International Development Planning Review

Understanding participation in development: towards a framework

International Development Planning Review (2015), 37, (1), 77–94.

Abstract

Recent research literature reflects a current high level of interest in understanding the links between participation and development. In particular, there have been attempts to summarise large bodies of evidence about the effects of participation. Much of the theoretical literature on participation and associated development interventions derives from a normative and hierarchical model of change that lacks contextual and institutional insights. A review of the empirical and theoretical literature suggests that a more disaggregated and less normative approach to the analysis of participation is required to create an understanding of the conditions under which participatory approaches may further development objectives, and to aid the design of specific interventions. This perspective has driven the design of a simple analytical framework outlined in this paper, and its proof-of-concept application in the Malawi health sector.

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Author details

Holland, Jeremy

Jones, Stephen

Kardan, Andrew