Access to physical & social infrastructure is required for social development and is not obtained easily by either public action or private action alone. Over the years, policies in India regarding provision of social infrastructure have undergone many changes. In this process, government agencies are undergoing a change of role: from ?provider? to ?facilitator?. Role of the community & other stakeholders, in turn, have expanded significantly. This work explores the nature of participatory processes involved and in particular, the efficacy of community participation in developing community assets. It focuses on built-spaces related to school building infrastructure for elementary education in India. It analyses the impact on design layouts, geographical distribution in a region as an indicator of access and comparative achievement of quality of the assets in different contexts, viz., urbanization levels or existence of a strong opposition of ?Naxalism? to regular developmental efforts. The analyses and discussions presented should prove useful to regional development planners, policy makers, architects, social workers and researchers in social studies & allied disciplines.