Community participation in sustainable human settlements : the case of Khomas Regional Council
Thesis (MPhil (Public Management and Planning))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.
This assignment presents the analysis of poor public participation in the Khomas Regional Council where there is a need for popular participation in the development initiatives and projects. Public participation, allows the public to participate in programmes and projects through established institutions and structures. The main objective of the study was to conduct three months’ internships to investigate the importance of community participation. The study envisaged assessing the effectiveness of the Council to deliver basic services such as drinking water, adequate shelter, and sanitation to the community by taking the limited resources into consideration. The study also analysed some challenges the Council is facing in the implementation of the sustainable human settlement projects. The complex and multidimensional nature of public participation is dealt with. As a result, participation can give women and other groups of people who are usually marginalized from the community activities the opportunity to influence development initiatives in their communities. In terms of design and methodology, the active participation and direct involvement as well as working with Council’s staff and the community at large formed the basis of the study. The survey on public participation conducted by Regional Council revealed that absence of public participation policy and legislation makes it difficult for Councillors to implement the public participation process. There is lack of information sharing and communication breaks down between councilors and residents. Lack of capacity building and resources for Constituency Development Committee members prevails in Khomas region. There is confusion regarding political meetings and there is also poor attendance to meetings. In addition, the study recommends that Council should forge a constant consultation and collaboration between the Regional Council and citizens. Establish mechanisms and structures through which citizens can initiate voluntary and interested groups to facilitate their participation in the Regional affairs. Create forums for meetings, workshops, seminars and conferences to discuss and debate pertinent issues. Strengthen the capacity of Regional Development Coordinating Committee (RDCC), Constituency Development Committee (CDCs) and other structures.