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The issues of poverty and participation in community development: A case study in Terengganu, Malaysia

MAUZUD, SITI,MUNIRAH (2022) The issues of poverty and participation in community development: A case study in Terengganu, Malaysia. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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In Malaysia, community development has been used primarily by the government as an approach to develop and empower the community, especially the economically disadvantaged population, with the main aim of addressing poverty within this group. Many community development programmes designed to address poverty have been provided for this group, but the government data shows that the relative poverty rate is still persistent (with a slight increase in recent years) despite all the programmes provided. This study explores how community development has been used as a response to address poverty in this context and the related issues of social inequalities in relation to improvement in the participants’ quality of life.

This study adopted a qualitative design in a rural and an urban area in Terengganu, Malaysia and focused on a range of different community development interventions responding to poverty amongst the Bumiputera population. A total of 34 semi-structured interviews were conducted and the collected data were then systematically coded and thematically analysed. The research found that participation in community development activities affect the experiences of particular people living in poverty in a way that they remain in relative poverty despite their participation in those activities (alongside other individual approaches). The persistence in relative poverty could be maintained by the social dynamics issues embedded within implemented programmes whilst social aspects are also important and need to be taken into account in designing the community development programmes for the people. Nevertheless, it was found that through participating, the participants had improved their quality of life to some extent, especially in terms of social and emotional aspects. A model of community development that prioritises the voice of the participants (bottom-up approach) is recommended while at the same time, shifting the focus of the interventions from a deficit-based to an asset-based approach could potentially help to address the persisting relative poverty among the participants.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Community development, Poverty, Participation, Empowerment, Terengganu, Malaysia
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Sociology, Department of
Thesis Date:2022
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Mar 2022 16:31

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