Topic 4.1 False Participation Levels

There is a type of “manipulated participation”, in which the population is used to be present and thus give legitimacy to actions that are thought by others, with outside interests, and that the population does not necessarily understand. This often happens with disadvantaged social sectors, the indigenous population... who hope by attending certain political acts to obtain some improvements in their quality of life, etc.

At this level we cannot speak of “participants” because, at these levels, although it is not clearly stated, the target population of the project is understood as an audience or even clientele. That is why the management is direct, both in the formulation, as well as in the programming and execution of the services, benefits and spaces. The limitations to participation are maximum, since this is understood, at most, as simple information on the activities generated from the management of the areas, organisations...

It is one in which people are used as a mere decoration, that is, to decorate an activity and give a participatory appearance. It is presented as a variant of the previous step, incorporating some public information mechanisms linked to the defence of particular interests that have the opportunity to argue about the administrative or organizational actions that affect them.

Likewise, our participation can be “symbolic”, where apparently people are given the opportunity to express themselves but in reality they have little or no influence on the subject or on the style of communication and little or no opportunity to formulate their own opinions.