On Tuesday, Robin Cross was invited to speak at the RICS and Princes Foundation event focusing on best international practice in participatory planning.
Robin used case studies from our projects to illustrate the challenges of engagement in the context of diminished capacity. In particular he talked about our work in Sierra Leone understanding the needs and perception of a community affected by long term conflict and how this could inform design of a building which would bring economic livelihood opportunities.
Engagement is also affective when working with communities who have been disempowered. Our work in Papua New Guinea didn’t result in a building but helped the community build confidence in their own ability to construct a school and mitigate the negative impacts of foreign intervention by other international development organizations. We have been able to translate lessons learned from our community engagement work into a tested monitoring and evaluation methodology.
Robin ended his presentation by presenting the results of our work in Afghanistan which showed high correlation between community participation and other indicators of good practice in construction such as value for money and implementation.
Other speakers on the evening included representatives from RICS, Princes Foundation, INTBAU, Crown Estates and Architects Sans Frontieres.