Original Research

Community-based participatory planning contribution to social capital for enhanced disaster resilience in rural Matobo, Zimbabwe

Thabo Ndlovu, Mthabisi Msimanga
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 15, No 1 | a1409 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v15i1.1409 | © 2023 Thabo Ndlovu, Mthabisi Msimanga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 October 2022 | Published: 22 November 2023

About the author(s)

Thabo Ndlovu, Institute of Development Studies, Faculty of Commerce, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Mthabisi Msimanga, Institute of Development Studies, Faculty of Commerce, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


The infusion of participatory methodologies in Zimbabwe gained momentum across rural and urban development planning platforms in the past decades. Participatory approaches are envisaged to deepen grassroots involvement in local planning and strengthen social networks for enhanced disaster resilience against complex weather-related hazards such as droughts. This article examines how community-based participatory planning (CBPP) contributes to the cohesiveness of the vulnerable groups and harnesses local capacities in building social capital. The article is underpinned by the community capital framework in understanding the nexus between participatory planning and social capital. Primary evidence is drawn from the cross-sectional study that targeted different socio-economic groups (N = 120) drawn from the selected three wards out of the 10 where CBPPs were conducted in Matobo district in 2016. The sample size was informed by the Rao Soft sample size calculator, hence a total of (n = 90) socioeconomic groups were targeted for a semi-structured questionnaire. The semi-structured tool was complemented by 12 in-depth interviews and three focus group discussions. Primary data were systematised, cleaned and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) V23. This was meant to probe and capture the benefits of CBPP and how it has strengthened the social capital of drought-prone communities in rural Matobo. Study results indicate improved inter- and intra-community networks post the CBPP processes in drought-prone Matobo as evidenced by the formation of community clubs, gender inclusive interventions and improved financial and material contributions towards community-driven projects. Furthermore, while women involvement is evident, their influence is less in productive livelihoods activities such as livestock rearing.

Contribution: The CBPP process has shown that inclusive planning improves the identification of risks and strengthens collective actions towards design and implementation of resilience building strategies such as water harvesting and health centres.


community-based participatory planning; CBPP; disaster resilience; social capital; ward development planning


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