Integrating Youth into Mainstream Community Development through Community-Based Planning




community based planning, community development, youth, Zimbabwe


The youth constitute a significant proportion of Zimbabwe’s population. Despite their significance in numbers, they continue to be marginalised in mainstream planning, decision-making and implementation processes of local development interventions. This study explored the utilisation of community-based planning as a tool for integrating the youth into local development through an action research process. Two research questions are dealt with: what are the essential activities for implementing a youth-friendly community-based planning process? And, what are the impacts of engaging the youth in community-based planning? The results indicated that the key tenets of such a process include local awareness raising, district level engagement, local level institutional functionality assessment, community youth mapping, and intensive planning and community feedback meetings. Impacts of integrating youths into community-based planning include institutionalisation of youth-sensitive planning at district level, improved cohesion by the youth from various political divides, enthusiasm by youths in ensuring incorporation of youth-related issues in ward plans, and renewed vigour by the youth to participate in local development activities. The study recommends youth-sensitive community-based planning as an approach for mainstreaming the youth into community development programmes.


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Author Biographies

Precious Tirivanhu, University of the Free State

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Centre for Sustanable Agriculture, Rural Development and Extension

Christian Kudzai Mataruka, International Institute for Development Facilitation (IIDF) Trust

Program Manager

Takunda J. Chirau, University of the Witwatersrand

Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Expert





How to Cite

Tirivanhu, Precious, Christian Kudzai Mataruka, and Takunda J. Chirau. 2018. “Integrating Youth into Mainstream Community Development through Community-Based Planning”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 30 (2):22 pages.



Received 2017-07-31
Accepted 2018-03-16
Published 2018-08-23