Three Healthy Cows: Evaluating development programs through a participatory framework: Biogas technology and the Kamalnayan Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation
thesisposted on 01.05.2014, 00:00 by Richard Stuver
Who has ownership of the international development process? The issue of"participation" has intensified over the last fifteen years following a renewed emphasis on improving health, education, and gender rights. Debates over participation have complicated the targets set forth in the UN Millennium Development Goals in 2000. The 20th century witnessed significant challenges to the equitable participation of developing regions in engaging with their own development. Additionally, this period gave rise to attempts to redress these issues at both the local and international scale. "Participation" has garnered criticism from some sectors of the development community due to the proliferation of the term in reference to a wide range of theories and practices of varying credibility. Nevertheless, the fundamental concept of participation, i.e. who is included and who has ownership in the process, is a useful framework with which to judge the quality of development enterprises at any scale. Chapter I of this thesis offers a historical analysis of international development that explains both the importance of participation in development and the landscape within which it finds itself today. Chapter II follows with an examination ofbiogas technology, widely used in developing regions, both as an effective tool in expanding the number of individuals who benefit from and can participate in development programs. Chapter III is a case study of the Kamalnayan Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation, based in Wardha, Maharashtra, India, that identifies the challenges facing NGOs and local groups in carrying out equitable development programs centered on community participation.