Truths and myths about community participation in post-disaster housing projects

Davidson C. H. , Johnson C., Lizarralde G., Dikmen N. , Sliwinski A.

HABITAT INTERNATIONAL, vol.31, no.1, pp.100-115, 2007 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2006.08.003
  • Title of Journal : HABITAT INTERNATIONAL
  • Page Numbers: pp.100-115


It has been widely accepted by policy makers and commentators, funding bodies and NGOs that the key to performance in low-cost housing projects in developing countries lies in community participation. This paper proposes that this premise (extensively discussed in the theory and emphasized in grant applications) is not clearly reflected in the realities of reconstruction practice. In fact, there are many ways in which users/beneficiaries can participate in post-disaster reconstruction projects but not all types of participation ensure the best deployment of their capabilities. The systems approach shows that there is a continuum of possibilities for participation; at one extreme, users are involved in the projects only as the labour force, whereas at the other, they play an active role in decision-making and project management.