|Focus on Women (HABITAT, 1991, 28 p.)|
The poor, particularly women, face the greatest difficulty of being informed about, participating in and benefiting from intended community-based projects. Yet, community participation has taken on new meanings and dimensions in the face of rapid urbanization sweeping across the developing countries.
Community participation in human settlements development can stimulate people to seek participation in other spheres of life. A quantum leap in strategic planning is now required to provide women with new options in an equally new alliance bringing together governments and profit-making and community service agencies. Such a quantum leap is embodied in the concept of enabling strategies for creating housing, essential water supply and sanitation services, transport and employment opportunities.
Many community-based organizations (CBOs) have experience in organizing, awareness-building, motivating and training community men and women. Although some officials regard the participatory approach as slow, it has proved to have the most sustainable results in the long run.