A community-based program in a non-existent community

Document Type

Journal Article


University of Florida


School of Arts and Humanities




Originally published as: Adusei-Asante, K. (2015). A community-based program in a non-existent community in African Studies Quarterly, 15(2), 69-84. Available here.


Community is one of the idealized terms used frequently in contemporary development discourse. This paper argues that community is a complex and portrays the outcomes of development programs that apply it loosely. It draws on qualitative research methods and a case study of the World Bank's Community-Based Rural Development Project implemented in Abaase in the Eastern Region of Ghana between 2005 and 2011. The analysis suggests that while the concept of community seems appealing, it may not practically exist or may be weak in localities labeled as communities. Thus, the paper argues for the need to design and implement community-based or driven programs in a way that identifies, develops, and targets specific community groups or members, particularly in migrant and transient populations.