This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends reinforcing work with non-governmental organizations in collecting and disseminating information on people's participation and people's organizations, testing participatory development methods, training and education for human resource development and strengthening the management structures of rural organizations.
Spurred by [World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development] (1979) (WCARRD), the Food and Agricultural Organization launched the [People's Participation Programme] (PPP) in 1980. Since then, PPP has implemented pilot projects throughout the developing world in an attempt to test and develop an operational method of people's participation for incorporation in larger rural development schemes.
2. Sustainable rural development happens when there is local participation in all aspects from the start. Community involvement in decision making is an extremely important feature. If a village can symbolize its willingness to begin the journey toward, for example, more comprehensive health care, it can claim ownership of the proposed programme right from the start. This helps to build and sustain health care that best meets the particular needs of that village. In what way is a group of village people sitting and deciding on what to do to improve their living conditions inferior to a village plan prepared by an outside agency after spending more money than the village will ever get to develop itself? One can understand the sophistication in planning technology at the national level where facts have to generalize, but not at the grassroots and local level where it is the details which matter.