The Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF), which began implementation in 1996, was proposed by the Government of Malawi as a quick-disbursing poverty alleviation facility that would be based on and respond to the needs and demands of the country's poor rural communities. The country's experience with self-help projects and programs to date had not been notably successful this project was intended to herald a paradigm shift in this respect. It was designed to promote a change in the way all development actors, including, and perhaps, especially, the government, would work with other stakeholders. Communities were required to contribute up to 20 percent of total sub-project costs, in the form of cash, or labor or materials. Participation was therefore a key factor in the designing of the project. The Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) component was primarily intended as a tool to generate support for and disseminate information about the project. However, it evolved and was shaped, as were the rest of the project and its actors, by the dynamics of project implementation.