Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Cultural Capital and the Sustainability of NGOs' Development Programs in Zimbabwe: An Integrative Approach

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Cultural Capital and the Sustainability of NGOs' Development Programs in Zimbabwe: An Integrative Approach

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper examines the compatibility of the development programs which are implemented by the Non-Governmental Organizations' (NGOs) in the Midlands, Matabeleland and Masvingo provinces of Zimbabwe with the cultural sustainability and sustainable development in these cultural communities. This paper argues for the integration of cultural capital in the developmental projects which are implemented by the NGOs in the provinces of Zimbabwe. This paper is based on the data which was collected from five NGOs and six cultural communities which are the beneficiaries of the NGOs' development programs. The theoretical underpinnings of this paper are situated in cultural conservatism, a philosophy which valorises the traditional cultural institutions and the organic change of these cultural communities. This study establishes that, the programs implemented by the NGOs in Zimbabwe are predetermined and are detached from the cultures of the communities in which they are implemented. In view of the argument that culture is an important component in development, both as cultural capital and in defining development, this paper concludes that the prescriptive NGOs' development programs are detrimental to cultural sustainability and sustainable development in Zimbabwe. Therefore, this paper argues that there is need to integrate the cultural capital of the communities in the designing and implementation of the NGOs development programs in Zimbabwe.

Keywords: cultural capital, development programs, NGOs, cultural sustainability, sustainable development

1. Introduction

The impetus of this paper is on the bickering between the government of Zimbabwe and the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the post-2000 period. According to Mpofu (2012), in this period the Zimbabwean scenario somewhat resembles serious antagonism between seemingly opposing but complimentary entities which are the government of Zimbabwe and the NGOs in Zimbabwe. This resentment resulted in the temporal closure of all NGOs in the year 2008 amid a hot-tempered political chapter, a development which comes after the deregistering of these organisations and the development of new regulations in the year 2007 which required the registration of all NGOs. Though this development was heavily criticised as an issue which was heavily castigated as unwarranted meddling with the civil society, this paper sets the politics marking foreign aid aside and looks at the compatibility of the NGOs' developmental programs with cultural sustainability and sustainable development in the Zimbabwean cultural communities. The major argument raised in this paper is the need for the integration of cultural capital in the developmental programs designed and implemented by the NGOs sector in Zimbabwe.

2. Methodology

In this section, the methodology is described in two stages- the first description is centred on how the data was gathered. The second part of the methodology presents the theoretical framework that shapes the analysis of the collected data.

2.1 Data Gathering

2.1.1 Research Design

In this study, a qualitative approach was followed since it is of specific relevance to the study of social relations (Flick, 2004). The qualitative approach enabled the researcher to interact with the sources of information in their natural setting. The plan of the study was carried out in form of a survey which entails a study of a limited number of NGOs and development programs with a view of drawing up conclusions that cover the generality of the entire group under review. Marshall and Rossman (2006) considers a survey as an appropriate mode of inquiry and making inferences about a large group based on data from a relatively small number of individuals in that group. The survey constituted a sample of five NGOs operating in six districts in Matabeleland, Masvingo and Midlands provinces of Zimbabwe. These are CARE International, World Vision International, Girl Child Network and Musasa Project and the Midlands Aids Service Organisation (MASO). …

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