Participatory Planning - Advantages and Limitations

  • Involves all major stakeholders in the process of identifying their own potentials and constraints.
  • Participation by all ensures a high degree of consensus.
  • A host of different participatory methods and tools exist to address different target groups.
  • Participatory methods enhance and support democratisation efforts.
  • Minority groups can be more effectively integrated into development processes.
  • Organising participatory processes for a large group or for numerous settlements is costly and resource intensive activity. It is also not always “politically” desired.
  • A consensus may be difficult or even impossible to reach.
  • Latent tensions may emerge and could end in conflict as a result of the participatory process.
  • A qualified process facilitator is often required to moderate the participatory action.
  • Participatory processes question local traditional authorities. These need to be carefully integrated into the process if they are to participate effectively.