Citizen participation and the poor: a participatory approach to achieving political, social and economic freedom?

Various authors highlight the importance of participatory approaches to governance in contributing to the empowerment and development of the marginalized. Citizen participation is furthermore understood to reflect the political culture and civil society in democracies. Some of the advantages of citizen participation include: increased watchfulness over and greater accountability of government activities, and accurate identification and responsiveness to societal needs. Notwithstanding this emphasis, the literature on participation points to the challenges that confront the poor and marginalized in participating in government structures in a meaningful way. It is in this context that the article examines the extent to which beneficiaries of job creation strategies introduced post-1994 by the South African State were consulted on the nature of these interventions. It is believed that whilst these strategies are laudable and have in some instances achieved anticipated outcomes there have been cases where strategies have failed to produce anticipated outcomes and/or were not sustainable as a consequence of the lack of participation and consultation. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]

Title: Citizen participation and the poor: a participatory approach to achieving political, social and economic freedom?
Author: Esau, Michelle V.
Year: 2007
Periodical: Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies
Volume: 34
Issue: 2
Pages: 187-203
Language: English
Geographic term: South Africa
External link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02589340701715224
Abstract: Various authors highlight the importance of participatory approaches to governance in contributing to the empowerment and development of the marginalized. Citizen participation is furthermore understood to reflect the political culture and civil society in democracies. Some of the advantages of citizen participation include: increased watchfulness over and greater accountability of government activities, and accurate identification and responsiveness to societal needs. Notwithstanding this emphasis, the literature on participation points to the challenges that confront the poor and marginalized in participating in government structures in a meaningful way. It is in this context that the article examines the extent to which beneficiaries of job creation strategies introduced post-1994 by the South African State were consulted on the nature of these interventions. It is believed that whilst these strategies are laudable and have in some instances achieved anticipated outcomes there have been cases where strategies have failed to produce anticipated outcomes and/or were not sustainable as a consequence of the lack of participation and consultation. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]