Participatory Development Case Study

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Participatory development, characterized by the active involvement and commitment of the community, is focussed on addressing the needs that the beneficiaries themselves deem necessary. Participation involves shifting power dynamics and relations from the traditionally dominant groups within any community towards those often excluded. It came up in response to the top-down approaches that dominated the 50s and 60s wherein the West was the sole model of development and power was concentrated in the hands of the external actors. The 70s saw increasing recognition of the limited long-term success of linear approaches to socio-economic development and adverse consequences outweighing the benefits. Robert Chamber’s 1983 study, “Rural Development: …show more content…
It recognizes and values what comes from the locals and seeks to enable them to take decisions on implementing changes that they want thus, giving back some degree of power to them. It strives to prioritize those usually at the bottom of the chain such as the vulnerable, disabled, marginalized, and poor and aims at bringing them to the forefront of the development process. The beneficiaries lead and shape the development agenda because of which projects are determined by ground realities and actual needs of people themselves. Their involvement is sought every step of the way from planning, decision-making, implementation to the final evaluation and assessment. Thus, the approach is centred on the shared ownership of the decision-making process among the various stakeholders. PD also signifies a paradigm shift in designated roles of the development actors. In the top-down approaches control rests in the hands of external agents, however in PD the stakeholders share the control. Development agents work as facilitators and catalysts while being committed to learning from all participants and partners instead of being teachers or leaders. The community are the drivers of their change while external agents work as supporters and enablers. Therefore, effective participation, within the development context, incorporates the principles of inclusion, …show more content…
Rather than viewing people as merely recipients of benefits derived from development projects implemented by external actors, participation seeks to provide conditions in which people themselves take an active role to redress the existing inequalities and imbalances that plague them. It extends the influence of the local people on decisions that have a direct impact on their livelihood by fostering the regaining, or in some cases, recognition of their own agency. The overall effectiveness and long-term impact of development efforts is contingent on the commitment of the beneficiaries to sustain these efforts which in turn is possible only if people view themselves as having a direct stake in improving their living conditions and

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