Bridging the Knowledge Gaps between Actual Community Practices and Policy Making for Inclusiveness in Lusaka Province of Zambia

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"In recent years the Zambian government has been implementing the decentralization policy. This policy has its own short comings as it has so far only gone until the districts, leaving out the key stakeholders in governance, the governed (communities at household levels). Research goes further to indicate that community participation in policy formulation is an important part of the democratic process, but one which governments are not always comfortable with. This paper draws clearly on our experience in the implementation of projects in as far as participatory approach is concerned. "According to the case study on the implementation of the Community Based Monitoring System for poverty alleviation and Sanitation in Zambia (CBMS), it is evident that participatory approach in project implementation yields lasting results as compared to non participatory oriented projects (as EIF Zambia). In the CBMS implementation team members originated from the project site with a sampling method employed to embrace a community representative approach. Questionnaire design and management was done with inputs from the team members, engagement with Local Government units and local development committee in the project site for data relay/ exchange of experiences and to make sure protocols and frameworks were created to facilitate the use of this research s outputs. "It has been leant that team members who come from the local community are more likely to give reliable data, than those who come from areas other than the project site. It is thought that poor people, regardless of their ability to read and write, have a far greater capacity to present and analyse their realities, and to act, than many suppose. This paper shares experiences from the implementation of CBMS in Zambia. Further it substantiates the widely acclaimed hypothesis that development initiatives can best be drawn with participatory approach with respect to the local community."
decentralization--policy, governance and politics, stakeholders, participatory management, participatory development, resource management