||In this hard-hitting paper, David Everatt and Sifiso Zulu analyse government’s performance in delivering rural antipoverty and development programmes since 1994. They identify three main phases in the 1994–2000 period, and
use three major development programmes to identify key successes and failings on the part of both government and civil society. An important problem they identify is the tension between a participative and community-based approach to development on the one hand, and the growing need in government departments to spend, show results and avoid roll-overs on the other. In particular, they highlight the dangers of fast-tracking.
They critically examine some of the challenges facing rural development and anti-poverty programmes, from gender quotas to institutional arrangements, and provide a list of critical success factors for improving future performance. They suggest that the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Strategy is evidence of real self-criticism by government and that it may herald a new era in rural development, but that if it too is fast-tracked – as seems likely – it may collapse.
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