Facilitating transformative learning for community development: Experiences from Zimbabwe

This paper asserts problematic frames of reference among community members and the breakdown in community wide dialogue as key contributing factors towards the slow pace in rural development and social change. The frames of reference are considered problematic partly because they influence community members to view development programmes negatively. It is argued that transformative learning through dialogue enhances sustainable social change. The praxis for facilitating community wide transformational learning was explored using a mixed methods research methodology with the Mhakwe Comprehensive Community Initiative in Zimbabwe as a case study. Qualitative data were collected from action research, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Quantitative data were collected using a structured questionnaire following a multi stage stratified sampling procedure (n=65). Based on the findings, key enablers for transformative learning include: addressing community polarity; creating communicative space; refining Frames of Reference; and developing dialogue infrastructure. Transformative learning was found to be enhanced through creating positive energy and leveraging indigenous knowledge. The study concludes that development institutions need to embrace transformative learning as a strategy for sustainable social change.

Prof. Adipala, Ekwamu
Dr. Paul, Nampala
Issue Date:
Mar 24 2017
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Record Identifier:
Published in:
African Journal of Rural Development (AFJRD), 1, 3
Page range:
255 -270

 Record created 2017-09-22, last modified 2018-11-29

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