ABSTRACT The purpose of this dissertation is to interrogate the meanings of “community” “participation,” and “community participation” concepts that are central to international development and national policy discourses in Malawi concerning Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSS) and the support for orphaned and vulnerable students’ (OVSs) schooling. The dissertation examines how community participation in OVS’s schooling is understood by various stakeholders, and how it is understood in relation to CDSSs in particular. It also explores, from various stakeholders’ views, whether and how community participation should play a role in supporting the schooling of OVSs, and how various interpretations of community participation may or may not enable OVSs to access and persist in secondary school. The study also contrasts and compares various international development frameworks for understanding the meaning of and debates about community participation and its impact on marginalized children. This research utilizes critical and interpretivist theoretical frameworks and qualitative methods of inquiry to understand how community participation is experienced across communities and organizational scale (community, school, district, national, and international). The study is designed as a multi-sited comparative case study, in which I ground my interrogation of existing perceptions and meanings of the concepts and institutionalized relations of power related to community participation in the secondary education of OVSs in two CDSSs in the northern and southern regions of Malawi. This allowed me to critically examine international and national discourses of community participation and how they engage (or fail to engage) with diverse stakeholders’ lived experiences and practices at the school and community level.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. September 2017. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: Frances Vavrus. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 294 pages.
Community Participation in Community Day Secondary Schooling for Orphaned and Vulnerable Students in Malawi in an Era of Shrinking Community.
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