when they fulfill a personal or.community need. Jorge commented on the Champiney projects, "All are important fundamentals . to have direct change". In Champiney, all respondents talked about the past current, and most of the future projects were necessary for the survival of the community: land with titles housing and materials, potable water, electricity, a cheese and milk factory, trees, a school, a preschool a health center, and latrines. One respondent suggested a coffee mill, 66

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while another remarked, "I want a credit project, some financing for a business for women ... so my wife can sell her crafts. She could make some money''. Roberta stated, "a project for animals is important. Chickens, pigs, and cattle would help us with food ... we need to have work in the barrio". The importance of animals and credit was confirmed by several other respondents. The three most important projects to the respondents were water, with 100% support, houses (n=13), and electricity (n=9). These numbers show a consolidation for the importance of the projects. Soraya, the small older woman sitting on the cement foundation of her unfinished house, summed up the sentiment of the community, "We can not live without houses and water". Manuela, the outspoken woman living in a prefabricated house remarked, ''with clean water in our houses, we will have no more river washing". Another respondent talked about the importance of electricity in the community, ''We will be able to have refrigerators and coolers. Our stores can stay open at night because with light it will be safer for the people". A young single mother furthered the issue of importance for electricity, "we will have less disturbances from drunks.;. I think we have a lot of drinking because there is nothing else to do when .it is dark and we do not have light". Jorge confirmed the priority of the projects and their importance, "Water and houses are imperative. After these; I can work more calmly on the electricity ... it is greatly important, but also something we have lived without for a long time now''. Each project signifies essential basic needs for personal and communal purposes, 67

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and all Champiney respondents (n=14) represented these projects as worthy and important for investment. In El Trapiche, all respondents mentioned current or future projects that were needed to help alleviate some of the pressure of poverty and needs within the community: electricity to various sectors, road penetration from the mountains to transport market goods, roof repairs to the community building, to obtain a medic and supplies for the community health center, new latrines for more people, a preschool, potable water in the high mountains, a credit project, and more wood burning stoves with chimney filtration. A friendly young mother wanted to see a school fence, ''the school is right on the road. I worry about the children". Another respondent stated, "I would like to see fmancial aid for education, you know, help with clothes and supplies and adult classes". The three most important projects according to the respondents were electricity (n=12), health center maintenance (n=5), and new and repaired latrines (n=5). A young man who is active in the community explained, "All [projects] are important and good. Electricity is important because I am hooked up illegally ... we borrow our electricity from next door''. Many respondents confirmed this need. Samuel commented on the health center, "the health center is very important here. We have this new building from a past project, and nothing in it ... we need to control it''. Josefa, through her shyness, confirmed this issue, "my daughter is a nurse". The projects represent basic needs for personal or community benefits not 68

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yet acquired, and all respondents (n=14) signified their importance for investment. However, people demonstrated more variation in their need priorities within the community of El Trapiche. The importance of projects however, does not necessarily signify or equate to investment. Two respondents from Champiney were not involved in any housing project, but were involved in the water project. One respondent from El Trapiche was not involved in any project, and one had been involved in a project in the past, but neither were currently a part of projects in the community. Seven El Trapiche respondents stated the importance of projects but were not invested in them due to their exclusion by leaders. Timoteo from El Trapiche commented on the importance of some projects, but he could not afford to invest so much required time in them. He explained, "Some projects take too long to finish. I lose money when I have to commit to long projects". He gestured to his many children, "I have a family to feed. No, we do not take part in it [projects] .. ; [economic] decisions are too often forgotten in the benefits". Roberta in Champiney, looking at her dirt floor, confirmed this; ''we were part of the housing project. We wanted help with a home. But, they require us to work all day, every day, and we did not eat. We got sick and missed too many days". The requirements for projects are often too economically draining and physically demanding for the participants to comply with and complete, or community relationships inhibit active participation. 69

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Another deciding factor for the importance of projects and peoples' investment in them is the duration of each project. Champiney is a community in which the members have devoted nearly all of their time to large-scale projects. These benefit the majority of the community but cost them large amounts of time and labor in the process. For this, nine respondents stated that short projects were preferred because they could see the benefits sooner, they did not lose much time and salary with the requirements, people are not as negatively affected, and there is less work. Manuela stated, "There is less work to do and there are more resources you can save for food. You gain a salary sooner too". Another respondent confirmed the preference of shorter projects, "they get things going to finish with results". Five respondents preferred longer projects, because they covered the majority of people due to larger funds, longer time, more benefits and education, possibilities-for earning money, and more value in the barrio. One respondent explained, ''they bring more to the barrio, they are bigger in value". Another respondent commented, "ifyou can make money doing it, then there is more time to earn". Jorge concluded, "longer projects are more ample, but shorter ones cost less. They are both very important". However, all Champiney respondents included in the long-term housing project complained that they had suffered greatly, and several would have looked for other housing options if they had known how long and difficult -it was going to be for them. 70

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Results from El Trapiche were the opposite: five respondents preferred shorter projects for the same reasons mentioned above. One respondent added, "in long projects, there is a possibility of running out of money and leaving it unfinished". Nine respondents prefetTed longer projects because people could advance more, there are higher levels of involvement, increased coverage to the community, more investment required to finish the work, satisfying aesthetic appearance, more time in the project, and more oppmtunities to work and make contacts. Samuel stated, "if projects are longer, people work more and get more involved. They advance more". Timoteo furthered this, "there is more to gef'. Another respondent said, "more people are guaranteed work". For the majority of El Trapiche respondents, projects that are longer give people the opportunity to invest themselves with others, participate in its end results, and become more invested and caring in the community. As seen by their development history, this community continues to experience short projects that cover only a minority of the people, and thus for them, important projects would be those with wider outreach. Respondents defmed three types of importance: 1) social importance, in which they invested because they would obtain social rewards, 2) material benefits, in which their needs would be fulfilled, and 3) community poverty alleviation, in which the community would experience a better level of living. When asked what makes a project important, common responses in both communities were the organized union of people, the mutual cooperation to fulfill their needs, the goal to 71

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alleviate some of the poverty that exists there, the visibility for Nicaragua and its people, to improve well being, and to accomplish something when the community cannot get help on their own. Samuel explained, "projects are able to give answers to the needs here", and Jorge confirmed, "they give us the ability to run with the many needs here". Another respondent summed, "they offer good administration, and they do not distinguish between people. There is help for everyone ... an organized union". The various f01ms of participation the people are required to invest are imperative in understanding if projects are worthy of investment. This topic speaks to issues of what peoples' investment means to them, as well as relays the level of investment they commit to themselves and the project. h1 response to the kind of investment required to complete a project, the majority of the respondents in Champiney (n=lO) said that physical labor was required. One respondent summed this sentiment," ... we can not give anything else". Four other respondents, along with labor, stated that the investment required to get a project done was the solicitation of further projects, fmancial support of foreign organizations, organization of the projects and the community, and to be at the disposal of whatever project may come. Jorge confmned this, "Time is a fundamental part ... to be disposed to help, more than anything else". Another respondent commented, "I keep looking for projects, take into account what we need, and keep participating". Two respondents suggested that an investment would be via personal financing or a 72

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community fund. Labor is the investment that is required by the masses to actually complete the project. In El Trapiche respondents (n=ll) also stated that physical labor was the investment required to complete a project. A poor ragged woman with no shoes explained "I can not give anything else. I am too poor .. nothing but work" Timoteo furthered this response, "labor is all one can give However, other suggestions given were the investment of time, ideas, the donation of material goods when possible support of international organizations, and solicit future projects. One respondent suggested that a community union or a working board be created as the branch of investment, and one respondent stated, "money is a form of investmenf'. Samuel summed what investment is to him and the community, To donate materials. To provide the actions of your own hands and participate ... and to soli cite for more support'.'. The findings here suggest that people are willing to work on projects to acquire the needed benefits, but the investment for the majority stops with labor. Respondent perceptions of what is gained or lost in the projects reflect their involvement in decision-making issues and creativity within their development. When asked what they gain from the projects, respondents in Champiney said they received benefits of. the projects, such as water, housing, and land However, six respondents stated they received a better life, comfort, solidarity, work, and support from the projects that come to their community. One young vocal mother stated, "I 73

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get land and a house for my kids and a place to do my work. I get more comfort in m own space. I have more happiness, and a better life as a family with my children". Jorge confmned this statement, "the entire family wins. It is mentionable". Common responses to what is lost from a project were that people lose force, health, time, schooling, and a salary to buy food and money when involved with projects. One respondent said she lost nothing. Eight of the respondents stated that even though they suffered in some projects, they had to continue with it to benefit. These findings from the majority suggest that people gain only material benefits from projects. However, a few people mentioned more internal benefits that may act as instruments of change in one's life. In El Trapiche, people gained material benefits, help from international organizations, service from the projects, new ideas, support, and friendships between the community and foreigners. Samuel commented, "I gain friendship with the community and with foreigners". One respondent furthered this sentiment, "we receive help from our international brothers". A critical but active woman stated that people win with projects, and therefore "the community is living to wait for a projecf'. Timoteo stated, "I got one ofthe first latrines. Nothing else. We do not get anything else". Two respondents mentioned that the community loses when everyone is not involved and foreigners lose trust in unfrnished or ill-maintained projects. Constancia confmned this issue, ''we could lose the benefits if they are not maintained. They are part of the project, someone donated them, and we have to 74

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maintain them well". Other losses were in time and work. Eight respondents stated that they lose nothing from projects. Here, people spoke of gaining benefits and friendships with foreigners. Although contact with others is seen to stimulate new ideas and processes, few respondents talked about gaining independent and creative thinking. The above results show that projects are important when they fulfill a personal need, as in Champiney. Here the important projects were repeatedly water, houses, and electricity, all basic survival necessities. In El Trapiche, the projects were not representative of basic living requisites, but importance was also based upon fulfilling personal needs or the ability to obtain a benefit for a public project, such as acquiring electricity to various sectors that now receive it illegally, the reparation of the community center roof, or newer latrines. Respondents defmed three types ofimportance: 1) social importance, in which they invested because they would obtain social rewards, 2) material benefits, in which their needs would be fulfilleg, and 3) community poverty alleviation, in which the community would experience a better level of living. When projects are important, people are willing to give what they are able to, most often their physical labor and time. However, responses showed that the investment stops there for the majority. The size of the need determines the duration and importance of the projects for the people. If projects provide the opportunity to receive large benefits, earn a salary, or work closely with others, people will endure lengthened time frames. Otherwise, shorter 75

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projects allow participants to receive benefits more quickly, which was reported as a crucial factor in determining importance and investment. When the project does not represent a personal need or fulfill a desire, people are less likely to invest in it, and have more of an option to decline. However, importance does not necessarily equate to investment. Projects must reflect a need, have achievable requisites, have a manageable duration of time to completion, and be somewhat convenient to the participant. Participation Encourages DecisionMakers The following stage of participatory development, once invested in the projects, should lead to independent decision-makers . Participation signifies investment. People do make their own decisions to participate, vote on issues that are important to them, and some implementation aspects of the various projects, which directly affect them, such as work and time requirements and benefit rules for the community. However, these issues are not often planned by the majority and decisions do not reflect true participation orrepresentation of the community in all stages of the development process . It is not necessarily required for all participants to take a leadership role, but it is the expectation of participatory development to acquire and utilize skills learned in this process to take an active role in making conscious decisions on issues that affect the people, as well as become involved in the process in some way. Participation is non-representative when there are only a 76

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few who take part in deciding and resolving issues based on partial involvement by the majority. People participate to benefit, but the majority involve themselves in order to fulfill the minimal requirements possible. The process does not necessarily become meaningful to them. These actions are not conducive to a process of active decision-making that encourages creative players in their dllevelopment. This research question looks at whether active participation encourages creativity and decision-making. Questions revolved around participation, personal decision-making and voice, what is gained or lost in projects, and the importance of participation for current and future projects. Understanding why people participate is necessary in order to detetmine if there are patterns in what invites decision makers from the process. Results show that people participate in order to benefit from the projects and improve themselves and their lives. In response to why they were participating in the various community projects, responses ranged from the need to have and own things, to improve oneself and the community, to alleviate suffering to work together with people, to work for the future of their children, and because they are citizens of the community. A talkative woman from Champiney stated, "I like:to participate. I am interested in it to better the community". Another Champiney respondent remarked, "it.is important to participate because it is more like a community with the need to : improve". An El Trapiche respondent summed the investment of participation, "it is very important to help with the needs here ... projects are the most important things there are". Citizens with similar needs are 77

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encouraged to partake in opportunities in which they gain materially and improve in their overall life within the community. The importance of participation is also a crucial factor in determining what activates decision-making. If participation efforts are not considered important, it is unlikely meaningful decisions will be made. In Champiney, when asked if participation is important, every respondent (n=14) stated yes, although they disagreed with or were not involved currently in. any project. According to respondents, participation brings solutions, further arrangements and negotiations, mobilization of the people, and education. Soraya exclaimed, "of course, one gains in ideas". Another respondent stated, ''we are more connected to foreigners, we can speak about ideas and try to bring in new projects". Many respondents commented that without participation, there is no project, there is no advancement, and they are unable to do anything. As one respondent stated, ''when one succeeds, everyone succeeds" with participation. Another respondent confirmed this, "If we do not participate, we have nothing. Without mobilization, without some movement, there is no project". Findings here suggest that through participation in projects, people have access to foreign contacts, ideas, and material benefits, which is considered by respondents to be important. These reflect common characteristics of decision makers and leaders, as mentioned in the literature. All El Trapiche respondents (n=14) also stated that participation is important to them because without it, there is no conformity of the community, no 78

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consciousness as a group, there are no benefits, and participation helps bring them what they need, and they learn. One respondent said, "participation formalizes the community, leaving practice, and moving us forward ... ". Constancia chee1fully confirmed this position stating, "participation is the force to get things and bring in development". Another respondent stated, "if one participates, one better understands". The poor woman in dirty worn clothes and barely clad children running around on the dirt floor, summed, "help comes to the poor and we benefit". According to respondents in both communities, participation is considered to be important because it encourages a process of moving forward, as well as benefiting the poor through their efforts. People obtain benefits and some move further toward a new process of thinking that includes new ideas and an optimistic future Another measure of whether participation encourages .decisionmaking qualities was to explore the roles respondents' would like to take in future projects. All respondents except one in Champiney (n=13) and all in El Trapiche (n=14) stated that they would participate in future projects, if they are able to depending on their health, their situation, and ifthey could benefit from the projects that come. Common responses in both communities reflected this was the idea and their hope. One Champiney respondent stated, "it is the hope . We are disposed to participate". The young and active husband from El Trapiche confirmed this ''we have to. If' God is willing, we will wait for another project and see what is needed the most". Another El Trapiche respondent summed, "Being alive, I am disposed to participate 79

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and teach others". In both communities, respondents demonstrated an expected requirement to be at the disposal of whatever project arrives in the neighborhood. Respondents did not reflect independent decision-makers, but instead, saw themselves as subjects for any future opportunity. Only if they are physically unable or it does not serve a purpose for them will respondents not participate in projects. Respondents perceived that investment in the projects signified automatic participation in the decision-making processes. Only two in El Trapiche stated that they did not have any involvement in project planning the two that had no involvement in development projects. The rest of the respondents in Cham piney (n=14) and in El Trapiche (n=12) stated that they had taken part in the decision to do most ofthe projects in the community. One respondent remarked, ''we are participating and this means we can make decisions". A respondent from El Trapiche furthered this argument, "when one decides, one works faster with this investment to move forward". Eleven respondents in Champiney considered themselves to be an active part in decision-making and planning in their community, whereas in El Trapiche, nine respondents considered themselves to be an active part of decision-making in the community. According to respondents, participation equates to decision-making. However, only those that had benefited had made any decisions. 80

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When asked about how much voice people currently have in decisionmaking processes in their community, 100% of the respondents in Champiney stated they had varying degrees of ''voice and vote" as one person stated. Jorge remarked, "more than anything, we have voice here". Eight of the fourteen respondents were not on any community or project board, but all had worked in at least one project. Eight respondents had been to a meeting in the last month and six had been to one in the last eight months In El Trapiche, thirteen of the fourteen respondents said they had voice to some degree, all of which had been involved in a project. One respondent claimed, "We make decisions when we are invited to. We support the decisions of the leader" . Another respondent stated, "I am included and can speak". Seven of the fourteen respondents were not on any kind of community or project board, and all but one respondent had been involved in at least one project. Eight respondents had been to a meeting within the last month and four had been to one in the last year. The responses in both communities are similar. They show varying levels of voice within the community and appro:xlmately one half of the respondents attend meetings or have worked on a board, representing some decision-making qualities within the group. The above results demonstrate that people believe in participation as a method to obtain benefits and make connections with people that would otherwise be unavailable to them. With participation, respondents reported that they have access to a new way of thinking and some economic advantage. However, the 81

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majority of respondents did not demonstrate creative thinking and active decision making. Instead, in making decisions, they participate with the rest of the community as a group, often as spectators with the decision-making process on a groupthink level with only partial representation. They gain material benefits and friendships, which reflect an importance in building bonds and is, reportedly equivalent to decision-making. However, there is a lack of creative or self-thinking. Although approximately one half of the respondents have worked on a project board, there is not a pattern of independent decision-making but instead the embracing of whatever requisites are required to obtain international development funds in response to any critical conditions or needs that can be sponsored internationally This willingness to do anything possible as a community to obtain assistance makes independent decision-making dysfunctional in the development and participation process. Empowerment The expected impacts of participatory development define stages through which the person advances until a certain level of skill and empowerment exist and can be utilized to improve one's own situation. Having thus far seen that the above stages are not always reached, nor are the expectations in the literature acquired, there is no foundation in, place for the succeeding stages to thrive and grow. It is at this point in which empowerment is not achievable. Participation does not 82

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necessarily lead to empowerment, but instead, participants promote themselves as subjects within the development process, unable to overcome their accustomed status as dependent rather than independent actors Further steps must be taken in order toinvest. an9 incorporate the process into the core of their lives, and therefore be capable of growing inwardly. For the third research question regarding the achievement of personal empowerment I asked questions regarding how respondents participated in the various projects, obligated or forced to participate, and choice and benefit of participation The fmdings show that a leadership role is not common and only a few people demonstrate these qualities. Even more startling is that less than half stated they solicited new projects, and not one respondent mentioned they had thought of a method to overcome some of their needs without project assistance. This was startling because I had seen from earlier observations that nearly everyone in the Valley solicited for personal funding when possible; Responses suggested that there was not a high level of personal power or desire to change important issues to them. When asked how people participated in projects, all respondents in both communities (n=28) said in labor . One respondent stated that he gave money while several others mentioned that they hired help to do the physical labor required in the Champiney housing project. Manuela from Champiney stated as she dished a pitcher of warm milk, "I worked in the house so my kids could eat. [My kids] helped participate in the water project ". Seven from Champiney and five from El 83

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Trapiche stated that they had helped solicit or plan for the projects. One El Trapiche respondent stated, "when you participate in some way, you are giving opportunity to be a community". Over half of the respondents demonstrated they were not empowered to a level of participating in the planning of projects. Personal empowerment often reflects doing tasks in the community and projects at the will of the person in order to better oneself and others. Therefore, I asked if respondents felt obligated to participate. Twelve respondents in Champiney stated that they felt obligated to participate on projects because they are a part of the community, with one vocal man stating, "Everyone is committed to find a solution together. We unite to achieve our needs". Another respondent added, "everyone does what they can, everyone is in the same place ... ". Seven of these respondents felt they were forced to work on projects on a personal level, due to pressures by the rest of the community and leaders and themselves, but nobody is forced to participate without making their own choices. One respondent confirmed this, "many are resisting the houses. But the community acts as a force, and I force myself'. Another respondent stated, "we are forced by the beneficiaries, by other people in the barrio. We are good with this because it is for the well-being of the community". The remaining respondents confirmed that participation in the projects was voluntary in the community. Jorge stated, "It is all voluntary''. Being part of the community and a project reflects a certain obligation to participate. 84

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Therefore, they are not participating because they are empowered, but rather, because of personal needs and their obligations to the community as members. In El Trapiche, eleven respondents stated that they were obligated to participate, because it is the way to well being. The critical woman stated, "it is a responsibility to the community''. Constancia remarked, "We have to support participation so we can receive the results of the work". Six respondents admitted they were forced to work due to pressure from the community, their families, and their needs as beneficiaries. However, as in Champiney, respondents were not forced to work, but made their own decisions to participate. Timoteo stated, "I am forced for the family. I am a part ofthings, I am part of the community''. The poor lady said, "My husband is forcing me to help get some water''. Another respondent concluded, "Sometimes one feels there is not an entrance or an exit. People are forced for the needs and help for the family. I force myself for my need". Only one respondent mentioned that there was force from management organizations. The remaining respondents stated that participation was voluntary. Samuel remarked, "I never feel forced". People in both communities are obligated to participate because they are members of their communities, their families, organizations, and their needs, but are not forced to take part in the projects. A key issue that adds to the determination and understanding of empowerment is if people work on projects for themselves or for others. When asked if they participate in projects that do not directly or personally benefit them, 85

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eight Champiney respondents said no. Manuela stated, ''No, I want to receive something". Another respondent concurred, "Only if I am a beneficiaty". Six said that they helped because it was their responsibility, they like to cooperate and help others, and to promote solidarity. One respondent explained, "I like to watch and learn. I get involved because I like to help people". Jorge commented, "Yes, in some. Sometimes just to cooperate". Yet another respondent concluded, "we always have to participate for solidarity''. Five of these six respondents who said they would participate without benefiting are or were involved in the community board, with only one respondent helping without any responsibility to a community office. This was a grandparent, strong and able, who liked to make jokes about the bureaucracy of project organization. In El Trapiche, ten respondents stated that they do not participate in projects that do not benefit them personally. Timoteo stated, "no, I need the benefits". Another respondent concurred, "If a person does not benefit, they can not participate". However, four respondents said they helped when they do not benefit because they like to help, to listen to opinions, and to support others. The active community man explained, "yes, I always help. It is not his or hers, but it is everyone's". Samuel stated; "I like to learn from others. Maybe the form they use will serve me in the future. I can learn and apply them. Oh yes, I will make my mistakes but I will improve them too". Another respondent concluded, "Sometimes I go, even ifl do not get anything. I go ifl am invited to". Two of these respondents are or were on the community board, one was a close friend to a 86

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leader and one had no responsibility to the community, but helped because she did not want to be left out. The majority of respondents in both communities do not participate in benefits that do not somehow relate to them. Very few have incorporated the responsibility of others' needs into their participation, and the majority of those who do are required to do so by their elected positions. The fmal question regarding empowerment was if, being a participant in the community, they were empowered to make changes there? Findings showed that respondents view empowerment as working together to obtain a benefit. When people physically work on a project, people believe this to be personal empowerment: working successfully with the community to obtain material benefits and social relationships. Where development advocates define empowerment as personal independence, respondents defmed it as individual cooperation and social benefit. In Champiney, ten respondents said they were empowered to help make changes, if the community supported them. One respondent replied, "everyone, with organization, is empowered and can make changes .... everyone has to do it equally". Another respondent stated, "I have the desire to be able to work for further help. I learned this in projects ... I have a desire to change". All respondents (n=l4) explained they could speak, support, vote, work, and cooperate with the community as a whole. Jorge confirmed this, "Yes, I am empowered to make changes, with the rest of the people in the barrio The majority of Champiney 87

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respondents reported having the ability to share ideas and help in community changes but were reluctant to advocate for them or lead the process. Eight El Trapicherespondents stated they were empowered and have the right to make changes with the community. Eleven respondents agreed that they could share ideas and promote change. One respondent stated, "With my experience in projects, I want more changes and can make decisions". One robust male respondent remarked, "I have the power to make changes with the community". Josefa commented, "I have no power to make changes without the people". Timoteo explained, "If someone brings help, people learn and gain the capacity to improve things. I am empowered to improve the community". The majority of El Trapiche respondents demonstrated the ability to support community changes and discuss new ideas, but is not empowered to do so. However, being included and having a voice in the community does not necessarily constitute empowerment. Four Champmey and six El Trapiche respondents reported not being empowered or possessing the ability to make changes to their communities. Manuela stated, ''No, I am not.empowered. I can give opinions in the community, but I do not have the power to change life here". Roberta concluded, "If there is a change [in the community], I do not have the right to be in it. But I can speak ; and try to resolve problems and help in the community''. Three El Trapiche respondents stated that if they were not a part of the community leadership, they were not empowered to make any changes. Another respondent 88

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stated, "I do not have much right to promote change. If I were more integrated here, I would have more power, but I can not make changes". Another woman confirmed this, ''No, because I am not advised by the leaders. I do not take part in them". Even if they felt they could voice their opinions in the community, many respondents were unable to make changes or felt empowered toward change. For these respondents, empowerment was not a personal option, but remained the responsibility of others in the community. The above responses suggest that empowerment is not a guaranteed response to participation in development, but there in fact, needs to be further steps taken to incorporate participation within the development process to feel empowered. Leadership roles are taken only by a few, with the majority unwilling or unable to take their participation to a higher level. Ali respondents felt obligated to participate because of personal needs and as members of their communities, but not one was forced to participate. Most respondents were able to voice their opinions and enjoyed working with others. Their definition of empowerment was seen as working mutually to obtain their benefits. In this way, nearly everyone is empowered. However, without assistance and support from other community members, they were not individually empowered to make changes on their own or lead others to mobilize for further development, but instead felt comfortable in being a participant without the ownership of responsibility. Again, these findings suggest that if there is not active participation within the various levels of the 89

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development process, and as a result, there is a lack of incorporation of participation as a philosophy in daily lives. Therefore, empowerment is not reached. Project Sustainability Without reaching the stages of investment, decision-making, and empowerment on a personal and community level, sustainability of the projects is left as an issue to be dealt with at a later date for most people. It is an external issue in which maintenance is at times provided for via the inclusion of a project plan but long-term goals are not valid issues in a world in which daily needs are barely met. Projects are considered answers to the problems, and will continue to be so. The steps taken within the participatory development process are not often applied to future problem solving or care of projects, and thus limits the sustainability of the community and the participatory development skills. This research question examines whether, with active participation, personal investment, and individual empowerment, projects are more likely to be sustainable by the community, without foreign assistance. The subset ofquestions included the status of community maintenance, projects in need of repairs, maintenance responsibilities, and perceptions of sustainability. Once completed, maintenance of the projects should reflect a level of sustainability based on individual responsibility to take care of their benefits and efforts. 90

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At this point in time in Champiney, only the owners are maintaining their fifty prefabricated houses. One respondent remarked, "it is a personal responsibility". The other projects are not yet completed and are still being sustained by the funding organizations until the owners move in and are responsible for maintenance. In response to a question regarding care for the projects, the majority of the respondents stated the community could look for funding and take responsibility for small breaks in the projects via a community fund. One respondent stated, "The community has to repair things or do activities to raise money ... solicit, raise the consciousness to care for things". Manuela explained, "repairs are on the bill of the barrio owners". However, all respondents (n=14) relayed if there is a larger expense, they would rely on funding organizations or other negotiations with foreigners. Jorge : confirmed this issue, "If it is not a big break, the community can do it. If the problem is big, and costs a lot, we will solicit help". Five respondents said the community could not sustain their projects without foreign fmancial assistance and support. Manuela said, ,''Not one project can be repaired without financial support". Another respondent concutTed, 'Without help, we have no recourses . We are poor" . The findings show that an effective level of sustainability has not yet been reached. In El Trapiche, projects in need of repairs were the road, the community building, the health center, and some latrines. Eleven of the respondents stated that they would need foreign fmancial assistance to repair all of these problems, except 91

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the health center. Constancia explained, "The water rights and repairs and a health center nurse, the community can get without help. But the community center and electricity, we will need help". Another respondent stated, "I think the community can, if we solicit the Jalapa hospital to get a doctor, but there is a lack of motivation in the community''. Several people believed that this project could be done through community motivation and leadership negotiations. The active man commented that the water fund would cover smaller breaks. Nine respondents stated that the community could not sustain any project without some international financial support. Timoteo stated, "I think we have to ask for help. We cannot pay if something breaks. [The leader] gets help that others do not" Josefa added, "no, of course not. The community is poor and needs help". Yet another respondent concun-ed, "I believe not. Perhaps with other people, from other parts, can help be brought here". Samuel concluded, "the community can repairit, but all donations are from outside El Trapiche fmdings also demonstrate a lack of effective sustainability for their projects. Both communities depend upon projects to maintain what they have and international organizations become the solution to sustainabili ty. , In both communities, the relevant beneficiaries jointly constructed all of the projects that have All projects in both communities were funded, at least in part, by foreign organizations or governments, except for the El Trapiche community building, which was built through the force and funding of the 92

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community itself. However, they are now soliciting development funding for its repatr. , To further understand how the community sustains its benefits, it is imperative to determine how respondents see maintenance completed within the community. When asked about how maintenance is done on projects, all Champiney (n=14) and E1 Trapiche (n=14) respondents indicated that projects were maintained via a built-in strategy within the project to have a community fund, maintenance through a project board, in accordance with the supp011 of the people, or through beneficiary maintenance. Soraya in Champiney explained, "We cultivate and maintain with the force of the organized boards". When asked if they do not personally own the project benefit; but use it, half of the respondents in Champiney (n=7) stated that care was the responsibility of the beneficiaries and the community as a whole. A woman, simple in her responses, explained, "People who benefit have to maintain it. When they work, they care for it". The talkative woman furthered this issue, "everyone cares for the projects so kids and animals do not break it''. Another respondent concurred, "The community, because it is everyone's and they all have to take care of it. It seems to be working right now". The remaining respondents suggested leaders care for project maintenance. In discussions of who is accountable for the projects, only one person in Champiney said each family. This respondent exclaimed, "It would be the head of the family. The man or the woman of the home". Thirteen respondents implied the leaders of 93

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the project and community boards were accountable, in particular, the two leaders, the mayor in Jalapa, and the foreigners that bring the projects. One respondent confirmed this, "Those from the States and other places, the community board, and project boards". Another respondent concurred, "[A leader] is accountable for the movement, along with the old and new mayors". Here, sustainability is the responsibility of owners or leaders, international organizations, and beneficiaries. In El Trapiche, respondents reported that maintenance ofsome projects was done, whereas with others, there was no maintenance in place. Constancia explained, "Some are minimally maintained by the beneficiaries or the community. For others, there are no economic resources, so they get no maintenance". Another confirmed, "Some are maintained by the community. The water has a community fund". Timoteo stated, "there is no maintenance of things here. If I have to pay, I do not do it". Eleven respondents stated that the accountability of public benefits for the community were the leaders', the community board, and foreigners. Timoteo further explained, "[The leader] always. He has contacts with gringos (United States citizens) and gets help from outside, but does not share these". The poverty-stricken woman concurred, "The gringos (U.S. citizens) that bring the projects are responsible for the projects". The remaining three respondents implied that it was up to the beneficiaries and the community : to care for and maintain what they have. The active man claimed, "All of the community because we are all beneficiaries. We have to do it, not only one person ... everyone is responsible, the 94

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project boards, the community board, with the community''. Another respondent furthered this, "Everyone cares for their benefits. The community board manages if'. These fmdings suggest that sustainability of public projects is up to the community leaders and intemational organizations. The responsibility, for the majority, is not their own. I asked the respondents how they defmed sustainability in general. This question was a difficult one for some and a few did not have an answer. In Champiney, defmitions were varied. They said that sustainability is a job, it is life, maintenance by foreigners, responsibility among everyone, donations for living, and to fmish something. One respondent explained, "it is good care, through good planning. Care is included in the execution of a plan with people and you teach it everyday". Jorge stated, "Sustainability comes in different forms in relation to things. It is to care for something. I take care of my family by working .. ". The woman who liked to talk stated, "It is a unity to keep things going". Yet another respondent remarked, "It is to conform to economic help to maintain projects, and administer it so it will not fall ... ". In El Trapiche, sustainability was defined as good use of something, take precautions to keep it, time, to control something, continue the benefits, daily work, international support, and unity Samuel said, "Sustainability is the administration of whatever it is. If this is good, it is sustainable, if not, it fails .. The young man stated, "It is to maintain the decisions ofeverybody so it does not fall apart". Another respondent furthered this, "It is to 95

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have something in the hand and keep it so it does not disappear''. Constancia concluded, "It is a continuation of things that come. If it is not sustained, help will not return. We have to unite". Timoteo exclaimed, "I am sustainable! Ifl need something, I work for it. I cannot depend on others .. man is sustainable". Sustainability as a concept is not something people are used to think about outside of projects. Many responses reflected this. Most respondents understood the jargon and its role in participatory development but related it solely to projects. Findings show that sustainability, for the most part, is considered to be external. Nearly all of the fmancial and social responsibility for maintenance of any project falls on international donors, plans made by project boards, and the leaders in the community. The idea of sustainability is not a new concept in regards to projects for respondents, but the defmition and the action rarely meet within the communities. This information signifies that the majority of the participants in the projects are not actively involved in the planning and implementation stages of the development process, and have not incorporated care of their benefits into their daily living patterns. Again, once the benefit is acquired, the majority instead looks toward the next project to overcome another need or problem, and do not take into account the maintenance or future care of existing projects. These issues will be defined as a new project in the future. 96

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Leadership Leadership of the community does affect the participatory development process in that it invites or discourages involvement by various players within the community to limited aspects of the planning and implementation processes of the project. Traditional societies do demonstrate a set leadership and experience together as a community. These leaders are key contacts and community organizers for international representatives. In the newly developing community, leadership is not established, but instead, dynamic in its representation of the people, who are more involved in the community due to their needs. Without previous experience together, the members of the new community build upon the participatory process to solicit new ideas and projects to obtain their basic needs. This research question addresses the issue of traditional versus newly developing leadership and experience together as a community. In both communities, the town board meets to discuss ideas, issues, and solutions, based on a consensus vote. The next step is to call a community meeting, in which opinions are spoken, discussion of the issues takes place, and they make a decision based on a majority vote. The minority respects the majority decisions. In both Champiney and El Trapiche, 100% of the respondents (n=28) stated all decisions are made this way, with the same board members and the community together, for all projects. 97

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All respondents in both communities (n=28) were in support of this process of decision-making in their communities. However, in El Trapiche, six respondents stated they were unaware of the credit project in the community. In Champiney and El Trapiche, all projects were managed through a project board, butin El Trapiche, the community board oversees and is directly involved in the planning and decision making of all of the project boards. In both communities, most of the same people were involved in all of the boards and leadership roles. Community leaders affect participation and relationships. Therefore, some respondent perceptions about the leaders relate another aspect of participatory development in the communities. When asked about the community leaders, and how they got into their current positions, common responses demonstrated they were voted because they were hard workers, a part of the community, they had contacts with foreigners, or were educated. Soraya commented, "They were seen as honest. They worry about the barrio". Jorge stated, "there has to be some interest in the community ... a volunteer". In Champiney, one leader, although not popular, is an extravagant speaker, whereas the other leader works on and sustains projects, is popular with the masses, and respected as a leader. According to respondents, the rest of the leaders are considered part of the team, but are not seen as prominent actors. Through observations I noted a balance of power between the two dominant leaders, the board, and the community members in Champiney, based on need and starting as a community together without previous experience. 98

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In El Trapiche, leaders are chosen for similar reasons. Samuel explained, "People who solicit and are popular are voted for". The young man concluded, "Leaders are people who know how to resolve things, are amiable toward the community, and try to move things f01ward. They worry about people". In El Trapiche, the leader has a large following, but is exclusionaty to many in the community. Those that have been excluded are unhappy with his performance. One respondent confirmed, "[The leader] leads things but does not represent the community. He holds the power for himself'. Timoteo summed, "He does not use his power well, does not report to all the people, but ftlls his own ftrst''. However, he remains the sole contact for foreigners in his community. Other leaders have been on the board from six months to eight years, and are seen by respondents as pali of the team that work with the current leader rather than independent decision makers. The balance of power leans toward one leader and his followers in El Trapiche, as has been the role in traditional communities. Five Champiney respondents stated that they have had a problem with one leader in particular, and there were nine complaints that the community board was unorganized or accomplishing their work together for the community. However, ten respondents said they had trust in their leaders in Champiney. Seven of the respondents from El Trapiche mentioned that the board has been unorganized and had not helped or become involved within the community. Six people stated that one or more leaders are exclusive in sharing information and inviting the 99

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community to participate in various projects and meetings . Nonetheless, t en respondents said they trust the leaders in El Trapiche. These leadership issues have an affect on participation and development. There is also a hope in leaders, and in fact, a pressure on them, to negotiate and find more projects. When asked, 100% of respondents in both communities (n=28) stated that a good leader was one that worked with the community and brought in projects to help their needs. In both communities, as part of their jobs, leaders were expected to negotiate and bring in more projects, and the people would fulfill the requirements. In El Trapiche however, respondents mentioned that they had to be invited to pru1icipate in a project, whereas in Champiney, everyone had to participate in the projects and invitations were not exclusionary at this time. Results signify that leaders solicit further projects and ideas that will benefit the community. Both communities look toward leaders to solicit external funds as the answer to overcoming their poverty and development needs, instead of promoting internal solutions. There is some division in both communities in regards to the relevant leaders and the use of their positions, which impact the development process. In El Trapiche, the community has made decisions via the same traditional leadership, which allows for familiarity of the process and specific leaders to oversee the projects. In Champiney, the community is learning as it goes, based on community needs, a specific starting point to the community, and a lack of previous expetience. In El Trapiche, many people are purposely excluded whereas in 100

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Champiney, the majority of people are included to achieve the community's end results of the deal: build via physical labor. This promotes exploration as a group, and encourages more participation from the majority in regards to current events and projects. Defining the Emerging Trend As earlier mentioned, I went to Nicaragua to study participation on the Champiney water project. However my obsetvations lead me to note that the development process was not necessarily fulfilling its goals of meeting peoples needs and alleviating poverty in the Third World but was instead creating a new dependency among the people and communities, in which they started articulating and organizing their needs around the capabilities and foci of the development advocates. I was disturbed by this emerging trend that I obsetved, and re-designed my research to understand this new dependency and to examine what steps in the participation were failing, or simply were not foreseen in the outcomes that are now evolving. Therefore, my research was centered and designed around my obsetvations of a different phenomenon than was expected or foreseen in the current literature, and it is my hope that the information shared here can be used to rethink the role of participation in the development process to further pursue methodologies in which we can achieve the notable and rewarding goals ofpersonal empowerment 101

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and societal sustainability in the efforts to alleviate poverty and help the poor meet their needs. The majority of this information is the result of my observations and specific questions from the second round of interviews with all twenty-eight respondents. After already having spent ample time with each respondent, gained rapport with them personally, and found certain patterns within their previous conversations and responses, I returned with questions that would help explain the emerging trend that I continued to observe in the valley. The second interviews were more personal, deeper in context and relationship, and hold the important emphasis of my research findings. Projects are seen as vital to community living and it's problem solving. Findings show that people were disposed to work on them, they participate to receive any benefit and there is a tendency to shape their lives around development projects when possible. To know the core motivation of projects sheds some light on issues of the emerging trend. I asked whether the specific project or the foreign support in general is more important. I did not defme suppmi but fmdings show that respondents considered support to be both monetary and social bonds of responsibility. 100% of the respondents in both communities (n=28) preferred foreign support. Common responses in Champiney were that the people would not have projects without the given support, and there is more benefit in support than in projects. Manuela explained, ''Without this, then there would be no 102

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projects". Another respondent furthered this concept, "Support is more important so everyone has benefits, more often than in projects". Roberta commented, "With support, there is personal help and it can be used for whatever purpose. With projects, there is a limit to its reach". Soraya concurred, "Support brings better ideas. It brings projects to us to help improve our situation here". Others suggest it is the force of friendship and connection with others that is critical. One respondent explained, "It comes with a force from others. They use their personal time to help us, without exercising control like in projects". Another added, "It helps more people without managing them". Yet another respondent said, "Both support and projects are important. Support is more sure for personal guarantees". Jorge stated, "Support has more force. Projects only can go so far with one specific outcome to help the community, but there is more capacity with support". Support continues over time and includes many aspects. The talkative woman stated, "it is a fom1 of love and brotherhood. When people come to help, it is a force". One respondent confirmed this, "for us who are poor, these people complete this fmm of development" .. According to all of the respondents, with support, more people are involved, it is unlimited, and support brings unity. In El Trapiche, responses were similar. Samuel explained, "Projects end. They are specific for one thing, but support continues over time. You meet people, make contacts, and trust is built''. The active man added, "Everyone participates and more people are involved". Others see support as a way to salvage the 103

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Nicaraguan economy. One respondent stated, "support is a form of help that advances a little, it is money and help". Another remarked, "support economically can help bring us to reach success". Constancia added, "We are a poor country, support gives us more capacity to have things". Other respondents spoke of the friendship and connection built through support between them and sponsors. The poor woman confirmed this, "support brings more unity between them and us". The critical respondent fmihered this argument, "It is more complete for well-being. General support is helpful and not limited". Another replied, "Groups come to help. It is a little bit for everybody". Timoteo concluded, "Caring always brings help". The above fmdings suggest there is a consistent pattern that leans toward a social aspect of participatory development. It is a way to love and care for yourself and others in the same situation, and to connect with foreigners that see the impmiance in the personal situations in Nicaragua. The respondents referred to the force of friendship and brotherhood that is a result of working ,together. They are unable to provide the economic funding and therefore feel the importance of holding up their end of the contract the work and organization and cooperation in order to ensure that international friends continue to help them. What is important to note here is that when there is a friendship or a bonding connection between two people, places, or organizations, there is a more complete understanding of the needs that exist, as well as a higher social responsibility to help those in need that are close to you. The two communities under investigation reveal the ways in which they deal 104

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with and promote these bonds across borders in order to create a continuous stream of international help from those who demonstrate some form of care. All foreign visitors become potential caregivers and all community members become potential recipients. With this, they realize the importance of organization and completion of the projects, which minimally fulfills the requirements designated by the international donors and keeps the money flowing. However, there is still a lack in employing the philosophy within participatory development practices that encourages and promotes empowerment and sustainability without foreign assistance. From data collected in this study, it is not apparent that either sustainability or empowerment are what communities are striving for because there is a certain guarantee of benefits to come when there is a friendship, without striving to obtain these benefits or search for solutions for themselves. I noticed that people inthe Jalapa Valley focused on projects as a means of obtaining their personal needs. Everyone talked about projects and opportunities from afar. Therefore, I needed to understand how deeply this aspect was embedded into their lives. I asked respondents if they considered projects to be an .aspect of their daily lives or if development projects and participation were separate aspects of their daily rituals. Ten Champiney respondents stated they were not separate from projects, but rather, living them currently, always thinking of ways to improve their situation through projects, and that foreign support was a constant factor. Manuela stated, "I am not separated from them, they are always on my mind. It 105

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gives me ideas. We are dependent as a barrio on projects for work". Jorge explained, "if projects have not yet arrived, they are not here. But, we always relate to them, we are already living for them through past ones and their familiarity". Another respondent added, "Projects will not end here. When one ends, another one comes to fill a new need". They live and work within projects in the community. A respondent explained, "I work and live projects. I think of them for the future. A project never ends, but remains maintaining". The talkative respondent stated, "I am living projects now. They cost when they come, but we always watch for them". Another respondent remarked, "Projects are in my hands, in my mind. We have to work. There are other projects in other places outside when there is not one here". Soraya explained, "We always take precaution to care. There is this response, always the need. Projects maybe will help with these". Yet another respondent concluded, "Psychologically, we always offer opinions for development. Projects are a part oflife here, we will always look for more". The remaining four respondents described that a project was not a part of their lives until it becomes reality. A respondent explained, "When a project is not seen, it is not yet reality. It is not a part of our lives until we see it". Another respondent remarked, "We are accustomed to working with projects, but we do not know when they will come next. We are outside of projects because ofthaf'. However, they all trust that projects will continue to come. Roberta concluded, "People have trust, therefore it is always on our minds but it is not a daily part of our lives in reality". The 106

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majority of people live with the presence of projects in their minds and lives. Respondents expect projects to come to them, whether they are working on one everyday or not. In El Trapiche, in response to the same question, four respondents stated that projects were not separated from their lives on a daily basis. Samuel explained, "I am always related to projects, they are a part of me. I do have a separate life, but am related to both". Another respondent stated, "Projects are a part of my being, a job. I always look ... ". Yet another respondent summed, "in some ways we are not separate ... we are dependent, it is a part of life, always thinking of growing. If it ends, look for more". The remaining ten respondents however, described projects as not being a part of their lives if they were not physically doing them. The active husband described, "Because projects are not here, time is the separation. But they are always in the mind. Our lives are mixed with projects". Another respondent explained, "projects are dependent on outside help, and we do not have them without support". Timoteo remarked, ''No, they are separate. Projects are not a part of my life, but people in the community worry about them coming". Another respondent suggested, "Yes, they are a part of my life and it is important for meto understand them. But they are not an everyday part of my home". The poor respondent said, "I have not had them in my life. I am separated from them", then she added, "but I want to benefit". Constancia furthered this concept, "Until projects come here, we do not have one. It depends. When it comes, we live it. 107

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They are always in our minds". Another respondent concluded, "I have to work, I cannot always drop things for a project". This reflects that projects are not always intertwined with daily lives or routines, but are instead, normal events that occur in the community at times. The incorporation of participatory development into one's life structure is a key component that the literature suggests leads to empowerment and sustainability. The majority of the respondents from Champiney have incorporated the idea of continued development funding into their thinking in order to achieve what they need in their lives. It has become a part of their thought processes. However, the majority do not actively become involved in the planning and implementation of projects nor incorporate fully the participatory component into their life structure and therefore do not experience independent decisions or personal empowerment. Instead, as a community, they work to get the benefits offered to them by various projects, but still expect outsiders to provide the required funds to maintain them. The same is true for El Trapiche and is represented by their responses. There are not a significant number of respondents that demonstrate an incorporation of participatory development.into their daily structure, and thus, do not demonstrate high levels of empowerment. The culture and classes within Nicaraguan society become intertwined: modem capitalists within traditional laborers, and the emerging trend becomes the sale of services for benefits as a way of life. 108

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Talking about their current economic situations and living, people imply either an acceptance of their fate or critical hopefulness about change. Nicaraguans understand their need for overcoming the oveiWhelming inequalities that are obvious to them in their everyday situations. To these people, development funds are seen as the response to their needs and all members organize and commit to benefiting. Dependency Dependency and development are not necessarily incompatible, and instead can be complimentary in their goals and outcomes. Dependency, if effective in alleviating povetty, is not necessarily a negative phenomenon. However, when does this become an issue, going too far beyond development and into manipulation? Instead of further promoting dependency, the role of participation must be understood, its impacts examined, and further steps defmed in order to promote some level of independent and achievable actions in the development process. OtheiWise, dependency will render development useless as it grows into alanning inequity and solutions remain ever more elusive. People in El Trapiche and Champiney were quick to let me know that they have never been able to develop and move foiWard since the war without receiving outside funding for their basic needs. For the newly developing community, this is decidedly so, because they have no basic living infrastructure and are dependent 109

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upon others' to help provide these needs for them. However, for a community in which the basic needs have been met through external development funds, the majority of respondents reported believing that it is still important to continue pursuing outside contacts and funding in order to maintain an intercultural network that will provide for their ongoing and future needs. It then becomes a cultural exchange or a support group, which is interconnected and provides financial support as well as some intellectual and compassionate understanding. For Nicaraguans, the emerging trend of becoming a part of the international network of people who support economic aid, human rights, and social issues, not as major donors, but rather as major recipients, leads to a dependency upon the international donors to improve their economic and social conditions. In this way, the recipients become known, and with that, understood and they continue to receive support. A critical aspect of development and dependency is how these will emerge in the future of communities and their members. Previous information suggests that the future will bring more reliance on projects as solutions to problems. Therefore, it becomes imperative to examine how development skills will be used and impact the future. When asked how their project experiences will help respondents in the future to resolve problems, the most common response from both communities was to solicit and negotiate for further projects. Within Champiney, Manuela stated, "My experience will help me to solicit for more projects. People are thinking about more projects to do". Other responses from this community were to speak to 110

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foreigners, share ideas and experience with others, gain knowledge to work in future issues, new forms of thinking, better organization methods, and agreement of alternate solutions. One respondent concurred, "to maintain and build better. I want more experience with projects". Another added to this line of thought, "I learned to work with people who manage projects and have gained this knowledge to memory". Yet another respondent summed the new dependency, "I learned to speak to foreigners, solicit for more projects, share ideas, and try to get help". Jorge concluded, "better cooperation. I learned a system to facilitate better". These answers point to people using their experience to obtain and work in other projects, shaping their needs to the capabilities of the development realm, and not determining ways to resolve problems on their own without foreign aid. In El Trapiche, more of the respondents stated that their experience from past projects would help them resolve things by working in groups, using experiences to move things forward and have new fmms of thinking, share new ideas and knowledge, and connecting with foreigners. One respondent remarked, "to share the experience, to do more projects". Another respondent stated, "I can think of new ways to get the ball rolling". There was more of an emphasis on community and trust from respondents here. One respondent summed, "I have gained experience that helps bring in new projects. I have knowledge, more ideas ... I know how to connect with internationals through practice". One of the leaders of this community stated that he uses his experience to prepare future leaders. El 111

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Trapiche respondents also reiterated their Champiney counterparts: they would use their experience to arrange and negotiate new projects, as well as think of new ideas for future projects. Samuel answered, "to always think of more projects". However, more commonly, respondents stated that they would support and work on the projects that were arranged by the few that do have contacts and get projects to the community rather than doing the aiTanging and negotiating themselves. The above fmdings suggest that what is emerging in the development process instead of meeting people's needs, is now leading people to articulate their needs in terms of what development is capable of offering. People organize to locate and bring in foreign funding in order to achieve the basic needs of the community. This trend adjusts local life toward the dependence of international aid and away from local traditional methods and defming their own needs to live. In this, all members of the community are aware of the importance of their organized front, their physical labor required to fmish it, and then they move onto the next project that becomes available. However, what is lost are the principles of what pruticipatory development was intended to promote, and instead of community sustainability and personal empowerment, dependence upon limited development capabilities is the only solution to their problems. Thus, it is critical to understand this emerging trend in order to rethink the role of participation and sustainability in the development process. 112

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People are openly dependent upon projects, even though they are not a guaranteed source of income or development. People in both Champiney and El Trapiche continue to tell me of possible new projects that would help them. They educate themselves on issues regarding accountability and organization to prepare for further development projects. Yet, nobody knows for what or when the next project will come to them. Interestingly, when I asked the respondents why they depended on projects when these are not a guaranteed source of income or development, respondents in Champiney implied that projects have come to help in the past due to solicitations by community leaders and will come to them again. Manuela stated, "Projects have come. The leaders say that others will come, and we have hope in that". Another respondent added, "we know the majority of leaders can solicit, and we have hope in our leaders to bring help and mobilize the people to do more projects". Other responses were that they could depend on foreigners because they completed what they say they will, foreigners are in a better economic position to help the poor in Nicaragua, and are disposed to do this when they have trust and brotherhood with the local people. Soraya remarked, "They have come before and do not lie to us. They have more, and can and do share". Another respondent concurred, "People have come, and fought poverty. Our government does not so others help. What is said to come will be completed with projects. Hope is the idea we live with". Another aspect was that through the solidarity and friendships that have grown between themselves and foreigners, they receive help 113

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due to love without conditions. A respondent explained, "We have seen the solidarity that foreigners have for the people here. They have befriended people, worked in our schedules, have given us love without conditions. They will continue to complete". Another respondent added, "God is always with them. People have love". Yet another respondent remarked, "there is trust in foreigners. People worry about us, they see our needs. It is a friendship". All respondents (n=14) stated that there is always a hope that a project will come to them, and this brings unity across the world, mobilization of the people, and a better life for the poor. Jorge concurred, "Projects are worth a lot here. We have hope because it is better than having nothing. It is in the mind, and there is happiness when it arrives". The woman who like to speak added, "I know how it is to work projects, there is more unity, there is friendship. It is what we have to live for right now". One respondent concluded, "other places have solidarity and help to alleviate poverty. They promise and complete, manage well, and have good administration [of projects], unlike the Nicaraguan government". There is no hope for social services from their national govemment, and therefore, people rely on foreign aid to accomplish any form of development within their communities. They base their hope on common bonds of friendship. In El Trapiche, a response to why there is a dependence on projects when they are not guaranteed was from previous experience. Samuel stated, "I have faith in those that have come and that will continue to come and help us". Another 114

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respondent added, "Projects always anive in good time. Even if people have to wait, we cannot do anything without projects, so there is hope". Yet another remarked, "We have had it in the past, they will come again. We maintain and care for the benefits in order to have further projects come; if they break this trust, no more will come Another respondent said ''we hope that help will continue to come from our international brothers ... they have to come, there are still needs". Constancia concurred, "we make friendships, they become our international brothers who see our needs here .. they do not forget people here, and they organize things, gain trust in our leaders ... it is cyclical". The woman critical of development and leadership stated, "Someday I want to benefit. I have hope the basics will come to me, I have seen this come to others. I want if'. Another respondent mentioned, "It is a way to have things that otherwise we could not do on our own". A fmal respondent concluded, "We have faith in God and other places to bring good will to the people here. We have past relationships from projects". All respondents (n=14) stated hope in projects. Even people critical or inexperienced in projects expressed a desire to see a project. Timoteo stated, "There are a lot of promises, lies, and waiting. I am not waiting, not hoping until I see it because it has been lies up to now. The leader has not invited me to participate". Although not involved, he still saw future projects as guaranteed solutions and wanted to participate if invited. 115

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This dependence on previous donations has lead the people in both Champiney and in El Trapiche to expect financial funding to continue, and with tllis hope, they do not demonstrate a need to look for further methods of obtaining their needs on their own, but instead rely on international supporters to continue the maintenance of their needs. They promote friendships in order to receive financial support to alleviate their needs. They rely upon relationships, a bond that will open an understanding between two worlds, and use this language and connection to sell their needs in return for funding. This in tum arrives with regulations to follow, and the people agree to the conditions in order to get the benefit and increase relations for further funding. From my observations in the communities, people were willing to donate time, talk to foreigners, and offer coffee in their homes in order to make contact and become familiar with the foreigner. With nearly every conversation that was started between the international visitor and the local Nicaraguan, the meeting or discussion would end in a request for personal or communal help and assistance. Most ofthe respondents agreed to do the interview with me in the hopes of helping development in general and themselves in particular through my sponsorship and sharing of their words and stories .. Dependence exists and in fact grows from participatory development projects. The said literature states that by actively incorporating local knowledge, skills, and participation of community members, individuals will experience empowerment and sustain their project benefits. However, from the results of tills 116

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research, there is rather an internal dependency on external funding in order to sustain project benefits, and community members are not any closer to becoming empowered by simply physically participating in the building of their homes and potable water system. Dependent upon corrupt political institutions, national grassroots groups, and foreign organizations, respondents tend not to trust, but still believe that something is possible to overcome the current poverty, lack of health, malnutrition, land issues, and communal affairs This is where international sponsorship becomes the solution, and emphasizes their new dependency. 117

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CHAPTER6 CONCLUSION OF STUDY: WHITHER THE NEW DEPENDENCY In this thesis, I examined two rural communities in order to understand the differences between participatory development assumptions in traditional and newly created communities. I also examined the impacts of pat1icipatory development processes on the community members. Several concepts were delineated to provide an understanding of these issues. The New Dependency Development strategy ostensibly is designed to alleviate poverty. Participation is a central theme to many contemporary visions of development. The literature denotes that participation encourages investment, decision-making, empowerment, and sustainability of projects and the community. Participation therefore broadens and sustains the impact of development. However, in the process, development also creates a new dependency. Paradoxically, where development struted out to meet the needs of the people, it has now ended up leading people to articulate their needs in terms of what development is capable of offering. This is the new dependence. 118

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Dependence exists and in fact grows from participatory development projects. The said literature states that by actively incorporating local knowledge, skills, and participation of community members, individuals will experience empowerment and sustain their project benefits. However, from the findings of this research, there is an internal dependency on external funding, and community members are not any closer to becoming empowered. This trend adjusts local life toward the dependence on international aid and away from traditional subsistence living and defining their needs. International sponsorship becomes the answer, and emphasizes their new dependency. For Nicaraguans, the emerging trend of becoming a part of the international network of people who supp011 economic aid, human rights, and social issues, not as major donors, but rather as major recipients, leads to a dependency upon the donors to improve local Nicaraguan economic and social conditions. In this way, the recipients become known, and with that, understood and supported. It then becomes an interconnected cultural exchange, in which financial support is provided with intellectual and compassionate understanding and physical labor is returned with traditional knowledge and cultural enhancement. Dependence and development, although contradictory, are also compatible to a certain point. The findings of this study show that people efficiently use their skills learned in the participatory development process to solicit foreign financing. This dependency has become effective in their development. However, the same skills learned in the 119

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development strategy are used to promote dependency instead of empowering independence. Therefore, it is imperative to understand when dependence becomes harmful as a dynamic of development. Thus, it is critical to understand this emerging trend in order to rethink the role of participation and sustainability in the development process. Further Participatory Development Lessons The issue of how deeply one invests in a project, and thus the extent to which decisions are made, people are empowered, and benefits are sustained, are critical to this research. In order to be successful, participation must be constructed systematically into a philosophy of life and a plan of action. Current participatory development methodologies are lacking significantly in understanding the impacts of participation in development and ways to incorporate and act upon it as a philosophy within daily life. Impacts of Participatory Development (1) The findings of my empirical research show that projects are important when they fulfill a personal need or the ability to obtain fmancial filllding for a public project. Respondents defined three types of importance: material benefits, social ties, and community poverty alleviation. When projects provide these three important aspects, projects are important and people are willing to invest in them. 120

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However, importance does not necessarily equate to investment. Projects must reflect a need; have achievable requisites, manageable duration of time to completion, and be convenient. Without the need, there is less likely to be investment. (2) Participation signifies investment but even with this, participation does not necessarily lead to creative decision-makers. In the results from my empirical study, people believe in participation as a method to obtain benefits and make connections with international contacts, but this alone does not create decision makers on an individual or communal level. There is a lack of independent thinking in which the decision-making process becomes a groupthink exercise. Most participants work solely to collect the benefits, and do not invest in the deeper meaning of its process, which makes independent decision-making dysfunctional in the participatory development process. (3) Participation and decision-making, if not invested in and incorporated into a philosophy of daily life, do not promote empowerment. Participatory development literature implies that the people benefiting become involved in the planning and implementation process, and thus experience empowerment. However, when participants work solely for collection of benefits, they do not become involved on a level that invites empowerment. There in fact, needs to be further steps taken to incorporate participation within the development process to become empowered. Instead, people continue to work as subjects for the projects, 121

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and promote the solicitation of further financial assistance to overcome their CUITent situations. My fmdings suggest that if there is not active participation within the various levels of the development process, the result is a lack of incorporation of participation as a philosophy in daily lives, and therefore, a lack of meaningful empowerment ensues. (4) Sustainability has not yet been achieved from the participatory development process. Without the incorporation of participation, decision-making, and empowerment in their daily lives, sustainability is seen as the responsibility of the international donors rather than the local beneficiaries. The idea of sustainability is not a new concept within projects for respondents, but the defmition and the action rarely meet. There has not yet been a concept of ownership that promotes taking care of the benefits without foreign assistance, and therefore sustainability is considered to be external. (5) Leadership does affect participation. In the newly developing community, leaders organize the people to complete the projects. Because of their needs, the majority are currently involved in these, and there is a balance of representation and power by the leaders and their community. In the traditional society, leaders are exclusionary to certain people in the community, thus eliminating them from participating in various projects. Both communities look toward leaders to solicit external funds as the answer to overcoming their poverty and development needs, instead of promoting internal solutions. 122

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Comparing Communities In studying Champiney and El Trapiche, I expected to fmd a significant number of differences between the traditional and the newly developing communities. This was not always the case. Although there were differences in projects and needs, both communities demonstrated the new dependency upon external funding and organized to increase relationships and support. The gains of participatory development for both newly developing and more traditional communities are the material benefits, experience, contacts, and education. However, there were some significant differences between the two communities. Project organization and community inclusion differed due to leadership: in the traditional society, leaders excluded those who were not in agreement with ideas and projects, whereas in the newly developing community, nearly everyone participated out of need. In Champiney, the people become subjects of the projects because they have no choice for meeting their basic needs outside of the rest of the community and its donors. This affects the community and its participation in general. In El Trapiche, the community controlled the projects, whereas in Champiney, the projects controlled the community. Results show it may be more functional to incorporate participation in a newly developing community, as this skill becomes a key component of the 123

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community and transitions into its power structure, whereas in the traditional society, there is an existing order already in place, and it may be more difficult for people to accept the participatory changes to their lifestyles. Traditional society loses a degree of tradition and culture to make room for modernization of the new accomplishment. Without an existing tradition or culture in place, newly developing communities have to create their own, and therefore incorporate participation as a part of the new culture. In Champiney, I expect from my empirical research and existing literature, that once the basic needs of the community are fulfilled, they will become more traditional, with a decrease in mass participation. Respondent Conclusions All of the respondents function on varying levels of participation and decision-making, but very few have become empowered to take further responsibility within the community and development projects. On the other hand, all of the respondents in both communities have embraced the development role as a method of poverty alleviation and international relations, and have on a community level realized the importance in organization to solicit and comply with further fmancial support. Respondents provided two types of responses that denote peoples' motivation in the participatory development process. These are: 1) social issues, in 124

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which people are motivated by the social relationships obtained in the development process, and 2) motivation to receive material benefits and rewards. All respondents fit into, and most overlapped, these response types. It is impossible to say that any respondent was motivated solely by rewards, but instead, the above response types reflect all respondents in varying discussions and times. Every respondent was motivated on some level by rewards and social issues, whether it was their own or others affecting this topic. Jorge and Samuel represented people who incorporated the philosophy of participatory development from investment to decision-making to sustainability. They are both empowered to think about and solicit change within their communities. However, they are limited in their efforts. They use their skills to encourage more financial aid, dealing with strict requisites by donors. Although they have an active voice, the organization representative has veto power due to economic advantage. Manuela and Constancia were both active in certain community roles, but they both remain outside of active decision-making in the community and although they understand the concept, they leave the sustainability issues to the project boards. Soraya and Josefa display characteristics of investment, but do not take these any further and lack decision-making and sustainable responsibilities unless there is support from the rest of the community. Roberta and Timoteo both represent people who have not been involved in projects for the most part, and have not invested themselves in participation, decision-making, or try to 125

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sustain any public benefit. These respondents demonstrate the impacts of participatory development in Champiney and El Trapiche, and represent one small aspect of the varying stages of the process that exist within the people there. Limitations of the Study One limitation of tlris study is that the information was collected from two rural communities in one country and in a non-random methodology, and therefore it is not technically appropriate to generalize the results of my sample to a larger population. However, the lessons learned here are applicable to other settings within Developing Countries, and will serve as a guide for further research in the field of participatory development. A second limitation is the close proximity of the two communities under study, approximately five miles, providing minimal differences in some demographlc and social information. However, there were other significant differences between the two types of communities that prove to be helpful in understanding the impacts of participatory development on traditional and newly developing communities. A third limitation of this study to mention is the fact that I am not a native speaker or member of the community, whlch constrains my entry into the Nicaraguan society on specific issues. Upon my first trip to Jalapa and the Valley, I was seen as a visitor. In my second return, more people recognized me and started 126

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to open up with more than a request for fmancial support. After the third return, I was welcomed with a certain level of trust. This, along with the confidence and recommendation of the community leaders, lead to readily shared information from respondents on a more profound and sincere level. Although limited in complete understanding to that of an outsider, the people of Nicaragua accepted me and I have been allowed to see the culture from their perspective in order to further understand and share the knowledge. The Nicaraguan people provided me with the lessons that they consider to be so very important creating a social bond that warrants trust and commitment to them and their cause. Theoretical Implications and Suggestions for the Future This study is intended to add to the research foundation and literature of participation in development. My research is very high in validity. Having the opportunity to spend several months in the Jalapa Valley observing the communities and members before interviewing allowed me to further develop and refine my interview guideline and be aware of the emerging trends. Although not a native Spanish speaker, the people accepted me into their communities and lives, and I was able to gain rapport and build relationships, which opened doors to an abundance of useful data. My empirical research examines several key themes in the literature, and can be used as a model to be further explored and refmed. 127

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The empirical fmdings suggest the importance of rethinking the role of participation in the development process. Future research will add to and reform current models of participatory development processes in order to understand effective methods of incorporating investment that leads to successful empowerment and sustainability of the poor via a philosophy of action. It will also adapt methods to explore and work within the confmes of the new dependency currently emerging in both traditional and newly developing communities in Developing Countries. Another aspect derived from my research that needs to be further explored is the issue of whether empowerment is a result of participation or some other variable(s), if it exists in some people previous to participation in development, and how this affects the overall participation and perceptions of the empowered and the rest of the community. Lastly, future studies should examine the influence of individual participants on the issues of and reasons for importance of the various projects. Follow-up studies of the two communities once the basic needs of the newly developing society are met would further enhance our knowledge of the long-term impacts of participatory development on the people. In doing so, the information will provide a more accurate understanding of the complex issues, opportunities, and obstacles that these people face on a daily basis and how trends emerge and adapt throughout the participatory development processes in the two communities. 128

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Solutions remain to be explored for the new dependency. The following are possible suggestions for rethinking the role of participation in the development process: (1) Include various members of the community that are not normally involved into leadership roles, encouraging new players, ideas, and opportunities. (2) Instead of majority vote meetings, incorporate community members into the issue by doing focus groups, with rotating speakers. Have them talk regarding their ideas about a need, taking into account their experience and knowledge on the ISSUe. (3) Promote community learning via classes and 129

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FIGURE 1.1 NICARAGUA MAP 130

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APPENDIX A COMMUNITY MEETING PROFILE Date ______ Corrunuillcy _________________________________ __ Begin Time _______ End Time ________ Organization: 1. Where is the meeting held? 2. Who starts the meeting? 3. What is the agenda of the meeting? 4. Is there open discussion? 5. Who ends the meeting? 6. What is accomplished at this meeting? Further actions? Attendance: 1. Who is at the meeting? By invitation only? 2. Who speaks? (Men, women, social class, professionals) 3. Overall attitude toward organizers of meeting and the issues? Observer Notes: 131

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APPENDIXB INTERVIEW GUIDELINE QUESTIONNAIRE Expectation One: When people feel that a project is important to them and they want it in their community, they invest in it. Questions: 1. 2. 3 4. 5. What are the projects around that people think are important? What do you think are the important projects (which are most important)? [This answer will structure the rest of the interviewtalk about the projects in the rest of the interview (at least two) that they answer in this question]. Which projects are most important to you and your family in particular (relation to you personally)? What kind of investment is required in moving the projects forward? Do you participate? Do you think that investment means that you personally are helping make decisions about the project? Expectation Two: Active participation encourages people to be creative decision-makers. Questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5 6. 7. 8. Why are you participating in the projects here? What do you get/receive from these projects? What do you lose? What does the community receive from projects? Lose? How much do you feel you have a voice in decisions and planning in this community? How is your experience from these projects able to help you in resolving future problems here? Is participation important to you? Do you believe that participation important to your community? Do you think that you will participate in future projects? 132

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Expectation Three: People become empowered when they are actively participating and involved. Questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. What motivates you to participate? How do you participate or involve yourself in the various projects? Do you feel you have to be involved? How does that benefit you? In which projects do you voice your opinion? Are you forced to participate in any way? By who? Expectation Four: Due to active participation, personal investment, and individual empowerment, projects are more likely to be sustained by the community, without outside assistance. Questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. Which of the projects here are maintained without any foreign help? Are there any projects that need repairs at this time? Which ones? Which of these can be repaired as a community, without foreign aid? Which of these projects in need of repair did the community, as a whole, construct with everyone planning and helping? Expectation Five: In traditional societies, there is a set leadership and experience as a community together. Questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. .6. 7. 8. How are decisions made here? With each project, are all decisions and plans made the same way? In each project, does everyone in the community make decisions? _.What do you think about the way decisions about each project are made here for the community? Are you an active part in the decision-making and planning processes for this community? Do you participate in projects that don't directly benefit you personally? Why/not? How do you hear about meetings and projects in this community? How do you learn more about these projects here? 133

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APPENDIXC ROUND TWO QUESTIONNAIRE 1. What is more important to you: the project in particular or the outside fmancial support in general? Why? 2. What makes a project important? 3. What kinds of problems have you had with the town board? Leaders? 4. What problems have you had with your neighbors in the community? 5. Is there a problem with alcoholism here? Drugs? Machismo/egoism? 6. Do you the leaders in your community? 7. What is your relationship with the people in your community? 8. How did the leaders come to their positions? How do they use it? 9. What do you think makes a good leader? 10. How does maintenance of projects get done here? 11. If you don't own it, who takes care of the completed project here? 12. Why do you depend on projects when they are not guaranteed? 13. Who is accountable for the projects? 14. When was the last time you went to a community meeting? 15. What do you think makes something here sustainable? 16. What is better-short or long projects? Why? 17. Do you consider projects to be separate from your life here? In what way? 18. What kind of participation is expected here? If people don't do this, are they participating in the community? 19. Being a participant of projects here, are you empowered to make changes here in the community? 134

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