The massive development efforts of the past three decades have not really benefited the rural poor. In Sapele LGA, Delta state, this study aims to evaluate community involvement in rural development projects. The generation of the data used both primary and secondary sources. The study used a multi-stage sampling method in which, in the first stage, four of the five districts were purposefully chosen, and in the second stage, the communities in each district were arranged alphabetically and randomly selected every third community. 381 samples total, proportionately distributed among the four districts chosen for the study in accordance with population size, were used. Descriptive and inferential statistical methods were used in the study. In order to summarize the data, the descriptive method used the mean, percentages, and frequency distribution. With a p-value of 0.0001, the Pearson Chi square analytical technique used to test the level of significance of the relationship between community participation and project planning process, implementation, or result demonstrates a significant relationship. Additionally, the results showed that 60% of respondents agreed that community involvement is a useful tool for rural development projects. The study also demonstrated the significance of community involvement in rural communities’ rapid socioeconomic development. Therefore, it is advised that beneficiaries of all rural development projects be organized and made aware of the advantages of community involvement in Sapele LGA and rural projects generally. Traditional authorities should also encourage selflessness and service to humanity, and NGOs should be specifically organized to focus on women. channeling participation and empowerment of women.



1.1Background to the Study

Generally speaking, rural development is the process of enhancing the

quality of life and financial security of those residing in rural, also known as isolated, and sparsely populated areas (Moseley, 2003). The emphasis on community participation in rural development projects stems from the fact that many rural residents do not benefit from the strategies put in place in the form of projects offered to them because they are not involved in the project planning and implementation processes.

Because infrastructure is at the core of rural development projects and needs to be modified for effective community participation to occur, rural development is more feasible when people participate in the process of infrastructure provision (Idachaba and Bankole, 2006). Alternatives to the top-down approach, which has not produced the desired results because rural residents, who are the target beneficiaries, were not initially included, include community participation in rural socioeconomic development (Bankole, 2007). The term has been conceptualized in the literature in a variety of ways, including as “public,” “people,” or “citizen participation,” but they are all focused on rural development (Oakley, 1991 and Afolayan, 2008). Participation is all about inclusivity, social justice, and the common good, which demonstrates that rural development is based on the needs and aspirations of communities.


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