Participatory planning and decision-making has many positive benefits, and is one of the ‘solutions’ to problems in a diverse number of fields including, social and environmental health, democratic reform and Indigenous reconciliation. 

Participatory planning, community-based planning, participatory democracy, there are a number of similar practices that have emerged from a diverse range of fields. The International Institute for Environment and Development has adopted the term ‘Participatory Learning and Action’ as an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of participatory processes. “The common theme to them all is the full participation of people in the process of learning about their needs and opportunities and in the action required to address them.” (PLA 58)

In my research I would like to better understand the benefits of participatory planning to these fields and to others, to establish key principles that optimise beneficial outcomes, and to make recommendations for mainstreaming participatory planning and decision-making in Australia.

Advisors: Prof Karen Hussey, Dr Karen McNamara, Dr Katherine Daniell


Project members

Sarah De Vries


PhD candidate