chapter  1
20 Pages

Introduction

ByJanelle Plummer

The concept of community participation in development has spread to all regions of the world. Applied in Latin America since the early 1960s, replicated throughout South Asia in rural and urban development and applied to varying degrees in the African subcontinent, the experience of participatory processes have provided a vast number of lessons, and revealed many constraints on effective implementation. The literature shows that the participatory approach to development has taken a different turn with each context, with each people, culture and background. Unsurprisingly, then, in the global analysis, community participation is not singular but plural; it is not a simple, linear set of replicable rules but an approach constantly adapting to a complex combination of political, economic, institutional and cultural forces.