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Community-driven development decision tools for rural development programmes


The Community-Driven Development Decision Tools is the final outcome of a series of studies conducted from 2003-08 by IFAD on the community-driven development activities and approaches it sponsors in a number of countries in Western and Central Africa. The objective of these studies, including this community-driven development tools document, was to improve the effectiveness of the approaches and operational methods used to design and implement community-driven development (CDD) investment programmes as a way to further enabling rural poor people to overcome poverty in Western and Central Africa.

The review of community-driven development interventions in Western and Central Africa began by studying five community-based projects to review their design, policy and performance. This study was extensively discussed within IFAD’s Western and Central Africa Division and subsequently presented in a shorter version at a workshop held in Rome (3-4 June 2004), “Lessons Learned with Community-Driven Development in Western and Central Africa and Elsewhere”. These discussions focused on the outline of a coherent approach, strategy and policy for community-driven development and on tools and skills required to improve design and implementation support for community-driven development operations. As a result of that experience, the Division decided to broaden the discussion and to prepare a Decision Tool document on community-driven development. The broader discussion was comprised of three initiatives:

  • a one-month electronic conference, held in October-November 2005, to mobilize as large an audience as possible, including IFAD staff, project operators and consultants, representatives of member countries’ governments, and representatives of other international and bilateral organizations;
  • a conference in Accra, Ghana in March 2006, in which many officers of IFAD-funded projects, central and local government representatives, farmer organizations and staff of international and bilateral organizations participated;
  • a study to investigate the opinions of actual and potential beneficiaries of a selected sample of IFAD community-driven development projects. This work was concluded in 2008.

This Decision Tools document is thus the final outcome of five years of studies, debates and workshop discussions. These tools will prove useful to Governments, development practitioners and field technical staff that are financing, designing or implementing community-driven development projects for rural poverty reduction.

Access the document here: Community-driven development decision tools for rural development programmes.