ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Confronting Bureaucratic Capture

Rethinking Participatory Planning Methodology in Kerala

The people's planning programme in Kerala is under threat of a bureaucratic capture with government orders and guidelines from above subduing the process of participatory planning. This paper proposes overhauling the methodology of planning from below to put the experiment back on track. This will involve demystifying and debureaucratising the planning process and strengthening participatory spaces. However, the enthusiasm for maximising participation should not ben at the expense of the right to be critical. People's participation is not a substitute for expertise in development planning. Participatory planning has to make maximum use of the expertise within the government and outside it without compromising on accountability and responsiveness to the people.

The web version of this article corrects a few errors that appeared in the print edition.

I thank M A Oommen and P S Vijayshankar for their valuable remarks on an earlier draft. The errors in the paper remain my own.

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