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Social Change Term Paper Essay

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A Term Paper Assignment Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the requirements for the Project Design, Planning and Implementation Course, part of Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management (PPM)


A Fallacy refers to a statement or an argument based on a false or invalid inference. Viewed as incorrectness of reasoning or belief; the quality of being deceptive.

Whereas development can imply to the act or process of developing i.e growth; progress and economic development. In Kenya it involves emphasis on self-help, mutual support, the building up of neighborhood integration, the development of neighborhood capacities for problem-solving and self-representation, and the promotion of collective action to bring a community’s preferences to the attention of political decision-makers.

At independence, the Government of Kenya identified illiteracy, disease, ignorance and poverty as the main problems to community development in Kenya. Involvement of the community was identified as the best method of combating the vices. It entailed mobilization and participation of communities, groups and individuals in socio-economic activities.

After independence, Kenya promoted rapid economic growth through public investment, encouragement of smallholder agricultural production, and incentives for private often foreign industrial investment.

Since 1963, Kenya has been pursuing development that is focused on eradicating hunger, illiteracy and diseases. The three pillars of sustainable development are embedded in the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, which lay down the framework for social justice in Kenya Worth noting is that in the decades leading to the political changes in 2002, Kenya’s economy and specifically the productive sector underwent a major decline.

How taking development to the people in Kenya and other regions is a Fallacy Bauer (2000) argues development aid “promotes dependence on others” as it creates the impression that emergence from poverty depends on external donations rather than on people’s own efforts, motivation, arrangements and institutions. Facilitated form of development is viewed as a facilitator for dependency as it induces a lazy, slavish, dependent mentality and culture across society from governments to villagers. Undermining the peoples’ faith in themselves and the fact that they can make it on their own. Community development seeks to improve quality of life. Effective community development results in mutual benefit and shared responsibility among community members. People initiated development attempts to introduce a bottom-up style of development in order to remedy the government-led approach’s shortcomings, specifically by focusing on qualitative improvements in local society’s participation.

There is usually a sense of ownership which comes when the local people are the initiators of their own projects as opposed to outsiders coming to the villages and trying to put up a project in which they view as helpful to the society, bringing in their own workforce also undermines the people who might have thought that they would benefit from any form of employment. Ultimately permits self-reliance since growth without foreign assistance, helps in sustaining stable growth patterns for economic development. The idea that ‘aid buys growth’ is an integral part of the founding myth and ongoing mission of the aid bureaucracy. Another argument is that aid reduces the incentives to invest, especially when the recipient is assured that future poverty will call for more aid. Thus a culture of dependency. Dependent development has typically involved the exporting of primary resources. Rather than seeing the world’s nations dividing economic labor and interacting as equal partners, dependent development suggests that some nations are able to impose unequal exchanges on others and thus retard the economic development of these nations or make their development dependent on stronger or more economically advanced nations Kenya’s Development Agenda is anchored on the Kenya Vision 2030, which aims at creating a globally competitive and prosperous country with a high quality of life by 2030.

It aims to transform Kenya into “a newly industrialized, middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens in a clean and secure environment. Simultaneously, the Vision aspires to meet the Millennium Development Goals for Kenyans by 2015. Vision 2030’s key goal is the attainment of a nation living in a clean, secure and sustainable environment’ driven by the principles of sustainable development. It is based on the 3 pillars of political, social and economic advancement. The inadequacy of resources for financing MDGs-related activities is highlighted as the main constraint in Kenya. The 2007/2008 post-election violence and the recent crisis such as the food and fuel crisis present new challenges to the attainment of MDGs in Kenya. The economy’s heavy dependence on rain-fed agriculture and the tourism sector leaves it vulnerable to cycles of boom and bust. The agricultural sector employs a large percentage of the country’s population. Half of the sector’s output remains subsistence production.

This has resulted to a culture of dependency among people on the government, whereby they rely on relief food each time the rains fail them. The only solution is through the locals being taught on how to initiate irrigation programs and more advanced methods of farming in order to curb dependency. Kenya’s economic performance has been hampered by numerous interacting factors: heavy dependence on a few agricultural exports that are vulnerable to world price fluctuations, population growth that has outstripped economic growth, prolonged drought that has necessitated power rationing, deteriorating infrastructure, and extreme disparities of wealth that have limited the opportunities of most to develop their skills and knowledge. Free primary education and access to information and services for the broad population has been faced with challenges arising due to ignorance from a percentage of the population who are still not willing to embrace education based on their cultural beliefs and practices. Some of them feel that the girl child is not entitled to education.

Whereas a majority of the poor population prefer their children to stay at home and work in the farms rather than going to school. Literacy levels/ retrogressive cultural practices: The level of literacy of a community plays a role in determining their understanding and uptake of development. Development is a process thus takes time to realize the fruits. E.g. Turkana expectations of instant changes of their way living as a result of oil discovery. It might take a long time for the local community to start enjoying the outcome of their resources. With oil discovery in Turkana the main development agenda should be helping build the community capacity in order to address issues and take advantage of opportunities, find common ground and balance competing interests. It doesn’t just happen capacity building requires both a conscious and a conscientious effort to do something (or many things) to improve the community. Mindset of the people that it is the role of the government to spearhead development projects, this has made many societies to remain backward since they are waiting for the government to come help them initiate any form of projects that they require.

Meaning that by the time there is any form of trickle down the locals would have suffered. For example where the people cannot take an initiative to dig their own boreholes or scoop out sand from the rivers so that they can get access to water, they just sit and wait for the government to come to their rescue when they are almost dying of hunger and thirst. For example the people from the dry regions in Kenya. Fear of the unknown: people in governance fear the consequences of empowering the people, they mostly have the mentality that the people will be wiser and get rid of them, hence losing significance in the society. That’s why majority of the leader’s i.e the politicians prefer initiating and implementing the projects themselves instead of giving the locals an opportunity to come up with the projects. Through funding and facilitation of the necessary documentation. Mobilizing local funds and participation ensures that organizations are less vulnerable to a sudden drop in funding. What is more, it enables organizations to set their development agenda themselves and match it to local demand rather than the supply of foreign aid.

It seems aid is not meant to ensure recipients become self-reliant since if it is the case, powerful individuals can no longer brag about who is giving more than the other. The conclusion we can deduce here is that aid is a joystick by which donors can manipulate macroeconomic or political outcomes. It thus can be concluded that donations to the local population is a Band-Aid, not a long-term solution, since aid does not aim at transforming societies structurally dependent economies. If those at the top could aim to make long-term sustainable impact, like initiation of transcontinental projects such as highways, telecommunications and power plants. In most cases aided development does not match the development need because its size and direction is subjectively determined by the donor institutions and agencies which must serve the interests of their paymasters in the ministries involved, mostly non-developmental interests such as commercial, geopolitical, strategic and historical.

Development is a domestic affair the developing societies should be more committed to it, as donors also commit more funds to public goods that will serve a greater purpose. There is normally a sense of ownership that comes with the society initiating their own projects and using their local manpower, meaning that there will be no feeling that they owe anyone more so the politicians since they are the ones solely responsible for their development agendas. As opposed to projects initiated by second parties. Meaning that for example during elections they will vote for their leaders based on merit and not because they feel that they owe them favors. This perspective identifies the goal of participation as an empowering process for people to handle challenges and influence the direction of their own lives. Mobilizing local manpower and resources provides the opportunity for a more powerful lobby’, particularly around the election time, this asset can be used effectively since local politicians exist by the grace of the people and will do anything to get elected. When organizations receive support from potential voters, it gives power.

This is also important at a national level, because in order to counterbalance the pressure that the government exerts on civil society organizations, strong support from the people is crucial. Local support makes an organization strong and shows that it is not, as the government claims. An organization that is backed up by the people is a more equal player and can be more openly critical of the government. In the end, there will be a strong civil society representing the voice of the people, and not the voice of the world. People know their pressing needs hence its easier for them to tell what is useful to them and what is not. There have been cases where donors come to the society and initiate projects which become unviable in the long run At the community level, young people are commonly perceived as being idle, disrespectful, and not concerned about the community’s wellbeing. Thus, they are frequently excluded from public activities.

Moreover, the reluctance within Kenyan society (for example, among parents and politicians) to discuss youth-related issues like unemployment is a factor that can hinder development since the youths will be unwilling to participate in areas they feel isolated meaning that most of them will opt to indulge in crime related activities. Thus it is the responsibility of the local communities to involve their youths in development agendas if any tangible economic empowerment is to be realized. Instead of relying on an external source to come change their youth through getting them involved in economic activities. Youth development is a relatively new theme in Kenya and, as such, there are few programs devoted to this issue. Both the government and non-state actors play an integral role in youth development. There should be focus on Youth Participation and Changing attitudes about the appropriate role of young people in society and, in turn, providing them with real opportunities to participate and express themselves there must be a fundamental principle of youth development, particularly in Kenya and other African countries that tend to value the elderly at the expense of young people.

Encouraging young people’s participation in society and political life builds their self-esteem and gives them an opportunity to make a positive contribution to their communities, it also helps change the negative images associated with young people. Giving them a sense of belonging and self-esteem, and helping them to feel empowered through their collective action and not leaving them to the mercy of the government which is already overburdened. ; Problems cannot be solved by an outsider but the locals who have a firsthand experience of their youths. Communities should be a source of protection, for example, when the community believes that, it takes a village to raise a child. Giving them a sense of belonging and self-esteem, and helping them to feel empowered through their collective action and not leaving them to the mercy of the government which is already overburdened.


Development within a developing society aims, at building into society the mechanisms that will ultimately permit self-reliant growth without foreign assistance, at sustaining stable growth patterns for economic development in harmony with the environment, and at providing equal and appropriate opportunities to take part in development to overcome income gaps, regional disparities, and inequalities between men and women. Effective development should be a long-term endeavor well-planned inclusive and equitable holistic and integrated into the bigger picture initiated and supported by community members of benefit to the community grounded in experience that leads to best practices Development should be a grass root process by which communities become more responsible organize and plan together develop healthy lifestyle options empower themselves reduce poverty and suffering create employment and economic opportunities achieve social, economic, cultural and environmental goals.

One of the primary challenges of initiated development is to balance the need for long-term solutions with the day-to-day realities that require immediate decision-making and short-term action. The long-term solution is by raising the awareness of local people, forming community groups, upgrading their requisite resource management abilities, and creating norms or internalizing their mechanisms, and improving capabilities for external negotiations. The shaping and planning of this participatory and society initiated development process requires both a long-term vision and a willingness to selectively improve and bolster traditional community systems as tools of development.


Adelman, Irma, and Cynthia Taft Morris (1989) “Nineteenth-Century Development Experience and Lessons for Today.” World Development 17: 1417-1432.

Ferguson, Ronald F. and William Dickens (1999) Urban problems and community development:; bookings institution press

Grogan Paul and Tony Proscio(2002) , Comeback cities, a blueprint for urban neighborhood revival, Westview press

Kameri Mbote , Patricia, Dr.,(2000) The operational environment and constraints for Ngo’s in Kenya: IELRC working paper “ International Environmental Law Research Centre

Nurkse, Ragnar (1952) Problems of Capital Formation in Underdeveloped Countries and Patterns of Trade and Development (New York: Oxford Press).

Osmani, Siddiqur (2008) Participatory governance: An overview of issues and evidence in United Nations Department of Economic and Social affairs

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