Al-Nasiriyya Area Comprehensive Urban-improvement Initiative


The project was based on participatory dialogue among all parties. It underwent three main stages: (1) presenting the issue and defining the partners, (2) the participatory dialogue among all concerned parties and (3) implementation and follow-up. This project was considered at the time (1980s) to be a pioneering experience in applying the concept of partnership before it crystallized into its current form. Al-Nasiriyya Area Comprehensive Development Project forms an example of social production particularly as the inhabitants initiated it, while other parties with funding, specialized capacity and official/legal standing participated in response. The resulting accumulation of social capital at the local level in al-Nasiriyya took the form of a newly-established Community Development Association through which the inhabitants managed and maintained the project. The long-standing results of the community’s initiative affirm its success, while the community of al-Nasiriyya continues to grow and develop with the 1987-90 experience at its base.

A number of lessons can be learned from this project, the foremost of which is that there is an inherent capacity within various categories of the population. This capacity may be beneficial and employed to create social production that can contribute to improving poor and unplanned communities. It also showed the importance of the need for the local community’s participation when undertaking any experiments due to the positive and pioneering role the community can play in the success of any similar experiment. Expertise exchange gives a new dimension to development based on partnership, participation and dialogue between all parties.

All participating parties focused on creating a community management capable of running and sustaining the project. The management was represented in the local Community Development Association. The experience also highlighted group work and the participation of the local community in an atmosphere capable of continuing and improving itself to establish numerous social entities that emphasize the social production of poor segments, women and all segments of society, which, in turn, will strengthen the role of the local community in sustainable development.

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