There are a lot of buzzwordy ways to say it – participatory development, feedback loops, community led, and now Peace Corps has published a useful field book for their version of this, called PACA.
Participatory analysis for community action
Participatory Analysis for Community Action (PACA) is Peace Corps’ unique approach to appreciative, participatory, gender-sensitive, inclusive, sustainable development. PACA is how Peace Corps Volunteers “do development” and build capacity. Volunteers begin by facilitating relationships, followed by brainstorming with the people in the community. The typical project stuff – design, redesign, and implementation, happen at the end of the cycle.
These are some useful questions to ask before beginning a project.
PACA-Field-Guide-Viewing (local copy)