n South African Journal of Agricultural Extension - Principles, realities and challenges regarding institutional linkages for participatory extension and rural development in South Africa

Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0301-603X
  • E-ISSN: 2413-3221


This paper makes a strong case for the necessity of community linkage structures where participatory development with the ultimate object of community empowerment, self-sufficiency and self-dependency is pursued. Important principles regarding the nature of such structures were identified by participatory methods and the degree to which they are acceptable or supported were assessed in a countrywide survey involving about one-third of all public service extension workers. The survey found wide scale support for the need of the proposed structures as well as for the identified principles. These include a clear differentiation between the coordinating and operational functions, and a coordination of development activities as close to the grassroots communities as possible. For coordinated and integrated development a ladder of linkage structures, extending from the local community up to district and provincial levels, is recommended and it is important that partnerships be maintained and not undermined through amalgamation.

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