THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Shirley A. White et al. The Art of Facilitating Participation: Realising the Power of Grassroots Communication. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1999. Indian Rs 250.00. 367 pages.
Participatory development has gained considerable recognition and popularity in recent years as conventional approaches have been unable to tackle the widening disparities between scarce resources and endless needs and shorten the rich-poor gap. Their failure is traced to lack of participation of the beneficiaries. Shirley A. White, the editor of this volume, has used contributions from a number of authors who describe their experience in facilitating participation through its major components. The book is divided into three parts: the Art of Activation, the Art of Technique, and the Art of Building Community. The experiences of the authors are in a variety of areas—from facilitation to synergising participation, from catalyst communication to participatory rural communication appraisal, from participatory research to the participatory action research, from participatory rural appraisal to participatory learning, from the use of statistics in participatory development to use of the Internet and community radio in rural development, from role of women in agriculture to children in participatory research and so on. The book also tells a number of success and failure stories across the continents under world organisations like the USAID, UNDP, FAO, UNICEF, WHO, UNESCO, SIDA and others.