In this paper an assessment is made on the level of community participation towards the district development planning in the five wards of Mudzi district, in Zimbabwe. The paper discusses the concept of decentralisation, planning and community participation. Decentralisation is argued to result in the achievement of higher levels of participation in decision making, development plans, and the implementation as well as the maintenance of political stability. Decentralised planning is discussed in the Zimbabwean context, starting with a clear outline of the policy reforms which led to the creation of the grassroot participatory structures. The paper uses wide coverage of consultations, good leadership qualities, local government attitude towards community participation, women involvement, awareness of the organisational structures, autonomy in decision making and trained community and local government personnel as indicators of effective participatory planning to analysis what is practiced on the ground. The findings of what is practiced on the ground and what is stipulated by the Local Government Acts and policy reforms contributes to the debate that the VIDCOs and WADCOs are promoting Central Government programmes rather than being channels for facilitating bottom up initiatives.

Local Government, Central government, District development planning, Community participation, Plans, VIDCO, WADCO, Community
Awortwi, Nicholas
Local and Regional Development (LRD)
International Institute of Social Studies

Manhokwe, Lucia. (2010, December 17). Top down or bottom up? District Development planning in Mudzi District, Zimbabwe. Local and Regional Development (LRD). Retrieved from