PLA 44: Local Government and Participation

This issue of PLA Notes looks at how local government agencies are using Participatory Learning and Action to address issues of concern in their constituencies. 

Article, 31 May 2002
Participatory Learning and Action
A journal for newcomers and experienced practitioners alike.

June 2002

Guest Editors: Andy Inglis and Ced Hesse

While it is frequently national governments that formulate policy, it is usually local governments that are responsible for implementing it, whether it is delivering essential social services, carrying out civic improvements or coordinating integrated land-use planning activities.

This issue looks at participaton and local goverment. Some of the questions it addresses include:

  • How can participation be used to influence new styles of leadership that are more democratic, transparent and accountable?
  • What does this participation consist of and is it worth it?
  • What levels of participation are required, by whom and for what purposes?
  • What are the different methods and tools being used? Are they of value and can they be replicated in different contexts?
  • Are different approaches and methods required for urban and rural settings?
  • What are the constraints faced by local government bodies?
  • How can local government officials in both the North and the South learn from each other?

Also included are training tips from a recent book by Robert Chambers, Participatory Workshops: A sourcebook of 21 sets of ideas and activities, plus general articles on participatory approaches and a comprehensive resources section.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Content can be freely reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided the source is fully acknowledged. 

Follow the links below to download the whole issue or individual articles in pdf format.

Download the complete edition.


Holly Ashley

Overview: Local Governments - potentially the most important day to day real-world users of innovative participatory approaches
Andy Inglis and Ced Hesse

Participatory democracy in Porto Alegre, Brazil
Rualdo Menegat

Participatory budgeting in Villa el Salvador
Michaela Hordijk

Participatory inclusive mechanisms to set the civic improvement agenda in Palmerston North, New Zealand
Janet Reid

Local government using participatory methods to facilitate stakeholder dialogue and conflict resolution
Joanna Humphries

Participating or taking control? An experience in rural planning from Mali
Mamadou Diakité

Farmer participation in land-use negotiations in Thiès Region, Senegal | also in French (en Français)
Serigne Mansour Tall and Alphonse Tine, French version translated by Jean Lubbock

Using participatory consultation to help improve local government performance and services
Gary Turner

Participatory planning by the book: lessons from the region of Mopti, Mali
Mamadou Bangaly

Community toilets in Pune and other Indian cities
Sundar Burra and Sheela Patel

Influencing and enhancing externally driven initiatives: the use of participatory approaches in local government, Poland
Wiesa Serwatko

Participatory facilitation inputs into land management by the City of Ottawa
Anna V Hercz

General section

PRA and its role in reorienting IGFRI's research agenda
Nagaratna Biradar and CR Ramesh

In search of a meaningful participatory training methodology
RS Saxena and SK Pradhan

The gains and strength in participation: a case study of the Mbiabet Ikpe rice farm project in Nigeria
Chris N Ekong and Ndiyo N Ayara

Does PRA make sense in democratic societies?
Benedikt Korf

Participation, land acquisition, power analysis
Jane Thomas

Tips for Trainers