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ROLE OF THE TRADITIONAL TOWN CRIER IN MOBILIZING THE COMMUNITY FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN THEIR AREAS (A CASE STUDY OF KEFFI COMMUNITIES OF NASARAWA STATE)

  • Project Research
  • 1-5 Chapters
  • Quantitative
  • Simple Percentage
  • Abstract : Available
  • Table of Content: Available
  • Reference Style: APA
  • Recommended for : Student Researchers
  • NGN 3000

Background of the study

Community mobilization plays a crucial role in the development process, particularly in rural and semi-urban areas where formal communication channels may be limited. Traditional forms of communication, such as the town crier, have historically been vital in disseminating information and mobilizing communities for various purposes. This study focuses on the role of the traditional town crier in mobilizing the community for development projects in Keffi communities of Nasarawa State.

Community mobilization involves engaging and motivating community members to participate in activities that aim to improve their living conditions. It is a process that seeks to empower individuals and groups to take collective action in addressing common issues and achieving desired outcomes (Rosato et al., 2008). Effective community mobilization requires the utilization of appropriate communication strategies that resonate with the target audience, often leveraging local traditions and cultural practices (Campbell & Jovchelovitch, 2000).

In many African societies, traditional communication methods remain deeply entrenched and influential. The town crier, known locally as "Arodan" or "Oluwole," is a prominent figure who disseminates information orally to the community, often using a bell or gong to attract attention (Wilson, 2008). This method of communication has proven to be effective in areas with low literacy rates and limited access to modern communication technologies.

The town crier's role extends beyond mere information dissemination; they are often seen as trusted community figures who can mobilize people for social, political, and economic activities (Akpabio, 2003). Their ability to convey messages in the local language and in a culturally relevant manner enhances their effectiveness in reaching a broad audience and fostering community participation.

The success of development projects in rural and semi-urban areas often hinges on the level of community engagement and participation. Studies have shown that leveraging traditional communication channels, such as town criers, can significantly enhance community mobilization efforts. For instance, Nwuneli (1981) highlighted the effectiveness of traditional media in disseminating agricultural information to rural farmers, thereby improving agricultural practices and productivity.

In the context of health interventions, town criers have been instrumental in mobilizing communities for vaccination campaigns, health education, and disease prevention initiatives (Oluwoye, 2017). Similarly, in the realm of environmental conservation, town criers have been employed to raise awareness about sustainable practices and mobilize community efforts for reforestation and waste management projects (Mefalopulos & Kamlongera, 2004).

Keffi, a town in Nasarawa State, Nigeria, is characterized by a mix of urban and rural features, with a population that relies heavily on agriculture and small-scale trading. The region faces several development challenges, including inadequate infrastructure, low literacy rates, and limited access to healthcare and other essential services (Nasarawa State Government, 2018). Mobilizing the community to address these challenges requires effective communication strategies that can reach and engage a diverse population.

In the Keffi communities, the town crier remains a vital communication link between the local government and the people. They are often involved in disseminating information about government programs, public health campaigns, community meetings, and other important events (Eze, 2018). The town crier's deep-rooted presence in the community, combined with their ability to communicate in the local dialect, positions them as key actors in mobilizing community members for development initiatives.

1.2 Statement of the problem

In many developing regions, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, effective communication remains a pivotal challenge that significantly impacts the successful implementation and sustainability of development projects. The Keffi communities of Nasarawa State, Nigeria, are characterized by a unique blend of traditional and modern lifestyles, where a significant portion of the population may be inaccessible through conventional digital communication channels due to factors such as low literacy rates, lack of technological infrastructure, and economic limitations.

Despite the recognized importance of traditional communication methods in such settings, there has been insufficient empirical research to explore how these methods, particularly the role of the town crier, contribute to mobilizing the community for development initiatives. Town criers have historically played a central role in African societies as trusted sources of news and information. In contemporary settings, they could potentially bridge the communication gap between local governments and rural communities, facilitating increased community participation in development projects aimed at improving living conditions.

However, the specific impact of town criers in mobilizing the Keffi communities remains poorly understood. Questions about the effectiveness of town criers in conveying critical information, the extent of community engagement they foster, and the overall influence on the success of development projects are yet to be fully addressed. Moreover, there is a need to explore how the integration of traditional and modern communication methods could enhance outreach and participation in these projects.

1.3 Objectives of the study

  1. To examine the role of the town crier in mobilizing the community for development projects in Keffi communities of Nasarawa State.
  2. To assess the effectiveness of town criers in mobilizing community participation for development projects.
  3. To identify the factors that enhance or inhibit the effectiveness of town criers in community mobilization efforts.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What roles do town criers play in mobilizing the community for development projects in Keffi?
  2. How effective are town criers in mobilizing community participation in these development projects?
  3. What factors influence the effectiveness of town criers in their role of community mobilization?

1.5 Research hypotheses

Null Hypothesis (H0): Community participation in development projects is not positively correlated with the effectiveness of town criers in mobilization efforts.

Alternative Hypothesis (H1): Community participation in development projects is positively correlated with the effectiveness of town criers in mobilization efforts.

1.6 Significance of the study

Policy Development: Findings from this study will provide policymakers with insights into how traditional communication methods can be leveraged to enhance community engagement in development projects.

Cultural Preservation: It underscores the importance of traditional communication methods, promoting cultural preservation while enhancing development.

Community Engagement: By identifying effective strategies for community mobilization, the study will help in designing more inclusive development projects that are more likely to succeed due to active community participation.

Scalability: The integration of communication methods can serve as a model for other regions with similar socio-cultural dynamics, thereby improving the efficiency of development communication across different contexts.

1.7 Scope of the study

This study focuses to examine the role of the town crier in mobilizing the community for development projects in Keffi communities of Nasarawa State, assess the effectiveness of town criers in mobilizing community participation for development projects, and identify the factors that enhance or inhibit the effectiveness of town criers in community mobilization efforts. Hence residents of Keffi communities of Nasarawa State shall serve as enrolled participants for this study.

1.8 Limitations of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint are:

Time: The researcher encountered time constraint as the researcher had to carry out this research along side other academic activities such as attending lectures and other educational activities required of her.

Finance: The researcher incurred more financial expenses in carrying out this study such as typesetting, printing, sourcing for relevant materials, literature, or information and in the data collection process.

Availability of Materials: The researcher encountered challenges in sourcing for literature in this study. The scarcity of literature on the subject due to the nature of the discourse was a limitation to this study.

1.9 Definition of terms

Town Crier: A traditional figure in many cultures who is responsible for making public announcements in the community. In Keffi, this role involves traveling around the community, often with a bell, to verbally disseminate information.

Community Mobilization: The process of engaging and motivating community members to participate in activities aimed at improving their collective welfare, including participation in development projects.

Development Projects: Initiatives aimed at improving the infrastructure, health, education, and economic well-being of a community.

Traditional Communication Methods: Communication practices that are indigenous to a culture or community, which have been used historically to convey information among members.





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