The case studies in this research reflect the evolution of participatory approaches to become (albeit unevenly) part of the mainstream of development policy. In all of them some form of community action is thought right and necessary for the successful delivery of services. Some of the emerging findings confirm critiques of over-functionalist and mechanistic approaches to participation. In practice, some 'community-driven' development may be limited in impact because:
However, there are also examples of successes of community action; the water user association that supplies, maintains and has plans to extend the village water supply, the people living with HIV/AIDS who tirelessly campaign to educate their neighbours and peers about the disease, the badly resourced village health workers who positively facilitate access to services for poor people. At the end of this research we hope to suggest ways of supporting institutions to be more equitable, providing ongoing facilitation to local development workers and recognising manifestations of community action, even when this doesn't 'fit' formal structures. Meanwhile, we present here some of our work in progress in the form of discussion papers, pictures and text of the case studies, in order to stimulate debate and, hopefully, to prompt feedback.
The possibilities for community driven development. A decentred analysis of participation. Bradford Centre for International Development, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK (2005) 12 pp.