Methodological and Technological issues in Technology Transfer

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4.4.4 What is participation and why is it needed?

Participation is a process of complex social change (OECD, 1997). Definitions of participation have thus been developing along with the practice of it. Different dimensions and levels, degrees or types of participation can be analytically distinguished (Rudquist, 1987, in OECD, 1997). The terms are used differently depending as to where in the project cycle participation occurs (planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, takeover), as to the quality, intensity or extent of participation (as passive beneficiaries, informants, cost sharers, or as colleagues or counterparts with a voice in management, decision-making and control) and to societal levels (local, regional, national) (OECD, 1997). Current 'inclusive' approaches have several stages if they relate to all stages of a project cycle. Basically, participatory development stands upon a partnership that is built upon the basis of a dialogue among the various stakeholders. These stakeholders collaboratively:

  1. conduct the analysis and diagnosis at the outset;
  2. decide what is needed and set objectives;
  3. decide directions, priorities and institutional responsibilities to create a strategy, and
  4. oversee development of specifications, budgets and technologies to move from the present into the future, and formulate project tactics (World Bank, 1996; OECD, 1997).

Participation of the main stakeholders in the assessment stages can help establish a process that will produce a technology selection better matched to local needs:

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