By Joanna Lewis
“Important because social welfare has recently appeared again as the foremost declared intent of international development practice in Africa. Many, if not most of the themes of contemporary development practice, involving participatory and engendered approaches to development, and including community development and social capital, lie at the heart of this book. Given this contemporary interest, a history of welfare in Africa is timely.”
Michael Cowen, Institute of Development Studies, University of Helsinski
This history of administrative thought and practice in colonial Kenya looks at the ways in which white people tried to engineer social change.
It asks four questions:
- Why was Kenya's welfare operation so idiosyncratic and spartan compared with that of other British colonies?
- Why did a transformation from social welfare to community development produce further neglect of the very poor?
- Why was there no equivalent to the French tradition of community medicine?
- If there was a transformatory element of colonial rule that sought to address poverty, where and why did it fall down?
The answers offer revealing insight into the dynamics of rule in the late colonial period in Kenya.
Joanna Lewis is a lecturer in history, University of Durham.
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