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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Incorporating Local History Into Planning Documents: A Case Study From Guinea, West Africa
Author:Astone, Jennifer
Periodical:World Development
Geographic term:Guinea
Subjects:agricultural projects
natural resource management
soil fertility
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Development and Technology
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Women's Issues
Economics and Trade
mass media
Abstract:By overlooking local history, development planners who undertake natural resource management feasibility studies limit their analytic understanding and obscure important social factors. This weakness in methodology contributes to these studies' replication of existing assumptions about both the nature of local natural resource management regimes and how they might be changed. This article contrasts results from four studies commissioned by international donors working in the Futa Jalon (Guinea) and carried out in the period 1987-1993 with data the author collected during fieldwork in 1993-1995 on women's soil management techniques and organizations. Two specific issues are examined: women's management of garden soils and women's participation in past development projects. The author found that the planning documents employ an ahistorical approach to the area thereby obscuring the importance of the changing local context. The result is that project team members rarely question their underlying assumptions about the dynamics of natural resource management regimes, and rarely enhance their depiction of the people and environment with historical context. Despite their frequent recommendations for follow-up research, this rarely occurs. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.