One of the challenges of participatory development and reconstruction programs is how and where to engage with power holders. This paper analyses the dynamics of power relations within a community-driven reconstruction program in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It shows that, in some circumstances, elite control can be a way of ensuring the provision of pubic goods and that conflict between elites can benefit project outcomes. The paper concludes that in this and similar contexts, development programs should consider bringing elites into the equation of governance and invest in understanding better the working and accountability of existing institutions for development.

Additional Metadata
Keywords community-driven reconstruction, power relations, public goods, elite influence, Democratic Republic of Congo
Persistent URL,
Journal World Development
Kyamusugulwa, P.M, & Hilhorst, D.J.M. (2015). Power Holders and Social Dynamics of Participatory Development and Reconstruction. World Development, 70(June), 249–259. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2015.02.002