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    046899

    Community participation in development projects: the World Bank experience.

    Paul S

    Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1987 Feb. v, 37 p. (World Bank Discussion Papers 6)

    This paper reviews the experience of World Bank projects with community participation in the urban housing, health, and irrigation sectors. The analysis is based on a sample of 40 projects with potential for community participation and 10 successful projects without such community involvement. For the purposes of this review, community participation was defined as an active process with the following objectives: empowerment, building beneficiary capacity, increasing project effectiveness improving project efficiency, and project cost sharing. Community participation was introduced in 38% of the projects studied to increase effectiveness, but only 25% were able to implement it. 48% of the projects planned community participation for efficiency purposes, but only 35% translated it into specific activities. Cost sharing was the objective of 48% of the projects, but again, only 10% achieved some measure of success. Empowerment and capacity building emerged as relatively less important objectives in World Bank Projects. The primary organizational devices used in Bank projects to elicit community participation were user groups, community workers, and field extension workers of the implementing agency. User groups were formed mostly in irrigation projects; health projects relied primarily on outreach workers. The full potential of community participation could not be realized in some of these projects due to technological gaps, poor extension and supervision, lack of an intergrated set of serves, and an inability to implement critical project policies. Overall, it is suggested that community participation is an appropriate strategy when project objectives include empowerment and capacity building, the design of the project services calls for interaction among beneficiaries as a basis for identifying their needs, implementation of the project demands frequent dialogue and negotiation among beneficiaries, and users can manage a part of the project operations.
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