Kiden Gladys Robert,
Class 34, 10/30/2019
A concept such as participation evokes a powerful notion of local community empowerment in development projects, leads to capacity building and enables the community to be more effective and efficient in managing such projects. Traditionally, participation was viewed as active, passive or interactive (Mikkelsen, 2005). Active participation is open, and community members take part actively in all stages of the project. Decision making as well as other vital activities, such as management as well as monitoring and evaluation of the projects, are done by the people. On the other hand, during passive participation, the community maintains a distance and never intervenes in the activities; they are told what is going to happen or what has happened already. Interactive participation is when people take part in the joint analysis as well as the planning process and the members of the target community improve their existing structures as well taking charge of their development process (Roodt, 2001). Continuous engagement of community does not only improve the knowledge and ability of participants but enriches a fulfillment of needs where people learn to realize their objective more easily. It is also a means of determining values, priority and collection action. Individuals can fully realize their potential through awareness, ability to access, process and use exiting information. Donors including donor communities have emphasized participation as a mechanism to measure success, especially in community development projects. However, without specifying the particular steps by which the desired change will be achieved, and rely on unrealistic expectations about their transformative impact, participation is seen as a good principle for sustainable development yet in practice, often reduced to consultation mechanism or a routine exercise to tick the box to account to donors but fail to yield the desired change and challenge the dominant power structural, and the status quo in any given community.