Participation in Planning and Development: Theory and Practice

Examines the theory and practice of participatory planning and governance, drawing on developing and developed country experience. The seminar begins by briefly looking at the history and rationale for participation in planning, drawing on historical examples and differing philosophical perspectives. The bulk of the seminar will then focus on how participation is played out on the ground. The seminar will examine whether participation improves project outcomes in a variety of settings (and, if so, how). It will also explore the varieties of participation encountered in planning and development – from grassroots mobilization to global movements. It will discuss the rise of civil society and the apparent limits of this concept. The seminar will also examine innovations in participatory planning and governance, with an eye towards the role that new technologies and forms of social organization can play in fostering and shaping participation.