Case Examples


Example of:

    Community Participation in Planning

    • Sustainability

Click for a map of Guatemala

Guatemala City, Guatemala

The World Bank funded this community-driven urban upgrading project that benefitted over 37,600 people between 1994 and 1997. It used community participation not in the sense of labor but rather, participation in the planning, executing, and financing of the project. One of the main goals of the program was sustainability. Also involved in the project, UNICEF worked to increase the management capacity of the community through external counseling. They encouraged community participation by strengthening the CBOs so that they could handle things in the long run. To encourage independence from external aid, UNICEF set up revolving funds to increase cost recovery. In addition, they shared administrative, technical, and financial knowledge to further promote independence (Basurto, 9).
For further information:
Basurto, Paolo, UNICEF Representative. “Fighting Urban Poverty: Promoting Community Organization: The Case of ‘El Mezquital’ in Guatemala City.” (World Bank Urban Retreat, 23-24 January, 1996)

  1. Improve housing conditions and induce additional private investment in housing by designing and implementing an efficient and well-targeted subsidy program;
  2. expand the role of private sector developers and commercial banks;
  3. improve the formulation and implementation of housing policy by expanding the role of NGOs, CBOs, and other organizations;
  4. to improve the performance of urban land markets;
  5. strengthen environmental management; and
  6. promote the development of an efficient secondary mortgage market. (Guatemala Housing Program Loan Proposal, 8)
  • Direct subsidy program
  • Reform of land markets
  • Environmental management
  • Institutional development
What worked and why?

The program stimulated community participation in planning, executing, and financing improvements to their neighborhood. 1,200 residents in the El Mezquital site were active members of community based organizations (CBOs) that had grown to four times their original number since project initiation.

To formally accept the community as a partner, the program required a legally recognizable community organization. UNICEF, as well as other NGOs provided invaluable assistance by building the capacity of community organizations to manage the works.

Important to note is the fact that development of CBOs was bottom up in that the residents themselves initiated these community-government communications organizations to monitor the urban improvement process as well as to express the community voice.

Every transaction was accounted for and recorded in writing by the CBOs. Knowing that residents, project players, and the Bank had access to this information raised confidence in the CBOs all around.

Especially important is the fact that CBOs, even after project completion, are continuing self-financed improvements and even assisting other communities.

What didn't work and why?
To Learn More:

World Bank. Loach, Peter W. and Serra, M. Vitor. Implementation Completion Report Loan 2972-GU. Guatemala Municipal Development Report. January 1998.

World Bank. Kessides, Christine. World Bank Experience with the Provision of Infrastructure Services for the Urban Poor: Preliminary Identification and Review of Best Practices. General Operational Review, TWU-OR8. January 1997.

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