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Participation Typologies Part of 2004 Report "Designing Social Capital Sensitive Participation Methodologies"

TypologiesThe most commonly cited typology of public participation is Arnstein’s (1969)[1] ladder of public participation which depicts participation’s multiplicity of meanings (refer to figure). Subsequent typologies, (for example (Agarwal 2001[2]; Choguill 1996[3]; Cohen and Uphoff 1980[4]; Maywald 1989[5]; Michener 1998[6]; White 1981[7]) are essentially variations on the same idea; of ordering the degrees of power-sharing between an agency and the public (Buchy, Ross et al. 2000)[8]. In typology discussions it is important to emphasize that stronger forms of participation are not necessarily better than those lower on the ladder i.e. it is context specific (Buchy, Ross et al. 2000)[8].

Citing this article

This report was prepared for Social Capital Research. You should reference this work as:

Claridge, T., 2004. Designing social capital sensitive participation methodologies. Report, Social Capital Research, Brisbane, Australia.

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  1. Arnstein SR (1969) A Ladder of Citizen Participation. AIP Journal July 1969. ^
  2. Agarwal B (2001) Participatory Exclusions, Community Forestry, and Gender: An Analysis for South Asia and a Conceptual Framework. World Development 29, 1623-1648. ^
  3. Choguill MBG (1996) A ladder of community participation for underdeveloped countries*1. Habitat International 20, 431-444. ^
  4. Cohen JM, Uphoff NT (1980) Participation’s place in rural development: Seeking clarity through specificity. World Development 8, 213-235. ^
  5. Maywald S (1989) ‘Consulting with your community: a guide to effective and equitable community consultation techniques for local government and associated organisations.’ (Local Government Community Services Association of South Australia: Adelaide) ^
  6. Michener VJ (1998) The participatory approach: Contradiction and co-option in Burkina Faso. World Development 26, 2105-2118. ^
  7. White A (1981) ‘Community participation in water and sanitation : concepts, strategies and methods.’ (IRC: The Hague) ^
  8. Buchy M, Ross H, Proctor W (2000) ‘Enhancing the information base on participatory approaches in Australian natural resource management: Commissioned research under the Land & Water Australia’s Social and Institutional Research Program.’ Land & Water Australia, Canberra. ^

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