The Power of Participation: Documenting and evaluating a community build project in Pongro Senchey, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
MORRIS, GRAYSON D.
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This thesis documents and evaluates a community build project with the residents of Pongro Senchey. The community is located in the urban periphery of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The central question of this thesis is, “How should this project be assessed for its effectiveness, and what larger lessons for community design-build efforts does it provide?”. This thesis identifies and reviews the immediate victories and challenges that were encountered. It also addresses impact assessments, participatory methods, facilitator behavior, and shifting power dynamics within the project partnership. Ultimately, this study faced the reality that evaluating the effectiveness of community build projects is a complicated endeavor, and that residents must be involved in every step of evaluation. It also became clear that a long-term relationship with the residents of Pongro Senchey is critical to the life of the project. This design-research thesis was pursued to inform best practices for future community build projects in Pongro Senchey. Suggestions for facilitation strategies as well as further evaluation methods are provided at the close of this report.