The paper describes the experiences of incorporating participatory methods into strategic development planning in a rural community in Belize, Central America. The SWOT (= Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) technique was used to provide a framework for villagers to identify and assess their community's internal strengths and weaknesses and the external political and economic opportunities and threats facing them. It enabled the villagers to assess their preferred option, citrus expansion, in the light of government policy towards citrus production and trends in world prices for citrus. The paper concludes by discussing some of the limitations of the approach and how it might be improved.
Will be useful for NGO fieldworkers and others involved in planning at the community level
International Institute for Environment and Development