Community Consultation, Sustainable Development and the Inter-American Development Bank: A Concept Paper

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Schwartz, Norman
Mar 1996
This paper presents a framework for discussing community consultation in the context of the Inter-American Development Bank's projects and offers suggestions on the opportunities, risks, costs, methods, and techniques of community consultation. After discussing some of the links between consultation, development, equity, civil society and the current IDB policy framework, the paper analyzes the terms "consultation", "participation", "community" and "stakeholder" in relation to each other and to the development process. It will discuss reasons for promoting community consultation and identify opportunities for doing so in the context of the project cycle. Emphasis is made on: (1) community consultation rather than the broader concept of community participation; (2) consultation with communities targeted by Bank projects as opposed to all the stakeholders involved; and (3) consultation at the project design and execution level, rather than at the policy and country programming stage.