Peter Oakley et al. Projects with People: The Practice ofParticipation in Rural Development. Geneva: International Labour Office.1991. xv+294 pp.Price: Swiss Francs 32.50.

Publication Year : 1992

Round about the mid-1970s it came to be realised that thefruits of development were not being distributed widely. In fact, in agrowing number of instances, the benefits of development were beinglimited to the elites in the developing countries – the vast majority ofthe population was being side-stepped. As a consequence of thishappening, questions began to be raised: Why had such a situationdeveloped? One possible and quite plausible answer was that thedevelopment process had ignored people’s participation. This, then,became the keyword. Two strands of thinking developed from the use ofthis word: the first highlighted the inclusion of human resources in theprocess of development; the second was more political in nature becausepoor people have very little say in the matters that influence theirearning ability. To surmount this situation requires a structural changeby which the poor can be directly included in the development process,so that they will gain some control over the resources, which would thenenable them to have a higher standard of living.

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