Participatory municipal planning in Bolivia: an ambiguous experience

Publication year: 

In accordance with the Law of Popular Participation, municipalities must elaborate five years Municipal Development Plans (MDP) in a participatory way. To institutionalise such process, the central government has introduced participatory planning (PP). The paper analyses both the concept and the practice of campesinos' (peasants) participation in PP and identifies some contradictions which throw doubts on the participatory nature of MDP. First, municipalities were not invited by the state to take part in the design of the Law and its PP methodology. Second, the methodology proposed by the central government for the implementation of PP is applied rigidly by municipalities and planning teams alike. Third, MDP must fit national and departmental plans and respond to the spending priorities of government funding bodies. Fourth, the requirement of differential participation (gender, socio-economic strata, etc.) does not always respect existing indigenous forms of community participation. The authors maintain that full campesino participation in the elaboration of MDP cannot exist and propose an understanding of participation as negotiation between the campesino and the planning team. The relationship between these two actors is not always equal, especially in the drafting of MDP over which campesinos have no influence.

Available at IDS for reference

How to find this resource

Shelfmark in IDS Resource Centre
D : Planning 4148
Post date: 01/01/2000 - 00:00