UTILIZATION OF COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION STRATEGIES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN SOUTH-EAST STATES, NIGERIA
The study was aimed at assessing the extent of the utilization of community mobilization strategies in the implementation of community development projects in South-East States, Nigeria. To guide the study, five research questions were formulated with the intention of ascertaining the extent of utilization of capacity building for stakeholders, formation of community coalitions, direct engagement of community members and creation of partnership with organizations as community mobilization strategies in the implementation of community development projects in South-East States, and the challenges affecting the effective utilization of community mobilization strategies in the implementation of community development projects in South-East States, Nigeria. Also, four null hypotheses were tested at .05 level of significance and used to guide the study. Descriptive survey research design was used. The population of the study was 1,747 community development officers and local government executive members of town unions in South-East States from where a sample of 1, 073 was drawn using stratified random sampling technique. The instrument used for the study was a 48-item self-designed questionnaire called Utilization of Community Mobilization Strategies Questionnaire (UCOMSQ). The instrument was face validated by three experts and its reliability was ensured using Cronbach alpha estimate. Reliability co-efficient of .92 was obtained. Weighted mean and standard deviation were used in analyzing the collected data. Copies of the instrument were administered to the respondents through direct delivery technique. Findings of the study revealed that capacity building for stakeholders, formation of community coalitions and direct engagement of community members were utilized to a moderate extent as community mobilization strategies in the implementation community development projects, while the creation of partnership with organizations was utilized to a little exrtent. Two out of the four null hypotheses were rejected showing that there were significant differences in the mean ratings of community development officers and members of town union executives on the extent to which capacity building for stakeholders and formation of community coalitions were utilized in the implementation of community development projects in South-East States. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations were proffered which included that state governments should effectively strengthen communities’ ownership of development projects in the various communities, both urban and rural, and that state governments should encourage communities to form partnerships with federal, state and local governments, and even international agencies.