Understanding Participation

S.Rengasamy Madurai Institute of Social Sciences

S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation

Citizen Participation / Community Participation People’s Participation / Public Participation Popular Participation / Citizen’s Involvement Co intelligence / Co creation Stakeholder’s Participation
People are like numerals “1”[one] and the government is like “0”[zero]. The value of zeroes placed after “1” [one] increases but zeroes without numerical “1” have no value -Vinobaji

Whatever is the form of government[monarchy, oligarchy], they want to continue as rulers by attending citizen‟s needs; but in democracy, citizen administrators relationship are significant because the support and consent of the governed is a pre-requisite for the sustenance of a representative government.
Citizen Participation – Concept, Meaning & Definition -Participatory Behavior / Forms of Participation -Types of Participation – Classification Principle –Jules Pretty - Arnstein, Sherry R -Elements of Participation -Reasons in favor of Community Participation -Community Outcomes -Conditions of Citizen Participation -Benefits and Cost of Participation National Leaders – Planners & Administrators – Local Elites & Individual Citizens – -Why participation Fails? -Measuring Participation A. Participation in local community B. Proactivity in a social context C. Feelings of Trust and Safety D. Neighborhood Connections E. Family and Friends Connections F. Tolerance of Diversity G. Value of Life H. Work Connections


An emphasis on participation has links with the interest in democracy in community organization and in self-help and political incorporation in the community development tradition. But what is community participation? Influenced by the political debates of the late 1960s more radical approaches to community work became influential. 'Instead of As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is, seeking to help deprived communities to not as I would like it to be The real action is in the improve their social and environmental enemy's reaction. The enemy properly goaded and circumstances, the new community work guided in his reaction will be your major strength - Saul Alinsky activists urged that people take direct political action to demand changes and improvements'. Saul Alinsky was especially influential. He had a history of mobilizing and organizing grass roots campaigns and he caught many people's imaginations through his evident commitment and experience, and his ability to articulate his thoughts in catchy phrases 2

S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation In the late 1960s there was a series of debates around 'participation'. While 'participation' may be a vague term its advocates often rely on two key arguments about its value. It makes for justice in decision-making - people have some say in, and influence on, collective decisions. has an educative value. Through participation people learn. These interests became formalized in a number of United Nations reports including Popular Participation in Development (1971) and Popular Participation in Decision Making for Development (1975). According to Midgley, the notion of popular participation and that of community participation are interlinked. The former is concerned with broad issues of social development and the creation of opportunities for the involvement of people in the political, economic and social life of a nation, 'the latter connotes the direct involvement of ordinary people in local affairs'.

Participation is a rich concept that varies with its application and definition. The way participation is defi ned also depends on the context in which it occurs. For some, it is a matter of principle; for others, practice; for still others, an end in itself (World Bank, 1995). Indeed, there is merit in all these interpretations. Participation is a stereotype word like children use Lego pieces. Like Lego pieces the words fi t arbitrarily together and support the most fanciful constructions. They have no content, but do serve a function. As these words are separate from any context, they are ideal for manipulative purposes. „Participation‟ belongs to this category of word. Often the term participation is modified with adjectives, resulting in terms such as community

participation, citizen participation, people‟s participation, public participation, and popular participation. The Oxford English Dictionary defines
participation as “to have a share in” or “to take part in,” thereby emphasizing the rights of individuals and the choices that they make in order to participate. Arnstein (1969) states that the idea of citizen participation is a little like eating spinach: no one is against it in principle because it is good for you. But there has been little analysis of the content of citizen participation, its definition, and its relationship to social imperatives such as social structure, social interaction, and the social context where it takes place.

One United Nations document defined community participation as: The creation of opportunities to enable all members of a community to actively contribute to and influence the development process and to share equitably in the fruits of development. This is a very general definition of participation and raises as many questions as it answers.


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation

Three types of communities the Community Organizer has to deal with  Need or Benefit Community  Action Community  Target or response Community Taken together they are called as citizens. There are times these three looks like three different communities and at times when they are one in the same. Types of Participants. Change efforts require different type of requirements  People, their commitment  Particular talents and assets  Positive personality characters
People and their commitment Leaders:(Core group participants) The core group who worry more, plan more, provide more direction for the project than others Workers: (Active participants) These group support organization and it‟s aims,but choose not to take part in all deliberations. Assisters: (Occasionally active participants) these group do things when the mood strikes them or when they are specifically asked. Moderately interested One shot participants: This category includes those who do something only once or are involved for only a short period of time and then dissappear from the scene altogether. Advisers: Advisers give little sustained attention to the project; they can provide particular insight; They are objective. Inactive general supporters: Their assistance come in the form of an endorsement for the project Particular talents and assets Numbers: Numbers give credibility and a sense of confidence to participants and outside observers Doers: Those who share the work Opinion leaders: People, especially unsure, frequently, look to select a few to help inform and shape their perception. These people may motivate others who are uncertain about the agency work Potential organization leaders: Leaders aren‟t necessarily those people who are always in the spotlight. There are many different leadership functions. Some of the valuable roles include strategies, coordinators, public speakers, problem solvers and those who help to improve communication Motivators: Over a period of members may get tired, motivators may fan the spark of energy Influence connections: Influential people explain the project goal to others, resist opponents and make people to go along. Specialized Skills or Talents: Any organized effort requires skills in certain areas such as writing, planning, negotiating and running meetings Access to other resources: In addition to people, project may require variety of other resources (meeting rooms, typing etc.) to get the job done Each person has some thing to contribute. The right stuff (Positive personality equirements) The organization cannot be divorced from the personal characteristics of its more influential members. Following are some of the attributes of people like to have in a team Roll with the punches: Optimistic people, who stand during testing circumstances Good sense of humor: Humor energizes, releases tension Tenacity: An anti-toad to disease of ‘give up it is’ Risk taking ability: Ability to try some thing new, unconventional ideas. Regard for others: Self-reliance: Ability to work with out blue prints; who trust their own ability. Desire to learn: Responsibility Decision making ability.

People, the most valuable resource

How to get the people’s involvement? 1. Contact People 2. Give people a reason to join 3. Ask them to join 4. Maintain their involvement


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation

Changes in policy-making mechanisms and administrative practice Bureaucracy New public New governance management Peak of popularity 1920s–1970s 1980s–1990s Mid 1990s–today Overall approach „Bureaucratism‟ „Managerialism‟ „Governance‟ Guiding principle Accountability Efficiency Effectiveness Governance mode Hierarchy Market Network Governance mechanism Command & control Competition Co-operation/ collaboration Compliance/ ownership Control/enforcement Incentives Involvement, negotiation mechanism and persuasion


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation

The purpose of administration is to promote citizen’s participation and thereby satisfaction Meaning of Participation

In theory, mental participation is possible by identifying oneself with groups and institutions without coming to any overt action. In the context of community organization, participation will be looked upon as an overt act or set of acts that can be observed and that can be of relevance in the process of planned development. In this sense “Participation is a special form of interaction and communication which implies the sharing of power, responsibilities and benefits”. In this context attention will be given to participatory behavior that consists of one or all the following activities:  Joining gatherings of a group or groups.  Involving oneself in discussions of a group  Involving oneself in the organizational aspects of the participation process such as:  Organizing group meetings  Inducing non – members to join  Leading discussions  Campaigning etc.  Making available labour, capital facilities and mental capabilities.  Taking part in the decision process by expressing opinions and /by voting on subjects such as Paul’s five objectives to which community  Objectives and targets to be achieved by participation might contribute are: the groups. 1. Sharing project costs: participants are asked to contribute money or labor (and occasionally  The way to achieve them (Programs) goods) during the project’s implementation or  The allocating of scarce resources operational stages. available to the group over the various 2. Increasing project efficiency: beneficiary programs. consultation during project planning or benefi ciary (Priority ranking and acceptance of involvement in the management of project implementation or operation. programs and projects) 3. Increasing project effectiveness: greater  Policies to be followed by higher echelons beneficiary involvement to help ensure that the of the societal organization. project achieves its objectives and that benefits go  Election of persons to represent the group to the intended groups. in institutions and activities that can affect 4. Building beneficiary capacity: either through ensuring that participants are actively involved in the group. project planning and implementation or through  Assessment of effectiveness, efficiency formal or informal training & consciousness and relevance of implemented projects or raising activities. 5. Increasing empowerment: defined as seeking programs.  Sharing of benefits resulting from projects to increase the control of the underprivileged sectors of society over the resources and or programs eg. Irrigation projects (Pani decisions affecting their lives and their panchayat). participation in the benefits produced by the
society in which they live.

Other Definitions Participation is considered as a voluntary contribution by the people to one or another of the public programs supposed to contribute to national development, but the people are not expected to take part in shaping the program or criticizing its content - ECLA. 6

S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation Participation means… in its broadest sense, to sensitize people and thus, to increase the receptivity and ability of the rural people to respond to development programs, as well as to encourage local initiatives -- Uma Lele. With regard to rural development … participation includes people‟s involvement in decision making process, implementing programs… their sharing in the benefits of development programs, and their involvement in efforts to evaluate such programs – FAN. Lisk
Participation fatigue Participation or consultation „fatigue‟ is caused by lack of action resulting from discussions rather than the discussions themselves. Why should people spend precious time describing their experience and explaining their ideas if nothing actually changes as a result?

Popular participation in development should be broadly understood as the active involvement of people in the decision making process in so far as it affects them – Upholf and Lohen Community involvement means that people, who have both the right and the duty to participate in solving their own problems, have greater responsibilities in assessing their needs, mobilizing local resources and suggesting new solutions, as well as creating and maintaining local organizations – W.H.O. Participation is considered to be an active process, meaning that the person or group in question takes initiatives and asserts his / her or its autonomy to do so. -- Md. A. Rahman.

Participation…means the organized efforts to increase control over resources and regulative institutions in given social situations, on the part of groups and movements of those hither to excluded form such control – Pearse and Stiefel.
People Resist Change When . . . It is not understood • It is imposed • It is perceived as threatening • It has risks greater than its potential benefits, or it interferes with other priorities There is more than one way to involve citizens . . . Direct Mail, New Releases, Website, Displays/Exhibits Public Education Meetings Opinion Surveys, Public Hearings, Focus Groups, Open House Citizen Advisory Committee, Visioning Referenda, Citizen Planning Committee or Commission

People aimed in the participatory process  Particular professional association (Dr, Ers, etc.)  Pressure groups (Chamber of Commerce, Trade Union, etc.)  Clientele groups (Farmers, etc.) [“Except on the Election Day general public does not exist‟] Each agency must identify the ‘Public’ relevant to it and address them accordingly.

“Public participation is any process that involves the public in problem solving, planning, policy setting, or decision-making and uses public input to make decisions. It is a process through which people who will be affected by or interested in a decision – those with a stake in the outcome – get a chance to influence its content before it is made . . .” “Citizen participation is a purposeful activity of citizens taking part in governmental decision-making outside the electoral process. Through citizen participation, citizens can advise elected officials and in turn, elected officials can advise citizens.”

Participation is a way of viewing the world and acting in it. It is about a commitment to help create the conditions which lead to significant empowerment of those who at present have little control over the forces that condition their lives.


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation Basis is to maintain proper Public Relations 1. Learning about public wishes and aspirations 2. Advising the public about what it should think desire and do in specific spheres of activity. 3. Cultivating satisfactory contact between the officials & the public 4. Keeping the public informed about what an administrative agency is doing. Why participation fails? The bulk of the citizens come into contact with civil servants at the bottom; both civil servants and citizens at this level are inarticulate and uninfluential. The problem of citizen dissatisfaction as well as civil servants point of view at the lower levels goes unrepresented and unattended to.
Administrators Callousness, aloofness, haughtiness, suspicion and resentment of administrators towards the citizens requests of demands, Administrators properly respond to the needs & demands of the public, Extraneous influences affecting the day to day administration, Delays in the formulation of policies, universality of low standard of conduct in public life Citizens Ignorance, indifference, Reluctance Fear & Recrimination, Sympathetic understanding of the limitations, low percentage of enlightened citizens, High degree of parasitic dependence, Low propensity to respect public property & public authority, Citizens non interest in acquiring knowledge about government

To achieve proper citizen participation, four requisites are: 1. Adequate knowledge about the operation of the administration - inadequate knowledge facilitate despotic administration- too much knowledge will interfere in administration autonomy and pride sub–survient behavior. 2. Self-interest: Public must consider that it‟s self interest is being served by the public bureaucracy. 3. Principle Mindedness: Administration is done by certain principles. This should be understood. 4. Prestige: Giving adequate value & prestige toward public employment as compared with other types of carriers. Very low & very high prestige values interfere in the administrative ability - low prestige brings about subservient administration, high prestige value – result in despotic administration. Importance of the role of citizens:  Conflict between democratic process and development requirements.  Democracy means majority rule & wishes that do not always coincide with national goals.  It is a slow process to get consensus – to compromise – sometimes it may look like incompetence – but it is better to have faith in democracy or otherwise requirements of speedy development may destroy the democracy.  People‟s participation means politicization- this in the form of organised groups helps in policy making & implementation 8

S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation Nature of People’s Participation.  CD Program – economic & social regeneration  PR – democratic decentralization  Promotion of co- operatives  Promotion of NGO‟s  Program of worker‟s education  Creation of a large number of advisory bodies Participation depends upon 1. Size of the country 2. Extent of social awareness Citizen-Administrators Relationships. Development process distributes patronage & favors–enlightened approach of Co-operation between politician & administrators is needed Non interference in day to day administration Complex task of resolving conflicts Perspectives of development administrators Enlarging his wage income through higher wage per work day & increase the number of work days –---Lower price for food grains
The ‘ word ’ participation should not be accepted without appropriate clarification A typology of participation: how people participate in development programmes and projects (from Pretty, 1993)
Typology 1. Passive Participation 2.Participation in Information Giving 3. Participation by Consultation Components of Each Type People Participates by being told what is going to happen or has already happened. It is a unilateral announcement by an administration or project management without any listening to people’s responses. The information being shared belongs only to external professionals. People participate by answering questions posed by extractive researchers using questionnaire surveys or similar approaches. People do not have the opportunity to influence proceedings, as the findings of the research are neither shared nor checked for accuracy. People participate by being consulted, and external agents listen to views. These external agents define both problems and solutions, and may modify these in the light of people’s responses. Such a consultative process does not concede any share in decision making and professionals are under no obligation to take on board people’s views. People participate by providing resources, for example labour, in return for food, cash or other material incentives. Much on farm research falls in this category, as farmers provide the fields but are not involved in the experimentation or the process of learning. It is very common to see this called participation, yet people have no stake in prolonging activities when the incentives end.

4. Participation for Material Incentives


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation
5.Functional Participation People participate by forming groups to meet predetermined objectives related to the project, which can involve the development or promotion of externally initiated social organization. Such involvement does not tend to be at early stages of project cycles or planning, but rather after major decisions have been made. These institutions tend to be dependent on external initiators and facilitators, but may become self – dependent. People participate joint analysis, which leads to action plans and the formation of new local institutions or the strengthening of existing ones. It tends to involve interdisciplinary methodologies that seek multiple perspective and make use of systematic and structured learning processes. These groups take control over local decisions, and so people have a stake in maintaining structures or practices. People participate by taking initiatives independent of external institutions to change systems. Such self – initiated mobilization and collective action may or may not challenge existing inequitable distributions of wealth and power.

6.Interactive Participation

7.Self – Mobilization

Manipulative participation - Pretending– representatives only 1 – 4 – achievements are likely to have no positive lasting effect on people’s lives.


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation

Types of Participation

Models of Participation - the wheel Davidson, 1998 Figure 1


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation

Classification of Participation Classification Principle Types 1. Degree of voluntariness Free Participation  Spontaneous  included Forced Participation Legislative Force Socio economic condition Customary participation 2. Way of Involvement Direct Participation Indirect Participation 3.Involvement in the planned Complete Participation development process Partial Participation 4.Level of organization Organized Participation Unorganized Participation 5.Intensity of Participatory Intensive Participation Activities Extensive Participation 6.Range of activities than can Unlimited Participation be influenced Limited Participation 7.Degree of effectiveness Effective Participation  Complete  Partial Ineffective Participation 8.Who is participating? Members of the local community Local residents organized on the basis of territory Local residents organized on the basis of common interest Local leaders Government Personnel Outsiders 9.Objective and style of Participation in Locality Participation development. Participation in Social Planning. Participation in Social Action

Reasons in favor of Community Participation  More will be accomplished  Services can be provided at lower cost  Participation has an intrinsic value for participants  Participants are catalysts for further development efforts  Participation leads to a sense of responsibility for the project  Participation guarantees that a felt need is involved  Participation ensures things are done in right way  Participation ensures use of indigenous knowledge of expertise  Freedom from dependence on professionals  People are conscientized.

(Long-term) Objectives of participation  Stronger legitimacy of the decisions  Decrease in the alienation of the public from the process of governing  Rise in the activeness of the society  Decisions with better quality Generally better awareness about decisions

There are many different ways to think of and explain public participation processes. Participation as a part of a political process. There is no one universal public participation strategy and no one universal public participation handbook could be developed for the great diversity of cases of public participation in the world. In countries with different legal frameworks strategies for involvement of stakeholders and public at large into decision-making processes need to be different.


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation

Classification of Participatory Involvement Techniques and Examples Information Information the Listening to Involving the public gathering public the public in decisions - PRA techniques - radio and TV - focus groups - Brainstorming - surveys - newspapers - surveys - Village committees - questionnaires - displays, exhibits - site visits - Planning cells - site visits - conferences - PRA - round table - polls - public seminars techniques - simulation games - stakeholder analysis - workshops - consensus building


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation

Benefits and Cost of Participation Benefits Costs A. National Leaders A. National Leaders Participation can eliminate popular resistance to Participation can lead to curtailment of power decisions. of leaders. Participation can increase the legitimacy of As a result of participation the level of conflict authority. in a society may increase. Participation can increase the speed of As a result participation decisions are forced implementation. less on the basis of technical criteria than on Via participation benefits of projects can be more basis of misinformation and prejudices of the directed to wards the ‟felt needs‟ of the messes population. Participation can delay (due to internal Via participation it is possible to mobilize more conflicts) the decision process concerning resources. projects and office programs of importance for Via participation it is possible to decrease the staying in office for political leaders. level of conflict. B. Planners and Administrators B. Planners and administrators Participation can facilitate collecting of As a result of participation information information for planning purposes. processing becomes more complex. Participation can result in more information about Participation requires an effort on the part of present behavioral patterns and likely planners to present alternatives in such a way information. that compromise can be made. Participation enables planners to ascertain what As a result of participation decision time is people desire. lengthened. Participation can give more information on Participation can make it more difficult to available resources (such as willingness regarding ensure uniform quality and provide central self–help projects) services. Participation can help planners to plan more When participation lengthens the planning ambitiously and at the same more realistically. process and creates conflict at various levels When plans prepared in a participatory way can planners will lose influence by their superiors. be implemented quickly, planner will obtain merit Participation can decrease power position by their supervisors. based on experience. Participation can increase the power position of Participation used by planners and planners and administrators versus politicians administrators can bring them in conflict with politicians C. Local administrators and government C. Local administrators and government agencies: agencies: Participation can increase productivity Participation increases decision time. Participation can improve levels of information for Participation can lead to relative loss of management. personal power and status. Participation can reduce negative conflicts. Participation can lead to conflicts in their area Participation can strengthen the legitimacy for of competence. action. Participation will result in loss of confidence Participation can increase confidence of superiors over the local administrators by their superiors. in local administrators. D. Local Elites: D. Local Elites: Participation can channel existing conflicts at the Participation will diminish their power. local level and therefore stabilize their position. Participation costs time to attend meetings, to By obtaining position of leadership in vote and to inform one self about issues. participatory organizations they obtain another means to safeguard their power basis.


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation
E. Individual citizens Participation has educational effects such as  A sense of effectiveness to action and solving problems.  An increased sense of personal efficiency. Participation can create an urge for self – reliance that mobilizes social energy that can result in a better way of life in the community of the individual citizens. Participation can lead to better distribution of power among citizens. Participation can lead to a better distribution of effects of development among citizens. Participation can give the participating citizens more status and power. E. Individual citizens Participation costs time to attend meetings, to vote and to inform one self about issues. Participation requires accepting a greater responsibility; this is often psychologically costly in case of conflict. Participation can lead to role conflicts in certain societies and can lead to diminishing of relative levels of security due to loosening of certain types of relationships (client – patron).

Participation & Bureaucrats - The Challenges


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation

Models of Civic Engagement Basic models of individual civic engagement and be simplified into four general models: 1. Direct engagement: the individual acts alone to influence society and government. 2. Grassroots engagement: individuals act as a part of a loose coalition. 3. Organizational engagement: people work through nonprofit and advocacy organizations with governing boards and centralized leadership. 4. Network-centric engagement: an individual acts as part of a coordinated network. Direct Action With direct action, participants individually engage with the government. Lone actors seek to exert influence based on their own capacity to do so. Grassroots In a grassroots model, individuals work together with others to develop a strategy, collect necessary resources and implement action in an informal alliance. Such grassroots advocacy is characterized by a lack of an official top-down organizational structure to govern, manage resources and direct engagement. Pure grassroots advocacy is rare and usually localized. Typical examples include neighborhood zoning fights, school improvement, crime prevention efforts, small restoration or clean up efforts. Volunteers, leaders and supporters emerge to accomplish a specific task, then disband over time. All the resources, experience, knowledge, volunteer lists, leaders, etc. are unofficial and undocumented. Any lessons learned are likely to be lost to the larger movement. Characteristics of Grassroots Engagement No official leadership* No control* Rapidly expandable* Lots of inefficient duplication of work and learning* Work travels along “chain” Organizational engagement: Organizational Advocacy Organizational advocacy is characterized by the use of a particular organization that serves as a vehicle for engagement between the individual and government or other policy-making entity. An organization’s membership and constituency engage via proxy, allowing the organization to advocate on their behalf. Organizations recruit and manage volunteers, leaders and supporters. Organizations develop governance structures to direct efforts and manage resources including staff time, reputation, political clout and funds. Characteristics of Organizational Engagement Central leadership *Effective tools sharing within organization *Efficient and directed Controlled expansion *Support directed to central node *Communication, resources travels through central hub Network-Centric Advocacy Finally, network-centric advocacy is a hybrid of the individual determination and participation typical of direct and grassroots models with the efficiencies and strengths of the organizational model. The hybrid is only possible because of the increased density of communications connections among potential participants and the ability to scale those connections to meet demand. The network-centric advocacy focuses on supporting individual engagement by connected grid resources (that may reside with individuals or organizations). The network-centric approach relies on dense communication ties to provide the synchronizing effects, prioritization and deployment roles of the organization. The potential for network-centric advocacy increases with each advancement in connectivity technology (web meetings, phone wi-fi, teleconference, voice mail, cell phones, voice over IP, etc.) and drop in transportation cost (flights, low cost shipping, etc.) Characteristics of Network-Centric Engagement Lots of leadership *Self-organizing teams *Rapidly expandable *Efficient *Communication and resources travel in all directions Five Critical Steps to Support Network-Centric Advocacy 1. Foster Strong Social Ties 2.Support a Common Story 3Create Universal Technology and Communication Tools 4.Create Mechanisms for Legal, HR and Financial Needs 5.Unify Self Enforced Campaign Rules


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation
Participatory democracy theoretical traditions Maximum Self-Development: Recognizes political participation as a value that, in itself, is necessary to the growth and development of its citizens Argues that the provision of political conditions which allow for “maximum self-development” and the “opportunity to enlarge their vision and sense of themselves” is compulsory Ordinary citizens are both capable, and obligated, to strive to develop an awareness of their selfinterest and to cultivate an empathy with, and a commitment to, the well-being of others. Against an Elitist Orientation – Expanding Democracy: A common critique of participatory theory and an argument of liberal democratic theory, based on numerous surveys and empirical studies, suggest that large portions of the public are poorly informed and politically passive. Participation & Equality Participation and equality as mutually reinforcing Participation translates into power, generating greater equality between the classes, which functions as a catalyst for subordinate classes to continue the struggle for equality. Community economic development & participatory democracy as mutually reinforcing Both address and aspire to reduce inequalities, i.e. political, social, and economic Both seek to strengthen democracy Both work to empower citizens Both emphasize community and seek to enhance the quality of life Both promote collaboration and partnership building Both value inclusive citizen participation and encourage all citizens to express their preferences Both encourage citizens to develop a an awareness of their self-interest as well as a commitment to the well-being of others


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation

Principles of Public Participation Public participation in democratic society is both vital and problematic. Some public meetings are so dysfunctional that observers end up wishing someone in charge would bring an end to the chaos and misery. Sometimes extensive public input is sought in numerous forums, only to have all that input ignored. In order to make participation as a reality we must be guided by a series of principles: The three lists given here provide very powerful criteria for evaluating or improving the status of public participation in any community or project. The International Association for Public Principles of Public Participation Participation's Core Values Inclusivity 1. Public participation is based on the belief that Diversity those who are affected by a decision have a right to Building community participation Transparency be involved in the decision-making process. Flexibility 2. Public participation includes the promise that the Accessibility Accountability public's contribution will influence the decision. 3. Public participation promotes sustainable Trust, Commitment and Respect Integration decisions by recognizing and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers. 4. Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision. 5. Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they participate. 6. Public participation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way. 7. Public participation communicates to participants how their input affected the decision. The Community Development Society's Principles of Good Practice 1. Promote active and representative participation toward enabling all community members to meaningfully influence the decisions that affect their lives. 2. Engage community members in learning about and understanding community issues, and the economic, social, environmental, political, psychological, and other impacts associated with alternative courses of action. 3. Incorporate the diverse interests and cultures of the community in the community development process; and disengage from support of any effort that is likely to adversely affect the disadvantaged members of a community. 4. Work actively to enhance the leadership capacity of community members, leaders, and groups within the community. 5. Be open to using the full range of action strategies to work toward the long term sustainability and well being of the community. The Co-Intelligence Institute's Principles to Nurture Wise Democratic Process and Collective Intelligence in Public Participation 1. Include all relevant perspectives 2. Empower the people's engagement 3. Invoke multiple forms of knowing. 4. Ensure high quality dialogue. 5. Establish ongoing participatory processes. 6. Use positions and proposals as grist. 18

S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation 7. Help people feel fully heard. Participatory Practitioners for Change (PPfC) prescribed the following principles. 1. People are experts in their lives, others learn from them. 2. Participatory work tries to include everyone relevant to the activity. Participants try to find those who need to be involved and to include voices and ideas that may not normally be heard. 3. In good participatory work people take ownership of the process (using their analysis, their logic and their words) that is developed together with others from many different backgrounds. 4. Participatory work follows cycles of learning- each step helping to form the next step. 5. Participatory work requires people to be self-reflective. Practitioners continuously examine and develop their practice. 6. Participatory work is rigorous and ethical. Participants continuously check their work and design ways of testing the process and the findings. 7. Participatory work should lead to action. 8. Good participatory work should recognize the role of power in relationships and seeks to lead to empowerment of those disadvantaged by the present situation. Examples of the practical application of these principles
Principle Inclusivity Diversity Building community capacity Transparency Flexibility Accessibility Accountability Trust,Commitment & Respect Integration Examples of applying these principles Identifying and recognizing existing social networks, structures, organizations, social clubs and institutions and use them as a vehicle for communication Ensure that different interest groups including women, the disabled and youth groups are part of governance structures Solicit funding from external sources to train ward committees on their role in development Embarking on consumer education on all aspects of local governance including the functions and responsibilities of the municipality and different municipal structures Engendering trust in the community by opening council meetings to the public and encouraging attendance Being flexible in terms of time, language and approaches to public meetings Conducting public meetings in the local language Ensuring report backs to community forums or ward committees at least on a quarterly basis Ensuring that the purpose of the process is explained adequately, as well as how it will develop Integrating ward planning with the IDP process Including user committees into mainstream services, eg School Governing Bodies

Benefits of Participation (Adapted from Twigg, 2001)  Participatory initiatives are likely to be sustainable as they build on local capacity, the participants have „ownership‟ of them and they are more likely to be compatible with long term development plans.  Working closely with local people can help professionals gain a greater insight into the communities that they serve, enabling them to work more effectively and produce better results.  They enable people to express their real needs and priorities, allowing problems to be defined correctly and responsive measures to be designed and implemented


S.Rengasamy - Understanding Participation
 

The principle resource available for responding to climate change impacts is people themselves and their local knowledge and expertise. Participatory work takes a multi-track approach. It can combine information from many different sources, qualitative and quantitative data and different phases of a process. It is therefore perfect for dealing with complex issues where there are diverse opinions. The process of working and achieving things together can strengthen communities. It can reinforce local organization, building up confidence, skills, capacity to cooperate, consciousness, awareness and critical appraisal. In this way it increases people‟s potential for reducing their vulnerability. It empowers people more generally by enabling them to tackle other challenges, individually and collectively. Participation in the planning and implementation of projects by stakeholders accords with people‟s rights to participate in decisions that affect their lives. It is therefore an important part of democratization in society and is increasingly demanded by the public. Participatory approaches may be more cost effective, in the long term, than externally driven initiatives, partly because they are more likely to be sustainable and because the process allows the ideas to be tried and tested and refined before adoption.


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