The ultimate decision-makers in CED and social economy are the people shut out by conventional economics. But that's no insurance against the narrow, short-term thinking that messes up communities in the first place. In this article, Carlos Gasca urges community-based organizations to embed sensible procedure and protocols in their decision-making, so that participatory democracy makes for results and not just appealing ideology.
"Over the past five years I have participated in three comprehensive community initiatives. These experiences allowed me to see what happens when participatory democracy is under no restraint: poor decision-making and ineffectiveness within community organizations; and a selection of leaders that are vocal but unable to manage community efforts. These unintended consequences interfered with the development of local stewardship and capacity, and thereby seriously limited the benefits that our community investments could create."