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Societies 2018, 8(3), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc8030084

Re-Inventing Community Development: Utilizing Relational Networking and Cultural Assets for Infrastructure Provision

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury CT1 1QU, UK
Received: 27 July 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community Development for Equity and Empowerment)
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Abstract

Utilizing relational networking and cultural assets provide an arena for village development associations (VDAs) to fill the gaps in infrastructure in resource-limited communities of Cameroon’s north-west region. This case study interrogates the foundational thesis of relational networking and cultural assets deployed to deal with social development challenges. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with community participants. Purposive sampling was used, and data were analyzed and critically synthesized with comparative literature. Communities increasingly shoulder their own development through a multiplicity of the agency displayed by internal and external stakeholders. The analysis captures a typology of incremental cultural assets, galvanized and re-engineered, promoting a rejuvenated community. A multi-layered approach centered on intersecting elements with unvarying input from community members are perceptible. Though the translational benefits are not clear-cut, relational networking and incremental cultural assets hold the prospect for community transformation in infrastructure provision, for example, supply of fresh water, equipping schools, community halls, and building roads, bridges, and community halls. In the process, social inequality and other barriers of disadvantage are narrowed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cameroon; agency; community; cultural assets; empowerment; relational networking; infrastructure; traditional authority Cameroon; agency; community; cultural assets; empowerment; relational networking; infrastructure; traditional authority
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Che, C.F. Re-Inventing Community Development: Utilizing Relational Networking and Cultural Assets for Infrastructure Provision. Societies 2018, 8, 84.

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