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close this bookCommunity Participation in Problem-solving: Leadership (Habitat)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentGuidelines for the trainer
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentA statement of principles
View the documentI. Styles of leadership
View the documentII. The power of leaders
View the documentIII. The maturity of groups
View the documentIV. Leading a problem-solving group
View the documentV. Using participatory problem-solving techniques
View the documentBibliography


"Go to the people
Live among them
Learn from them
Love them
Start with what they know
Build on what they have

But of the best leaders
When their work is accomplished
Their work is done
The people all remark
'We have done it ourselves'."

The first manual in the series on problem-solving and decision- making was concerned with certain basic principles and with outlining an eight-step approach in exploring problem situations, setting goals and making action plans. That manual, therefore, elaborated mainly the first four of the foregoing principles.

This manual concentrates on the role of the community worker or the local leader in guiding or facilitating those problem- solving approaches in the setting of a small group or a community. It focuses on the nature of leadership in community- participation projects. In particular, it tries to clarify the roles of project staff members and local leaders in participating in decision-making, formulating work planning and monitoring progress.

The third manual in the series will analyse the kinds of conflicts that are bound to occur in human settlements projects when interests both diverge and collide. It will present examples of conflict-management strategies that harmonize with the participatory approaches to problem-solving described in the first two manuals.

The main thrust of this manual is to explore the challenge, posed in the above poem, which is well known to community-development workers around the world. How to lead - and not dominate? How to help people in making decisions - and, yet, not impose your own?