Is no One Left Behind? : Inclusive Citizenship in Practices of Self-help Groups in Rural Tanzania
Matunga, B. N., & Kontinen, T. (2023). Is no One Left Behind? : Inclusive Citizenship in Practices of Self-help Groups in Rural Tanzania. Forum for Development Studies, 50(1), 83-105. https://doi.org/10.1080/08039410.2023.2176784
Published inForum for Development Studies
DisciplineResurssiviisausyhteisöKansainvälinen kehitystutkimusSchool of Resource WisdomInternational Development Studies
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are based on the Agenda 2030 according to which ‘no one is left behind’, highlighting the need for inclusive citizenship at all levels. This article examines self-help groups in rural Tanzania as potential arenas for inclusive citizenship, which is defined as bottom-up practices of membership, participation, and livelihood enhancement. However, inclusive citizenship is also characterised by exclusions. Therefore, while acknowledging the important contribution of self-help groups for development, this article scrutinises the question of patterns of exclusion, first, in practices of self-help groups, and second, in the relationships between self-help groups and their wider environments. Based on participant observation, individual interviews, and focus groups discussions in three villages in Mpwapwa District in Tanzania, we found exclusions in the process of establishing groups, while participating in the groups, and in relation to the community and the wider socio-economic system. The findings show how less privileged members of a community are easily excluded from the groups based on criteria related to wealth and perceived trustworthiness, and how the improvements in livelihoods, capacities, and collective action remain local, and do not expand to engagement in wider decision-making nor to addressing the root causes of poverty. ...
PublisherNorwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI); Norwegian Association for Development Research; Routledge
Publication in research information system
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Programme, AoF
Additional information about fundingThis work was supported by the Academy of Finland under Grant No. 316098 for the project Theory and Practice of Learning to be a Citizen: Experiences from Tanzania and Uganda.
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