Gaventa, John

Learning to change by learning from change: going to scale with participatory monitoring and evaluation

Participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) is increasingly going beyond the local community and project level. It is being used by institutions that operate at a larger scale, both geographically and in terms of programme scope. As it is being mainstreamed by government, NGOs, donors or research agencies, PM&E highlights the complexity of social and power relationships amongst multiple stakeholders. Drawing on case studies and other experiences, this paper briefly explores some of the social and political dimensions of PM&E, especially in relation to scaling-up.

Bridging the gap: citizenship, partnership and accountability

In both the North and the South there is increasing awareness that citizens should be able to play a more active part in life-affecting decision making. The authors propose that both participatory democracy and responsive government should be developed and become mutually reinforcing. Thus, this article explores the challenges faced in attempting to ensure citizen - in particular poor citizen - participation and institutional responsiveness and accountability.

Citizen knowledge, citizen competence, and democracy building

This paper is concerned with the notion of developing effective citizenship and democracy building through participation and how power or lack of it plays a key role in the degree to which citizens are able to actively participate. The author considers that there are different approaches towards overcoming powerlessness, according to different dimensions of power, which then lead to developing citizenship and democracies. The first view describes power as a product that can be won by anybody who chooses to participate.

Participatory development or participatory democracy? Linking participatory approaches to policy and governance

As part of the 50th edition of PLA notes, the author looks at the history of participation and democracy over the last 10 years. The article looks at how participatory approaches have entered government arenas and confronted issues including policy influence and institutional change. The article looks at some key examples of participatory democracy, such as participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre, as well as some of the overarching principles that underlie the initiatives.