Abs t ract
Currently held views and policies commonly suggest that community participation in the development of physical infrastructure
is primarily exercised to encourage local ownership and generate local livelihoods. This article draws on the
experience of recent primary education building programmes in India using cost-effective construction technologies to
observe that the involvement of users in the delivery, maintenance and management of community assets is above all
a pre-condition for the fulfilment of the globally agreed development targets. This conceptual distinction provides an
experienced reason for any provider to seek an active partnership with the user community and appreciate their grassroots
realities, assets and resources. The article then provides observations from recent fieldwork in India to argue that
a realistic mapping of community resources will help to redefine widely accepted development targets for community
assets as well as identifying capacity building measures to streamline the delivery and management of community infrastructure.
Keywords : Poverty reduction, Millenium Development Goals, Community Assets, Cost Effective Construction
Technologies, Resource Mapping, Decentralisation, Community Contracting
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