Ten Best Readings on Community Participation and Health

  • Susan B. Rifkin


This article reviews, in the opinion of the , the 10 most influential reading on community participation and health development. The introduction notes that some of the articles do not address health directly but still do bring crucial interpretations to the topic. All articles view community participation as an intervention by which the lives of people, particularly the poor and marginalised can be improved. In addition, they all address the issue of the value of participation to equity and sustainability. The article considers the readings under four heading: concepts and theory; advocacy; critiques and case studies. It highlights the important contributions each reading makes to the understanding of participation in the wider context of health and health development. In conclusion, the article argues that participation has not met the objectives of planners and professionals, in good part, because it is questionable as to whether viewing participation as an intervention enables them to make correct assessments of its contribution to development. The bottom line is that participation is always about power and control, an issue planners and professionals do not want explicitly to address.

Key Words: community participation, health and development, participation as an intervention, empowerment

African Health Sciences 2001; 1(1): 42-45.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905