Participatory development and empowerment: The participation of outsiders

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Yuta Kimoto

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Abstract

This essay examines the effectiveness of the methods of participatory development. Participatory development is an approach that actively involves beneficiaries such as local residents in a development project and it is now regarded crucial to form effective projects, reflecting on the failure of previous outsiders/experts-driven projects. The focus of this essay is the role of outsiders, differing from other perspectives which focus on the role of beneficiaries and concrete tools for projects. This essay examines the elements for effective participatory development by analyzing two development projects from the perspective of how the outsiders were involved in the projects, taking into account the historical transformation of the approach. It concludes that it is necessary not only allowing beneficiaries to play a central role of a project but also keeping outsiders in the position of facilitators for effective development projects.

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