The poor would serve on community action agency (caa) boards to develop community programs-a. maximum feasible participation was one of the most controversial aspects of the war on poverty. its intent was to involve clients - the poor- in the development of community programs. it was a fundamental shift in philosophy of having the programs developed for the poor by the middle class reformers. the argument was that the poor knew the most about their problems, involvement would encourage a sense of community, and there would be more acceptance of programs they developed themselves. cap boards challenged local government, which resulted in significant controversy for the program. daniel patrick moynihan, political scientist and later senator from new york, wrote a book on the subject titled maximum feasible misunderstanding.