TWELVE LESSONS ON
PARTICIPATORY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
from the UNCHS Community Development Programme
by Chris Williams
Lessons learned in the 14 year UNCHS (Habitat) Community Development Programme
Twelve Lessons on Participatory Community Development:
- Communities have a right to participate in decisions that affect their living and working conditions.
- Only participation with decision-making power is sustainable and creative.
- Genuine participation requires community involvement in all phases of city, town and village improvements: planning, implementation, maintenance and monitoring.
- Participation must build on gender equality and include youth and the elderly.
- Capacity development is essential to promote equitable participation between women, men and youth.
- Communities do have a hidden resource for participating in city, town and village development; capacity development can release this resource.
- Communities are prime stakeholders among development actors to identify problems, improve and maintain their settlements.
- Awareness and capacity development can make partnerships among communities, NGOs and municipal authorities more equitable.
- Community development which is planned by external persons and only requires communities' free labour, is unlikely to be accepted by communities at large.
- Planning of participation is one of the most frequently overlooked elements of community development.
- Charity makes communities dependent upon aid.
- Community development is an essential contribution to overall urban management.
Recorded by: Phil Bartle
These learned lessons were researched by the ISS in the Hague.
© Copyright 1967, 1987, 2007 Phil Bartle
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