This paper describes outcomes of a 3-year participatory action research project which involved community-level decision making to choose between various technologies to supply domestic water to a tribal village. Six technology alternatives were considered, which were ranked by adopting the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). At each stage, starting from project identification to project synthesis, people's participation was sought in a true sense. This required design of novel strategies embedded in local culture, values, and language. The overall process yielded a participatory decision making method for a community, which would uphold people's involvement, a sense of ownership, and control at each step, which is required for the successful implementation and sustainable operation of the project.