Participation is understood within the donor community as both an end in itself and a means to other political and administrative objectives. For example, both the UNDP and DFID regard participation as a human right. UNDP includes participation along with equality and representation as principles underpinning its work, while DFID endorses the rights of all citizens ‘to participation in, and access to information relating to, the decision-making processes that affect their lives’ (DFID, 2001: 86). At the same time participation is seen as a means to the greater effectiveness of development projects, the mobilization of resources, and the empowerment of people hitherto excluded or marginalized by the prevailing power structures within society (Chambers, 1995: 30).
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