Working Paper

Mainstreaming participation in development

Published on 1 January 2000

Despite the potential benefits of globalization and technological change, world poverty has increased and growth prospects have dimmed for developing countries during the 1980s and 90s. The Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) was launched by the World Bank in January 1999 in response to these difficult circumstances.

It has evoked considerable interest throughout the development community as an approach that can address the increasingly intertwined challenges faced by development practitioners. Its basic elements are not new. What is new is their joint articulation as a framework to guide development assistance. The first point is that development constraints are structural and social, and cannot be overcome through economic stabilization and policy adjustment alone—they require a long-term and holistic vision of needs and solutions. Second, policy reform and institutional development cannot be imported or imposed; without domestic ownership, reforms and investments are not sustainable. Third, successful development requires partnership among government, local communities, the private sector, civil society, and development agencies. And fourth, development activities must be guided and judged by results.


John Gaventa

Research Fellow and Director, Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) programme

Robert Chambers

Research Associate

Publication details

Blackburn, J, Chambers, R and Gaventa, J
World Bank. OED Working paper series, issue 10


Related content