PUBLIC AND CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN PROCESS DEVELOPMENT ACHIEVEMENT: ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES 1.0
INTRODUCTION PUBLIC AND CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
A definition of participation: for the purposes of this note a useful definition of public or community participation is that adopted by Stoker (1997) for ‘political participation’ (following Parry et al, 1992): members of the public ‘taking part in any of the processes of formulation, passage and implementation of public policies’. This is a wide-ranging definition, which extends the emphasis of public participation beyond the development of policy, to decision-making and implementation. ‘Public participation’ is not newly addressed; it has exercised politicians and the students and theorists in political science for centuries, but it has only seriously entered the decision making field of urban and regional planning comparatively recently. As society has developed and has become culturally and technologically sophisticated, there has grown insistence that decision-making should become compatibly refined and expert. Practicing democracy at the grassroots level make the common people aware about the decision and policymaking stage, public raises up with a more democratic expressions. Thus with the last decade or two modern society has tended to advocate the simultaneous growth. “The planner’s current nostrum is public participation, but, within a very short time, It will be shown to be what in truth it is: a mere palliative for the ills of the planning profession” undoubtedly, the subject public participation captured people’s imagination both the planners and commons or at least some of them–and the implementation of diversity of public participation strategies in the planning process has been recorded and added to the growing volume of literature of planning and come up with a new vision of planning process. (Broady, 1969, p216) Public participation referrers the integration of the common peoples voice in the planning and decision making process. The local people will mobilize to identify the problem and the development they need. The planning authority and the planners will play the facilitator role to facilitate the development. There for it is not important to explain exactly what public means or what participation means, rather it would be better to say “public participation could be interpreted as an instrument to achieve specific ends; or because of the diversity of ends sought in planning, as a series of strategies each defined in terms of stated objectives”. It has been simply explained ‘public participation in planning as a process in, which there is a genuine interchange between commons and planners. “Participation is a two-edged sword; planner must be open to working with citizens, and citizens must be active and competent in planning.” With this new concept of planning Godsschalk came up with a new paradigm of planning that is “Collaborative planning” in 1971 (Godschalk, 1971, p31). He set some proposition where public participation has a significant role to play and has a positive impact in the different stages of planning. The propositions are: 1. The broader the base of citizen participation in the planning process, the more potential influence the planner and citizens can bring to bear on public policies and plans; Planning Strategy
2. The broader the base of citizen participation, the more potential influence the planner can bring to bear on the social choices of the citizens and vice versa; 3. The more diverse the interests represented in the planning process, the more innovative will be the proposal; 4. Local planning goals will be more congruent with community desires if discussed widely by public participant groups and then communicated to the decision-making body; Planning Method
5. A one-way flow of objectives from a central decision-making body to a planning agency will tend to under represent the interest of some community groups; 6. The more...
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