Yang Xuedong, 2008
Participation is an integrated part of development. By mobilizing public participation, development can win support and clarify its goal. As for social groups, especially disadvantaged groups, they influence the process of development and share its fruits through participating. How to mobilize and sustain public participation has always been an important issue for development. In addition to institutional and technological obstacles, there are social obstacles hindering public participation in development. In spite of views to the contrary, numerous cases from development have shown that the poor can participate in public affairs, in a manner that promotes public governance, if there are practicable mechanisms connecting their interests with public affairs and coordinating their opinions and actions. This book, part of the Learning from Innovations series, offers examples of designing mechanisms for participation from four Latin American countries: Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Chile. The Learning from Innovations series aims to disseminate some of the lessons that are being learned by comparing innovation in the ten partner programs of the Liaison Group for Innovations in Governance and Public Action. The Fund for Agricultural Development (FUNDAT) was established in Tupandi, a town in Brazil. It helps local residents with agricultural development. In Coatepec, Mexico, local government initiated the "Program for Payment of Environmental Forestry Services in Coatepec" to protect forests and ensure the water supply for approximately 50,000 inhabitants in 22 municipalities. In the rural Andes area of Ranra (Junin), Peru, local people rely on the irrigation system to increase productivity. In Lampa, Chile, local government runs the local environmental management program with financial support of UNDP. Each of the four innovations presented in this book have designed practicable mechanisms to mobilize and sustain participation of concerned groups, especially local residents. The cases presented include analysis of other factors, including individual innovators, capacity training, and strong and sustainable financing.