The single greatest advantage of participation is its capacity to mobilize community institutions around issues of sustainable development. Participatory methods have raised awareness of what can be accomplished as well as how local organizations, including women’s groups, can do it.
Open Access Derived from Visual Data Gathering Instruments
Participation assumes that local communities function most effectively when data collection tools are visual. The participatory approach utilizes charts, maps, and graphs that residents can understand, comment on, and amend during data collection and analysis.
Interactive Problem Analysis
Use of participation and visual materials enables facilitators to maintain sustained interaction between and among knowledgeable members of the community when defining problems, considering previous successes, and ranking possible solutions.
Local Ownership Resulting from Community-Defined Problems
Ranked solutions, based on local priorities, technical feasibility, ecological sustainability, and cost effectiveness, lead to action that is responsive to local needs. This is accomplished larger through local preparation and implementation of Community Action Plans (CAPS). The local identity leads to community ownership of the action.