Community participation in planning : an assessment of phase 1B, stage 1 of Lesotho Highlands water project (LHWP) resettlement programme.
This dissertation addresses an age-old topic, but introduces some different insights. Overall, it is a sound piece of research that satisfies the requirements of a course work masters. Her topic is interesting in the context of a large-scale infrastructure project and the research questions are carefully formulated. The research method is appropriate and adequately described. In view of the (not unexpected) difficulties encountered with respondents in the field, she has made effective use of the sources that were available. The theoretical framework appears to cover most of the relevant literature; and is written in a coherent way. The description of the case study is clear. It presents a complex and fascinating set of stakeholders and daunting challenges for Planners attempting to mediate between macro, national scale infrastructure needs on the one hand, and on the other, social justice in communities where the prevailing laws and practices militate against women and the poorly educated. The findings are reported in chapter 4. These provide a valuable insight into dynamics within and surrounding the participation process. In the course of this chapter, she unveils an interesting array of issues, many of which are about power relations. This makes the topic difficult to research fully in the context of an MTRP dissertation. However, while not achieving much analytical depth, she has produced a useful set if insights that will be of value to other researchers in this field. The conclusions and recommendations have been dealt with in a systematic, yet thoughtful manner.
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