This paper discusses how a community-based approach - Research Action Capacity-building (RAC) - can be valuable for malaria control and more specifically for the dissemination of insecticide treated bednets (ITNs), using the case study of a bednet project in N'Djamena, capital of Chad. A description of the concepts and methods of the RAC approach is given, along with a comparison with the like-minded approach of Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) - the RAC approach emphasizing that social change is its ultimate goal. The potential of the RAC approach for mobilizing and strengthening community-based activities is discussed. In addition a report on the successes and failures occurring in the case study, of the initial stages of the net selling and impregnation centres is outlined. In conclusion, the authors propose two major points. Firstly, when promoting ITNs, technical, economic and social factors must be targeted. Lastly, collaboration and communication at local, regional and international levels are vital for a project to be sustainable.