Citizeninvolvement in various aspects of governance and development is afundamental mechanism for promoting democracy and in building thelocal capability towards achieving the set up goals, which aim atpromoting development. The concept of public participation has beenhighly linked to the existing constitutional rights of citizensraising some normative and descriptive questions concerning democracyand the essential skills and abilities in achieving it.
Theimportance of public participation is interminable. It ensures thatservices provided meet the beneficiary needs by giving the public achance to suggest all possible solutions as to how their needs can bemet. Public participation also enhances public self-esteem, provideslegitimacy to change and also help recognize and use people`sexpertise and knowledge. However, various disadvantages have beenattributed to public participation. In most cases, local concerns donot match the professional priorities, a discouraging factor topublic participation. Also, individuals come up with lists ofunrealistic expectations which are difficult to meet mainly becausedifferent people have different views.
Beingin charge of a new city, I would encourage a high level of publicparticipation. This would be critical in ensuring that their voice isconsidered largely. Voter’s education, support, lobbying andincreased individual awareness on their rights and responsibilitiesare some of the common methods that I would use to encourage citizenparticipation. Other methods include personal appraisal, training,and building awareness. These methods ensure that individuals’abilities are not only towards holding others accountable but also asa self-development process. Public notion of participation as a formof time wastage discourages public participation while others lackadequate knowledge of where and how they should participate.Individuals would be motivated to participate in local governmentbecause their opinions would be factored in the making of decisionsin the local government.