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A comparative analysis of the role of traditional and modern community-based organizations in promoting community development in Ogoniland, Nigeria

Lookup NU author(s): Nwamaka Okeke-Ogbuafor, Professor Tim Gray, Professor Selina Stead



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Given the failure of top-down initiatives to bring about community development (CD) in many developing countries, attention is switching to bottom-up approaches, one of which is to use community-based organizations (CBOs) as the conduit through which CD may be achieved. This paper compares the effectiveness of traditional CBOs (TCBOs) and modern CBOs (MCBOs) in fostering CD in eight communities in Ogoniland, Nigeria, where there is a long history of neglect and underdevelopment. The paper was based on extensive fieldwork carried out in eight Ogoni communities during 2013-2014, which involved 101 telephone interviews with residents (TIs), 67 face-to-face key informant interviews (KIs), 189 survey questionnaires (SQs), and three focus groups discussions (FGDs). The two main conclusions reached by this paper are that despite some praise expressed by respondents for their CBOs, the fashionable belief that CBOs are strong agents of bottom-up CD is not borne out by this study; and there is little difference between respondents’ evaluations of the contributions to CD made by MCBOs and the much-vaunted TCBOs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Okeke-Ogbuafor NA, Gray TS, Stead SM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Community Development Journal

Year: 2018

Volume: 53

Issue: 1

Pages: 173-189

Print publication date: 01/01/2018

Online publication date: 13/06/2016

Acceptance date: 20/05/2016

Date deposited: 09/07/2016

ISSN (print): 0010-3802

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2656

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/cdj/bsw018


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