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By : Ripin Kalra

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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