Development of and use of information infrastructure (II) is receiving much attention these days (Kahin and Abbate 1995). There are numerous issues at stake in establishing a working II including: the prospects of promoting more adaptive and flexible inter-organisational collaboration (Davidow 1992), redefining the role of governmental intervention (Kahin and Abbate 1995; Mulgan 1991), balancing the self-reinforcing effects of further diffusion of the II with the need for flexible changes (Antonelli 1992; Hanseth, Monteiro and Hatling 1996) and understanding the specific problems of adoption and use of lis (Star and Ruhleder 1996). This paper focus on the issue of participation from relevant users in the development and appropriation of lis. More specifically, we inquire into the underlying rationale for participatory design (PD) in general and discuss how to translate this to lis. This involves identifying the socio-technical character of the obstacles of actually achieving user participation and influence in II development.