PURPOSE OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Kurian Thomas and RamkumarBendapudi in their paper on participatory planning has summarized the purpose of participatory planning as follow:
(1) Identification of the felt needs of the people
(2) Bringing forth consensus
(3) The empowerment of local disadvantaged groups
(4) Integration of local knowledge systems into project design
(5) Twoway learning process between the project and local people
(6) Political commitment and support
(7) Accountability in local governance  
Public participation serves various purposes in planning and coordination the combined efforts of a number of stakeholders. It plays an important role in increasing awareness and mutual recognition of interests of different stakeholders and reaching at consensus after meetings and deliberations. It further helps in gathering information and enhancing knowledge base of the community and experts. It has been found that increased public participation leads to improvedprovision of goods and services to the community. It stimulates involvement in decision making and in implementation processes of various plans and projects. It leads to enhanced acceptance of policies, plans and operations undertaken by experts and planners. It enhances the transparency and accountability in decision making process which used to be solely in the hand of experts. Participation helps in better identification and management of conflicts and resolution of issues and problems in a fair and equitable manner. Increased participation of the citizens broadens the scope for consideration and verification of planning and project documents thus, ensuring a social auditing of the development projects. Participation of the public serves a noble goal of education public about the development and making them capable to participate general in planning processes and further strengthening the roots of democratic values in the general public. Public participation can ensure legal protection for the experts from the government if it violates some planning provisions and serves the greater interest of the public. The most important purpose that the participation of the public serves is that it ensures greater acceptance of planning projects and ease of their implementation.
The nature and purposes of public participation cannot be wholly disregarded, however, even when thinking more about methodology and mechanics than about its political significance, because the purpose of public participation has a direct influence on its practice (Acland, 2009).

Shashikant Nishant Sharma

Urban Planner

{Courtesy: Sharma, S.N. (2012), Participatory Planning in Plan Preparation: A Case of Delhi, Graduate Thesis, Department of Physical Planning, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi}

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