Abstract : Research and support approaches to development that involve the stakeholders are the subject of criticism, due to their overly superficial approach to social dynamics, and the difficulties they encounter when organizing sustainable change beyond a purely local scale. Their evaluators as well as the majority of practitioners reckon that the quality of their social outcomes depends mainly on the social and political context as well as on the human qualities of the moderators and local leaders. It then becomes difficult to justify the investment in an approach whose very practitioners recognize that the greater part of the conditions for its success lie in social factors over which they have little control. That is why it is important to develop a common framework for participatory approaches, taking into account their different understandings of stakeholders, objectives, forms and limits. This will lead to a more rigorous and pragmatic way to propose to development policies as well as research action proponents some clear and practical positioning of participation, face to the critical questionings. This paper propose thus a methodological avenue, tested with in several countries, to better elicit and manage the social constraints and objectives of a people centered approach.