Reducing Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa - Two Development Theories and the Role of the Church

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201712216044
Title: Reducing Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa - Two Development Theories and the Role of the Church
Author: Yeboa-Mensa, Seree
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: This research aims at discussing some of the ways in which both the Basic Needs Theory of development in Jeffrey Haynes and the Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) in John Rees, seek to reduce poverty in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). The Church´s role of providing basic needs within the Comprehensive Development Framework was also discussed. Conceptual and argumentation analysis methods were used. Most countries in Africa are confronted with worsening poverty, hunger, ill health and high unemployment. According to the World Bank (2009), about one in two persons lives on less than US$1.25 per day, with almost 70 percent living in rural areas, thirty-two out of the forty-eight poorest countries are found in SSA. The International Labor Organization (ILO) in 1976 sought to alleviate poverty by Basic Needs Theory of development which urged the various governments to endeavor to provide basic needs (food, housing, clothing, and public services, and so on) to their citizens. According to Haynes, the theory failed because the developmental agenda became absorbed into the wider cold war ideological division, and also because of the unwillingness of the ruling elites and their supporters in many developing counties to facilitate the necessary financial transfers upon which the successful delivery of basic needs strategy pivoted. This led to the redefinition of the role of the state since it could not provide basic needs solely. As a result of this, Poverty Reduction Strategies such as Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative, and others were birthed. These Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) process was the main basis for implementing the CDF principles which are intended to translate a country’s poverty reduction strategy into a focused action plan. The CDF was proposed by the World Bank in early 1999 as a means by which countries can manage knowledge and resources to formulate and execute effective strategies for economic development and poverty reduction. The CDF, among others, stresses strong partnerships among governments and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other development actors of which the church is part. According to Rees, the church (example the World Council of Churches) is skeptical to associate with the secular institutions including International Financial Institutions (IFIs). However, the Catholic and Lutheran churches’ social ministries mandate it to work with non-church institutions to bring about development. Thus the church has a holistic mission which allows it to seek justice to bring about transformation through empowerment and works for peace and reconciliation. In some parts of Africa, some churches have been very proactive in terms of provision of basic needs comprising the material, social, psychological and bodily as well as spiritual well-being. This is done through support and advocacy. The IFI´s decision to involve the church in its efforts to reduce poverty is not only laudable but also realistic since the church has long been involved in the provision of basic needs in SSA. Keywords: Poverty Reduction, Basic Needs, Comprehensive Development Framework, Church.
URI: URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201712216044
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/229853
Date: 2012
Discipline: Teologinen etiikka ja sosiaalietiikka
Theological Ethics and Social Ethics
Teologisk etik och socialetik


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