The paper is an attempt to analyse the likely effects of compensatory social programmes such as Misiones Bolivarianas on community organisations in barrios and their participation in the planning and implementation of barrio upgrading projects, based on the case of the CAMEBA project in Caracas, Venezuela. The low level of community (target group) participation in Project CAMEBA has been compounded by a profoundly paternalistic approach of the national government that promised immediate relief and benefits in the form of compensatory programmes thus reinforcing habitual dependency amongst the poor people. These immediate-benefit programmes seem to have had an inhibiting effect on the community organisation and participation in the upgrading project, which had long term objectives and had aspired to create sustainable self-reliant communities in the project’s intervention areas. Such conclusion is reinforced by the results of the survey, which clearly shows that the awareness of the community regarding compensatory programmes is by and large greater than that of the upgrading project, even though project CAMEBA implementation started about four years before the apperance of the Misiones Bolivarianas. This situation has somehow hindered the process of community organisation which in any case involves training of communities to be legitimate and autonomous by getting rid of their chronic dependency syndrome. IHS Working

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Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)
IHS Working Papers
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)

Ayala Alemán, A. (2009). Community Organisations,
Integration of Barrios of Caracas:
The Case of the CAMEBA Upgrading Project (No. IHS WP 21). IHS Working Papers. Retrieved from