Will People make it Sustainable? – A minor field study testing if and how public participation improves the environmental sustainability of projects in Kenya
People tend to be in favour of the democratic idea that all people should be able to participate and tell their point of view. At the same time we want to ameliorate environmental impacts. It is however uncertain how well these two goals correspond with each other, wherefore it is a suiting area for research.
The thesis will test if public participation can improve the environmental sustainability of three Kenyan projects. The material will consist of 16 informant interviews with different stakeholders. The thesis is showing that there is a positive correlation between public participation and environmental sustainability, wherefore the causal mechanism then is sought for by looking at four social goals of public participation. The study shows that the goal to inform and educate the public is likely to be an important causal mechanism to improve the environmental sustainability of a project. It can also be seen that it is important to incorporate the public’s values into decisions, improve the substantive quality of decisions and also to resolve conflicts among the competing interests, even though these goals are not as distinct.
The thesis is an attempt to fill part of the gap of knowledge on how the public participation can be used to improve the environmental sustainability of projects in the developing world.
Bergenholtz, P. (2009). Will People make it Sustainable? – A minor field study testing if and how public participation improves the environmental sustainability of projects in Kenya. Master’s Thesis. Department of Political Science. University of Gothenburg.
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