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Development from below? Islands of effectiveness or Enclaves in South Africa today.

What influence does living or working in a given area, an area delimited –even if informally – from its surroundings, have on those inside and those outside this distinct area? The insiders may have found ways to improve their lives and may wish to influence outsiders to follow suite, or they may wish to ensure that outsiders remain outside. I call the first area an island of effectiveness and the second an enclave.
In South Africa today, such islands and enclaves that have emerged from local initiatives may serve as platforms for cumulative gains (for insiders and outsiders or solely insiders). This in turn may promote institutional scalability and potentially sustainability over the longer term. Whether national government policy allows, or promotes, or ignores such development is self-evidently central to the local initiatives. Five case studies that research such institutions before and during the Covid pandemic have been selected.
Many of the good intentions and positive promises of national policy for top-down development have not translated into practice. Bottom-up initiatives may prove to be different.


Fellows involved in this project

South Africa

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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].