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Road to Kamaka: the struggles of poverty and desertification

Joseph Khoury (HEC Montréal, Montrél, Canada.)
Luciano Barin-Cruz (HEC Montréal, Montrél, Canada.)

Publication date: 1 October 2011

Issue publication date: 1 October 2011


Subject area

Sustainable development (in under-developed rural communities).

Study level/applicability

Bachelor's degree.

Case overview

The case follows six young adults from Quebec, who are mandated with a three-month agro-environmental project in the fight against desertification and poverty, in Kamaka, a village in the Sahel region of Mali. The project's central element is the development of a community garden that would ensure the diversification of the community's nutritional diet, and the rehabilitation of the environment. The mandate also consists of various environmental awareness workshops pertaining to efficient energy consumption, composting, and solar food drying techniques. The project, in its fourth year of collaboration between the Quebec organization and their local Malian partner, does not seem to have been yielding the desired results. The team is faced with the challenges of understanding the opportunities and limitations of the project so that they can try to succeed where previous teams have failed; while overcoming the organizational and logistical shortfalls that they faced prior to the start of their work, as they simultaneously struggled to adapt to their totally new context.

Expected learning outcomes

How to prepare for, approach, and carry out local community development projects – environmental and/or social – in under-developed regions such as Mali. Mainly, how to create a shared vision with the concerned community; build an effective multi-stakeholder network; and ultimately co-create sustainable value (as per the proposed Senge model).

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes and short documentary online link.



Khoury, J. and Barin-Cruz, L. (2011), "Road to Kamaka: the struggles of poverty and desertification", , Vol. 1 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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