'Find the groups and you have found the poor?': exploring the dynamics of community-based organisations in Arua and Kabale
This research report is borne out of CDRN and CAREÆs attempts to strengthen their support to civil society organisations in Uganda. The report takes the widely held belief that the needs and interests of poorer people are directly or indirectly represented through community-based organisations, and that working with CBOs is therefore a route to poverty reduction as its starting point. As more and more initiatives, both government and NGO-led, attempt to use this channel to reach the poor, the research examines the validity of this assumption. The report concludes by suggesting that the assumption: æfind the groups and you have found the poorÆ is only partially correct. It might be more accurate to assume that æin some kinds of groups, you will find some kinds of poor people.Æ
The report is structured into six main sections: introduction; an overview of the research sites, groups and external perspectives on group formation; the strengths and weaknesses of groups in representing the poor; exploring the relationship between a group and external groups/ institutions; an exploration of where the poorer members of a community are if they are not in groups; and conclusions and recommendations.