The Myth of Public Participation in a World of Poverty

23 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2011

Date Written: January 15, 2010


This Article addresses the public participation dimension of poverty – the lack of participation by the poor in decisions that affect their lives, health, and environment – and considers possibilities for increasing participation by the poor. Public participation means access to information about decisions to be made, opportunity to express opinions in oral or written comments, and the ability to have these opinions taken into account in final decisions.

Procedural rights and environmental democracy are necessary preconditions and important tools for environmental protection and poverty alleviation. The author explores the benefits of public participation in environmental decision making for the eradication of poverty. This includes World Bank policies on eradication of poverty, good governance, and consultations with affected communities. The author analyzes the problems of unfair development and inadequate public participation for the poor. Failure to consult local communities and take into account public opinion results in a negative impact on the environment and poor people. Finally, the author proposes solutions for these problems.

Keywords: public participation, poverty, decisionmaking, environmental

Suggested Citation

Kravchenko, Svitlana, The Myth of Public Participation in a World of Poverty (January 15, 2010). Tulane Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2009, Available at SSRN:

Svitlana Kravchenko (Contact Author)

University of Oregon ( email )

1280 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States
1-541-346-0532 (Phone)
1-541-346-1564 (Fax)


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