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These guidelines provide guidance for policy makers and practitioners how to incorporate group-based, participatory based approaches into large-scale investment projects. They include advice on a range of topics, including: strategies to promote participation, project formulation, group formation, financial arrangements, training, monitoring and evaluation, etc.

They were based on experience gained in the design and implementation of FAO People’s Participation Programme projects during the 1980s and prepared by FAO consultant, Bernard Van Heck, working under the technical guidance of Dr. Nikolaus Newiger, Group Leader of the FAO Cooperatives and Farmers Organizations Group and published in March 1990, long before the era of electronic publishing began.

Since many who have used the guidelines in their work have reported that much remains valid and useful even today, we have decided to publish a 2nd edition of the publication, this time in electronic format for easy accessing over the Internet.

The changes that made to the original printed publication have been mostly editorial. No significant new material has been added, except for references to new programmes that use similar group-based approaches and to a series of FAO resource books on farmer group and agricultural cooperative development, both of which have appeared since that date.

Reader comments on the usefulness of these guidelines in helping to introduce more participatory, group-based approaches in larger-scale investment projects are most welcomed.

John Rouse
Senior Officer and Group Leader
Cooperatives and Farmers’ Organizations Group
Rural Institutions and participation Service
Rural Development Division
Sustainable Development Department

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