3.4.4. The need for public participation

One of the core principles of good governance calls for public participation in the decision-making process. Public participation increases the likelihood that actions taken or services provided by public agencies adequately reflect the needs of the people and that the benefits of development are equitably shared.

Equitable sharing of resources and benefits is also an element of sustainable development. As such, public participation has been recognized as one of the core principles of sustainable development. Here, participation means contributing to development, benefiting from development and taking part in decision-making about development, which could be realized through activities facilitated by authorities.

Information disclosure on PPP projects and its dissemination through the media and other means should be enhanced. It helps in better understanding of the project by the general public, can help in removing misgivings, and facilitates public participation.

It is important to mention here the public participation is extremely important for social sector infrastructure projects (schools, community/civic facilities, housing, etc.) as well as for many economic infrastructure projects. Many governments have devised an in-built mechanism for public participation at the planning and design stage of a project.

Copyright © 2008 by Transport Policy and Development Section, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).