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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2008): Community Regeneration and Development - overseas

An analysis of citizen participation in anti-poverty programmes

G.A. Bowen

Community Development Journal, vol. 43, 2008, p. 79-92

In Jamaica a social fund is one of the principal components of the National Poverty Eradication Programme launched in 1997. The social fund provides finance for projects aimed at addressing priority needs identified by poor communities. Citizen participation is seen as an essential element of all funded projects, and communities are required to cover at least 5% of the cost of each. This research sought evidence of citizen participation in social fund projects aimed at improving community infrastructure and social services, and strengthening community organisations. Data suggest four types of active participation:

  1. provision of labour in exchange for cash payments or food
  2. response to consultation exercises
  3. contribution of material resources such as money, food supplies or labour
  4. support of specific programmes emerging from the projects.
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