Pindai Sithole

Community-Based Development: A Study of Nhimbe practice in Zimbabwe

(PhD Thesis: Witwatersrand University, South Africa, 2014)

Pindai Sithole examined a little understood community practice in Zimbabwe called nhimbe, and explored the various ways in which this contributes to economic and social life in rural Zimbabwe within the context of community-based development. Based on intensive fieldwork in three communities, the study revealed that nhimbe is a community collective action mechanism that is used carefully to assist households in both short-term emergency and longer-term developmental situations. Nhimbe draws on social capital underpinned by community cultural values found among members of the community, particularly inter-household bonds, reciprocity, trust, solidarity, respect and peace.

This was a qualitative study and a specialist software called NVivo was applied to analyze the rich-voluminous qualitative data sets from in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and observations.  In fact, NVivo has the capability to manage qualitative research design with special emphasis on data organisation, processing, exploring using linear and matrix logic, finding patterns and identifying themes and patterns.   In addition, the software has the ability to store relevant information about research participants as well as other analysis procedures applicable to one’s research or evaluation objectives.  The software greatly assists researchers, evaluators and many others who grapple with having to read numerous data transcripts and making sense out of them.  On the whole, NVivo is designed to remove rigid divisions between “data” and “interpretation”. It offers many ways of connecting the parts of a research or evaluation through integrating reflection and collected data.


Click on this link to access the full thesis.