Did the project fail? A community perspective on a participatory primary health care project in Ecuador

This article examines a UNICEF/Ministry of Health primary health care programme in Ecuador from a community perspective. It contributes to the debate concerning the way in which the relative `success' or `failure' of participatory projects is measured. It argues for evaluators to distinguish between the perceptions of the different actors involved, and to extend their enquiries beyond the actual lifespan of the project. It also provides lessons for the future by discussing the contribution the technical projects can make to capacity building and the empowerment of community-level organisations.