Levels and Methods of Participatory Planning

  • Provision of information: To spread knowledge about decisions

The authorities or decision makers make the final decision. These decisions are shared with the public/ stakeholders before implementation. The stakeholder involvement is limited to receiving information. No further involvement is envisaged.

  • Public hearings, conferences: To be heard before decisions are taken

The authorities make the initial decisions and the public/ stakeholders are informed of the plan/decisions and their feedback or agreement is sought. A public hearing is announced, welcoming all participants. Final decisions are based on the opinions expressed in the public hearing. Stakeholders are involved in implementation.

  • Consultation through workshops: To influence the decision-making process

The authorities, decision makers, development agencies or River Basin Organizations (RBO) draw up a plan which is shared with the public and other stakeholders. Objections and suggestions are sought, modifications are made accordingly and implementation is carried out with broadest possible consent.

  • Collaboration through advisory groups: To influence the decision-making process

Community leaders or special representatives and stakeholder institutions make up an advisory group and work closely with the authorities or decision makers. Increased interaction among people leads to an open, informal, atmosphere and enhanced information sharing. The advisory group is informed regularly of progress made during the development and the implementation of plans. Advisors offer suggestions and recommendations based on needs and gaps identified.

  • Delegation (community cooperatives, development trusts, local councils): To make decisions jointly, agree on decisions

Stakeholders’ needs are determined from the onset by the stakeholders themselves and the authorities / RBOs and the communities through their representatives decide means of intervention together. Stakeholder involvement is extensive and continues beyond the implementation stage and includes monitoring and evaluation to help pinpoint the plan’s shortcomings for future improvements.

  • Self-management (local communities, individual): To make their own decisions

A community or an individual makes its own decision with or without support from the outside. Community flood management committees organize themselves to respond to emergency situations.

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