Community Engagement as a Strategy to Address Climate Changes for Sustainable Development by a Rural University

Mutesasira Godfrey, Marongwe Newlin


This study aims to explore the role of community engagement as a strategic approach employed by a rural university in South Africa to address climate change for sustainable development. The primary objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness of community involvement in mitigating climate change impacts, with a focus on the unique context of a rural university setting. This study employed a qualitative approach with a case study design. One-on-one interviews and focus group discussions were used to gather data from participants, such as community members and university representatives. Data analysis involved qualitative thematic analysis to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the community engagement dynamics. The research revealed that community engagement initiatives led by rural universities positively influenced climate change awareness and mitigation efforts within the local community. The data indicated a notable increase in community participation and commitment to sustainable practices. Themes emerged that highlighted the significance of collaborative partnerships, knowledge exchange, and grassroots involvement in achieving meaningful outcomes. This study has implications for academia, policymakers, and practitioners engaged in climate change and sustainable development efforts. The insights gained can inform the development of tailored community engagement strategies, not only in South Africa but also globally, emphasizing the crucial role of rural universities in fostering sustainable practices in communities. The novelty of this study lies in its specific focus on the role of a rural university in South Africa, filling a gap in the existing literature. The findings contribute to the evolving discourse on effective climate change strategies by highlighting the unique contributions of rural educational institutions. By emphasizing the importance of localized approaches and community collaboration, this study adds a nuanced perspective to the broader field of sustainable development and climate change mitigation.


Keywords: climate change, community engagement, sustainable development, strategies.



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