The most notable growth in technology that is accessible to the general populace has been seen in the sector of communication technology in the form of telephones particularly cell phones, and computers. Communication across wide geographical disparities has been narrowed to create what has commonly been referred to as a global village. Community leaders can now post bulletins via any of the public media available like the radio, television or newspapers and expect feedback through Short Message Systems (SMS), emails, feedback forms on websites among others. Information gathered therein can be used to make important decisions that will affect the relative communities.
Balancing effective controls on decision making against rules and regulations designed to protect the core objectives of a project is a very difficult task. In order to succeed, a project must be continually active. In order to be continually active, decisions need to be made quickly and contributions need to be encouraged by avoiding long decision making process. An ideal situation is one where community consensus is achieved before making a contribution. However, in some instances, it can prove to be too difficult to gain consensus. In such cases the best approach would be for the potential contributors to notify the community of their intentions. For example, a bulletin similar to marriage bans may be posted stating “the local municipal council intends to do ABC, unless someone objects within two weeks, the project will proceed.” The biggest benefit of this approach is that in the absence of an objection, the council can assume it has achieved consensus. Community members with no objection or any input to the proposed action need not take any action. Only those who can either improve it or present grounds for stopping the whole activity will need to spend any time contributing or objecting to the proposal.
Community involvement in decision making removes the risk of slipping into despotism where community consensus is required. No contribution can be made without implicit approval of the community and consequently no member of the community can cry “foul” later.
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