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Ideology and the Impact of Development Agency Activity. A Study of Agricultural Extension and Community Development in Botswana.

Curtis, Donald (1976) Ideology and the Impact of Development Agency Activity. A Study of Agricultural Extension and Community Development in Botswana. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94290) (KAR id:94290)


Community Development and Agricultural Extension programmes in Botswana are founded upon related theoretical approaches to the development task which provide the agencies with an operating ideology. The ideology in both cases emphasises the need to provide information, change values, and persuade people to participate in development. When the 'Pupil Farmer' scheme and the 'self help' projects of these government agencies are framed within this perspective other important dimensions of change and development like investment stimulation or institutional innovation tend to he neglected both in policy and in analysis of their clients’ needs.

Extension workers try to persuade farmers to adopt 'modern’ techniques but their advice is ignored by much of the population because the innovations, being both time-consuming and expensive, are beyond their means. Extension staff however interpret the response as evidence of their clients’ deep-seated attachment to traditional ways for which the only cure is more persuasion.

Community Development assists government to establish village development committees through which development projects can be organised. Villagers are expected to take development initiatives but the declining power of the chieftainship is not replaced by alternative authority so that these initiatives are difficult to sustain. Conflict and stalemate is put down to lack of education or backwardness for which the solution is more community development.

Thus frustrated development activity tends to confirm existing "beliefs" but this alone is not an adequate explanation of the persistence of a limited ideology. In organisations with widely dispersed personnel where formal controls do not work conformity with organisational ideology "becomes an essential element in social control.

The study concludes with a brief exploration of the organisational implications of these findings.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94290
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2023 13:51 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2023 13:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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