DTRA Analysis in Chaguite, Nicaragua

Abstract:

Since conversations about community development work are rife with uncertainty, scholars are working from many different angles to develop theories of community engagement and capacity building, refining ways of measuring project efficacy.  My own experience working with an isolated and impoverished community in Nicaragua has shed light on the realities of community development work, and on the impact ‘aid’ can have on its  beneficiaries. Witnessing the impact of more traditional development projects in the community, for example, a local university who delivered household cisterns one year ago that are already falling apart, has sparked an essential question is my mind: what effects do new resources in poor communities have on the existing community organization? This summer, I hope to explore this query by operationalizing the idea ‘social infrastructure’, therefore measuring its variance over time. By compiling a comprehensive, granular picture of a marginalized community’s social organization, I can not only test the efficacy of one project’s work, but can also contribute to the growing body of knowledge of social infrastructure as it relates to community development.

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