Trends in participatory development

  • Kenneth B Dipholo Department of Adult Education, University of Botswana


Participatory development planning has increasingly gained centre stage in the development process in African countries. In advocating the involvement of community members in the process of development, participatory development as a movement has become so obsessed with the concept that it is presented as a religious theory. Yet by virtue of its broad nature, participation in development means different things to different people and the term is, therefore wide open to misinterpretation. This article provides insights into changing focus of developmental theories and the scope and focus of participatory development, together with the problems inherent in both approaches. It describes a case study to illustrate the divide between “participation” and what actually happens in practice and advocates pragmatism in developmental theory.

African Journal of Social Work Vol.17(1) 2002: 59-80

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1012-1080