People's Organisations Development Theory. Would you recommend this theory to others and why?

Hausarbeit, 2020

15 Seiten, Note: 1



Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. What are people's organisations?
2.1. What are CBOs?
2.2. PA1-Together for Africa
2.3. The strengths and weaknesses of CBOs

3. People's Organisations Development Theory
3.1. The PODT applied to Pa1-Together for Africa
3.2. Would I recommend this theory and why?

4. Conclusion

5. References

1. Introduction

In this paper, I will try to answer the question if the People's Organisations Development Theory should be recommended and if so, why. To do this properly I am going to define the terms civic society, people's organizations and CBO.

The following chapter three is dedicated to the explanation of the People's Organisations Development Theory and is going to answer the main question - Would I recommend the People's Organisations Development Theory and why?

My analysis is based on a CBO in Tanzania called Pal - Together for Africa. It was founded by a woman from my hometown South - Tyrol who moved to Tanzania about ten years ago and started the organization together with other local women.

The analysis of community-based organizations (CBOs) in Tanzania is important because there has been tremendous growth over the last decades. In Tanzania exist about 20.000 CSOs, which includes NGOs and CBOs. Their functions include advocacy and social service provision. Usually, the private sector fills up for the state, but it wasn't big enough so CSOs took the place. Considering the current changes, CSOs will take an important role in the shaping of social life.1

2. What are people's organisations?

People's Organisations are part of the civil society.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Looking at illustration 1 it can be found in the middle of the other sectors. While the state is responsible for law and order, the market is mostly private and profit orientated. The sector of the family is private. In the middle, we find community-based, non­governmental and other peoples organisations.

The four sectors (state, family, market and civil society) depend on each other and influence each other's actions. Changes in politics, for example, can lead to distortions in the market sector and also influence the behavior of civil society. The civil society itself provides an area for the people that unite themselves and plan activities in a field of their interest. It's a place for the discussion of issues they perceive as important.

They take an important role in development. A strong civil society contributes to change and development. If a revolution is done by the people and not for the people, they become self-governing.

It is believed that governments need an active and vibrant civil society to perform well, and a strong civil society is said to play a critical role in the democratization process of a given country.2

Strong civil societies go through three phases. In the mushrooming phase, many organisations are built. A lot of them die after the first stage, due to lack of motivation, wrong management or loss of interest. In the consolidation phase, some of them get more stable and develop organizational and managerial skills to achieve their goals.

In the influential phase, the now more stable organizations get accepted by the people or even the government and can successfully influence politics and the activities of other sectors. A well-functioning civil society cannot be forced from the outside, there must be a desire from the people themselves to take part in the change of society.

2.1. What are CBOs?

Community-based organisations are part of the civil society. They are non-profit groups working at a local level to improve the living conditions of the residents. The members experienced the needs of their neighborhoods first hand and formed organizations to achieve a common goal. Work conducted by CBOs generally falls into the themes of human services, natural environment conservation or restoration, and urban environment safety and revitalization.3

Their success depends on good leadership, administrative efficiency, and collaboration. They often show a focus on networking, democracy, advocacy, and community. CBOs are very informal, they are voluntary associations with common goals like the decrease of poverty, inequality and poverty-related to production and consumption. The members of a CBO share the same values regarding their goals.

To make the definition of a community-based organization clearer I've decided to make a concrete example from a CBO in Tanzania, founded by a woman in my hometown.

2.2. PAl-Together for Africa

PAl-Together for Africa is a CBO located in Tanzania Kigamboni. A woman from South- Tyrol Italy named Julia Lantschner moved to Tanzania about ten years ago. First, she was a volunteer in an orphanage in the south of Tanzania. There she met her now-husband. After living there for a few years her neighbor lost her job. This was the founding moment for the organization.

She and other women of the neighborhood rented a garage and bought some sewing machines. They started to educate women in terms of sewing, how to design and make clothes and jewelry. Their goal is to help them to get a job, either as an employee or to get independent. They do not just want economic independence for the women but also emotional independence and help them to get more self-esteem. They want to help women to help themselves. There still is gender inequality in Tanzania, this project is supposed to help women to show their strengths openly and to help them to provide a better future for themselves and their families.

The team educates women on things like self-respect, reading and writing, sexual health education, HIV and similar things. Julia Lantschner states that there is strong support coming from outside the organization, the local people help them in times of need. For the future, they want to rent bigger premises and expand their education program to language lessons and computer courses.

In the beginning, she had to finance the project by coming home to Italy and work here for a few months, so that she had the financial means to keep the organization alive. But the more well-known Pal-Together for Africa gets, the more donations they get. By now the project runs only on donations from different organizations and private investors.4

Pal-Together for Africa is a CBO because it was founded by a group of people (in that case women) who lived in the same neighborhood and were confronted with a certain problem. They were dealing with gender inequality, lack of education, poverty, and unemployment. Voluntarily they united and discussed the problems they were and are faced with every day. Together they found strategies to try to solve these problems, not just for themselves but for the women in Kigamboni in general. Their common goal is more equality and the support of women in the area. The project is independent of the state and the market. It finances itself through donors but also through the selling of the sewed items. They are non-political and are looking for a way to improve their life situations, helping not just the members but also women from the outside. But like any other CBO also Pa1 Together for Africa has his strengths and weaknesses.

2.3. The strengths and weaknesses of CBOs

Considering the fact of how important CBOs are for the development of a country there is a need to address their strengths and weaknesses.

Findings suggest that POs can make a modest but essential contribution towards development despite organizational, institutional, financial and technical challenges, especially lack of appropriate education and training.5

There exists a template that is used to identify and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of CBOs. The people's organizations evaluation template (POET) consists of ten criteria: legitimacy, autonomy, cohesion, inclusiveness, structural organization, voluntarism, stability, delivery, contentedness, and change.

An important problem is the lack of proper education and financial constraints, it keeps them from succeeding regarding long term development goals, so most of the CBOs address immediate concerns confronting members. With the right organizing, CBOs can bring socio-economic benefits to the members but also some to non-members. With an improvement of their already existing strengths and a confrontation of their challenges, these benefits can be increased.

Some of these challenges are the lack of innovation and financial capital. They often depend on the contributions of a few wealthier members. There is also limited information flow from between the organization and the people from outside and a lack of practical and soft skills.6

But like I've stated before there has been shown an impact, that these organizations can make under the right circumstances with proper support.


1 Lange, Hege, Kiondo (2000): p. 1

2 Lange, Hege, Kiondo (2000): p. 2

3 Wiki, Nonprofit Organizations (PBworks)

4 Interview with Julia Lantschner by IchFrau

5 Mutalemwa (2019): p. 99

6 Mutalemwa (2019): p. 99 ff.

Ende der Leseprobe aus 15 Seiten


People's Organisations Development Theory. Would you recommend this theory to others and why?
Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck  (Soziologie)
Markt Staat soziale Institutionen
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
CBO, Graswurzelbewegungen, Tansania
Arbeit zitieren
Anonym, 2020, People's Organisations Development Theory. Would you recommend this theory to others and why?, München, GRIN Verlag,


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