1.2 Types of participation in humanitarian action

Passive participation: The affected population is informed of what is going to happen or what has occurred. While this is a fundamental right of the people concerned, it is not always respected.

Participation through the supply of information: The affected population provides information in response to questions, but it has no influence over the process because survey results are not shared and their accuracy is not verified.

Participation by consultation: The affected population is asked for its perspective on a given subject, but it has no decision-making powers and no guarantee that its views will be considered.

Participation through material incentives: The affected population supplies some of the materials and/or labour needed to operationalise an intervention, in exchange for a payment in cash or kind from the aid organisation.

Participation through the supply of materials, cash or labour: The affected population supplies some of the materials, cash and/or labour needed to operationalise an intervention. This includes cost-recovery mechanisms.

Interactive participation: The affected population participates in the analysis of needs and in programme conception, and has decision-making powers.

Local initiatives: The affected population takes the initiative, acting independently of external organisations or institutions. Although it may call on external bodies to support its initiatives, the project is conceived and run by the community; it is the aid organisation that participates in the population’s projects.

Source: ALNAP, 2003.