Level two Training

Community Participation in Development and Social Change


In recent years, making use of local knowledge and skills is gaining preferences and momentum to deal with local problems and development. People analyze their own situation; share the outcome with experts to plan together and implement it to achieve the common goals. Such a two-way interest was coined in many different forms of participatory methods. Hence, various institutions (including development organizations) make efforts to introduce planned changes or activities within the already existing local knowledge and skill. Such community-based approaches to development are being encouraged for channeling development assistance. Despite such interest, there is much less understanding of, and even lesser agreement on, what community participation means and entails, and under what conditions is it necessary this course provides an overview of community participation in development practice, using examples from the literature and chronicles of the changing meaning of community participation. It will further help participants to examine what participation is, who should participate, how and when, on what issues, etc. By analyzing the dynamics of community participation, the training tries to illustrate the participatory development as a complex and difficult, though essential and challenging endeavor.

Major topics to be covered include:

  • Frameworks to the different aspects of participation
  • The effects of community participation on development project outcomes
  • Definitions, and use and abuse of the concept participation in development projects
  • Prioritizing community needs
  • Relationships between community participation and development
  • Barriers to community participation in development

By the end of the training, participants will be able to:

  • Know what participation is all about,
  • Understand what motivates people to participate,
  • Know when we say people are participation, and
  • What are the things that we learn during people’s participation?