Malawi: Access to information by local communities vital for development projects, says activist

Author: John Mwebe, Medium blog , Published on: 23 May 2016

"In Malawi, Prioritize Community Access to Information for Real Development"

Have you ever thought about how you would react if a large-scale development project ever came to your community?...[A] fundamental necessity for any community is basic information about the project itself. What is the project? Where will it be? How will my family and the environment be affected? Ideally, a community’s priorities for development should lead any proposed development project. When this does not happen and the development project is designed without the participation of communities living nearby, the project can cause harm...

Access to project information is provided for in the policies of development financial institutions as a prerequisite for community participation...As a requirement, projects funded by development finance banks should have an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and, if people will be forced to move, a Resettlement Action Plan.

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