This anthology provides insights, dilemmas and approaches from the practice of development assistance, based on the experiences of USAID. The practical meanings of participation are explored in contexts ranging from economic reform and environmental planning to conflict resolution and humanitarian assistance. The book is split into three broad sections: À Participation as an End - considers ways in which development assistance can broaden peoples access to economic opportunity and to their society's decision making processes À Participation as a Means - describes some participatory approaches used in development programmes. They single out two key features: listening more broadly and forming genuine partnerships À In part three the focus is on issues and insights about "fixing the system" to facilitate the fuller engagement of development partners and greater flexibility, transparency, and responsiveness to the end user. The papers selected reflect some of the innovations, issues and candidly expressed concerns that have marked the agencies reforms. Finally a conference paper prepared by USAID staff in late 1998 outlines the Agency's organisational change process so far and distills seven lessons learned enroute.