It is argued in this paper that a least certain strands of operational research (OR) carried out in less developed countries have intriguing similarities with community operational research. It follows that community OR, which is still short of accounts of actual practice, might learn from OR aimed at promoting the self-reliance of communities in developing countries. The paper starts with community operational research - its origin, nature, clientele, and methods. This is followed by a parallel discussion of the characteristics of operational research aligned with third-world community development. A final section explores the common themes between the two literatures and practices.
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