Concepts of society and project planning

Willem H. van den Toorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

1 Citation (Scopus)


Basic to traditional planning is a centralist concept of society and political decision making, and resource allocation ought to be guided by an activity's comparative impact on collective welfare. This paper shows that these traditional premises do not stand up to critical analysis. Society should be viewed as an arena where multiple parties (subsystems) convene in pursuit of particular interests, in necessary interaction with each other. Participation therewith ceases to be a soft issue, and proves to be a basic ingredient in resource allocation. Tied in with the traditional planning premises is the notion that project selection is normally neutral vis-à-vis the availability of investment resources. In the concept of a multisystem society as opposed to a centralist society, nonneutrality in this respect or nonfungibility of investment resources becomes an important issue in project appraisal.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)225-232
JournalEvaluation and program planning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • IR-67960

Cite this