Development from below has become an increasingly important theme in

development planning since the 1970s. Indigenous knowledge is an important element in development from below and its importance lies mainly in what it says about the power of people to control the changes they experience. It is from there that 'Participatory Development' as a field came to gain much attention lately. In participatory projects, it is important that the beneficiaries of these projects be involved in the decision making process as to what the nature of these projects will be and how they will be implemented, and that they be empowered to take over the projects later on. The change agents play a rather crucial role in this process of participatory development. Where refugees are present, they become a part of the development issues 111 the country in which they are present. As is the case for the poor or rural people in a country, refugees also need projects following the participatory development method, and need change agents to facilitate these projects and empower the refugees enabling them to further develop themselves, and contribute positively to the country which they are in. This thesis shall examine this theme within the context of refugees in Egypt. The key issue that the thesis shall tackle is that refugees can be a positive factor and asset in Egypt, yet there are factors impeding them from being so, namely: the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in its role as a change agent and humanitarian organization, the willingness of the refugees themselves, the laws that the government of Egypt and the perception of the Egyptian people themselves to the refugees. The main hypothesis of the thesis is that it is owing to the failure of the UNHCR in its role as a change agent, the unwillingness of the refugees themselves, the crippling laws that the Egyptian government has with regards to the employment of refugees, and the reluctance of the Egyptian people to accept the integration of refugees, that the refugees are unable to be developed, and thereby are not serving as positive elements in the society in Egypt. The thesis will examine the hypothesis at hand with a view of refugees in Egypt in general, and, in some cases, ref er to examples of Sudanese, refugees in particular.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Political Science Department

Degree Name

MA in Political Science

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Trevor Parfitt

Committee Member 1

Trevor Parfitt

Committee Member 2

Fateh Azzam

Committee Member 3

Ibrahim El Nur

Document Type



84 leaves

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Humanitarian assistance

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2



The American University in Cairo grants authors of theses and dissertations a maximum embargo period of two years from the date of submission, upon request. After the embargo elapses, these documents are made available publicly. If you are the author of this thesis or dissertation, and would like to request an exceptional extension of the embargo period, please write to thesisadmin@aucegypt.edu

Call Number

Thesis 2004/68