Exploring the importance of critical thinking in creating capabilities for self-reliance in international community development: A Kenyan context

Njiraini, Nancy Nyambura Karanja (2015) Exploring the importance of critical thinking in creating capabilities for self-reliance in international community development: A Kenyan context. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Self-reliance as a component of development agendas is often relegated to the background if mentioned at all. This thesis explores the value of self-reliance in meaningful progress, as well as the conditions which enable self-reliance, paying particular attention to the role of critical thinking in that process. It investigates individual and collective use of local knowledge in formulating strategies for progressive community development in collaboration with international agencies. By drawing attention to the practical aspects of development interventions, the challenges can be observed from an equality, justice and inclusion perspective. The thesis works with the frameworks of Amartya Sen’s and Martha Nussbaum’s human development and capabilities approach calling attention to the value of freedom in development and the capabilities to do and to be. It adopts a critical theoretical approach from an emancipatory perspective and argues that a useful way to consider self-reliance may be Immanuel Kant’s perspective on Enlightenment as emergence from self-imposed inability to use one’s own knowledge. This approach emphasises the value in acknowledging the views of those the process is meant to support. By approaching the issues through Freirean dialogue and participatory methods, that address concerns of power relationships, the thesis provides a ‘space to speak’ for the community groups. This is facilitated by the use of the creative engagement tool ‘Ketso’. This thesis argues that meaningful progress is inclusive and that it should pay attention to mutual processes of knowledge production. The findings highlight the role of lifelong learning as a mediating process where knowledge is exchanged and where reciprocation takes place in a way that respects other people’s values and interests.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Critical thinking, self-reliance, human development, capability approach, mutual knowledge production, lifelong learning, international community development, Ketso.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Phipps, Professor Alison and Stack, Dr. Niamh
Date of Award: 2015
Embargo Date: 8 June 2018
Depositing User: Ms Nancy Njiraini
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6455
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2015 10:44
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2015 12:42
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6455

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