• It has become a cliché that potential beneficiaries will tell aid agencies whatever they understand to be the current ‘Open Sesame’ discourse that will open up the treasure trove. This received wisdom is handed down by generations of seasoned aid workers as a warning to inexperienced programme staff not to take at face value what they are told, for example, about the supplicants’ commitment – whether to principles such as gender equity, environmental conservation, and indigenous rights, or to ways of working such as transparency, democratic practices, and good governance. One could imagine ‘the locals’ providing similar briefings before being visited by an aid-agency representative: not to take too much notice of invasive questioning about ‘intra-household decision-making strategies’; to be careful not to tread on toes in any ‘wealth ranking’ exercise, which could have undesirable consequences; to go along with rituals and games, role plays and maps in the mud, timelines and activity charts, guided tours around the area, and so on, without giving away too much information. You never know where this information might end up, so it’s safer to work on the basis that if they don’t already know, it’s probably because they don’t need to.

    Certainly it has long been recognised in this journal that ‘participation’ can mask authoritarian practices on the part of external ‘change agents’ and also foster apparent compliance with the aid agenda on the part of the ‘participants’ (see, for example, Anacleti 1993; White 1996; Jackson 1997), while the more powerful players actually determine what constitutes knowledge.1  In this issue, John D. Cameron illustrates the subtle ways in which the ‘public performance’ of Andean communities involved in participatory budgeting differs from their backstage whispers; he helps to explain how they manage to ‘subvert’ the process in favour of  their own preferences for infrastructural projects – the bags of cement referred to in the article’s title. Lucy Earle considers the limitations of NGO interpretations of the ‘failed’ mobilisations by indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon, campaigning against the activities of extractive industries operating in their territories. In particular, she highlights the risks of romanticising what it means to be part of an indigenous community that must face a range of economic and political challenges to their identity and well-being. Norma Fuller addresses the political and ethical issues faced by anthropologists, who are often sought out by these same industries to interpret local realities and so smooth the way for the companies’ operations: how to avoid being co-opted by an agenda that local communities do not share. Elizabeth Rattine-Flaherty and Arvind Singhal also focus on the Peruvian Amazon in their description of the work of a local NGO which promotes gender equality and reproductive health, using a feminist participatory action–research approach to understanding the kinds of change that occur in the lives of the women involved. Turning to Colombia, Loramy Conradi Gerstbauer describes a Lutheran World Relief (LWR) programme which sought to form solidarity-based partnerships between peace-sanctuary churches in Colombia and congregations in the US Midwest. Two central themes emerge: that solidarity is based on mutual accountability; and that, if the voices of the South are not heard unless amplified via Northern NGOs, then the relationship could unintentionally create or deepen dependency. In exploring the valuable potential for partnership to contribute to peace-building work in the South when it is not mediated by funding from the North, the author makes a candid assessment of the pitfalls to be avoided.

    The theme of partnership is also picked up by Thomas Franklin, who emphasises the importance of acknowledging differences between the respective organisations, and the need for all parties to be clear about what it is that collaboration is intended to achieve, in order for reciprocity and mutual respect to flourish. Tina Wallace describes issues raised by civil-society organisations, and particularly those concerned with gender equity and the rights of women, regarding their virtual absence from the Paris Declaration on harmonising aid, and yet again from the progress meeting held in Accra in September 2008. Too many Northern NGOs, however, are opting to shore up rather than challenge a donor-defined development agenda, despite the fact that even some donor officials are beginning – albeit off the record – to acknowledge that the new architecture is simply not working. Ines Smyth reports on a recent congress on gender, climate change, and disaster-risk reduction (DRR) where evidence was tabled to show that climate change exacerbates existing gender inequality. Yet, once again, ‘the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) does not mention gender, and its decisions and mechanisms remain devoid of a gender perspective’. If the invisibility of gender issues at the highest levels is the outcome of some 15 years of gender mainstreaming, something is profoundly awry – and more of the same will simply not fix it.

    Climate change is expected to intensify and accelerate natural cycles such as the El Niño phenomenon, which affects the Indian Ocean, Australia, and Indonesia as well as the coastal regions of Peru and Ecuador. Predicting the onset of El Niño and taking precautionary measures to limit the damage caused is clearly of fundamental importance. Peter B. Urich, Liza Quirog, and William Granert describe a successful intervention in the island province of Bohol in the Philippines which built on adaptive community-based resource management, ensuring not only that information was communicated in a timely manner, but also that communities were able to assimilate and act on it.

    Two further contributions focus on Latin America. Jutta Gutberlet describes the many challenges faced by a network of waste-recycling co-operatives in São Paulo, ranging from their lack of working capital to the bureaucratic and logistical obstacles preventing their access to micro loans; their lack of organisational skills and experience; stigmatisation and police harassment; and the ubiquitous intermediaries who all want a cut. Worldwide, recycling performs an increasingly important social and environmental function, as well as generating employment, particularly for unskilled and semi-skilled workers. With the right support, collective recycling efforts can also increase people’s social skills, as well as providing a source of income; without this, it will remain a marginal activity undertaken by marginalised sectors. In the rural context, Ruerd Ruben, Ricardo Fort, and Guillermo Zúñiga-Arias assess the impact of Fair Trade on co-operatives of coffee and banana producers in Peru and Costa Rica. Some of the impacts are direct and tangible, in the form of increased earning potential; others are less immediate, such as increased organisational skills and, importantly, the ability to obtain credit and other inputs. At the same time, ever more plantations and multinationals are obtaining Fair Trade-like certification, and this is changing the configuration of the global market in relation to small producers. Finally, Katie Wright and Kasturi Sen report on a series of workshops held in various regions of the world to pool information and share concerns and analysis about the worrying effects of counter-terror legislation on civil-society organisations, and on the prospects for equitable development, both within countries and internationally.

    While many of the contributions in this issue focus on Latin America, the questions raised have resonance for those working in any geographical setting in which issues of polarisation are a daily reality (whether on economic, ethnic, or gender grounds, or because of other forms of discrimination), and where deep social divisions increase the prospect of armed conflict or repression, or have indeed already done so.

    Notes

    1. Mompati and Prinsen (2000: 630) illustrate the literal suppression of inconvenient knowledge during a PRA pilot project in which ‘one particular woman from a subordinate ethnic group spoke out loudly against the discriminatory practices of the dominant group. It was evident that she was breaking gender and ethnic rules by a serious intake of alcohol, but quite a number of the other participants were also quite inebriated. The

    kgosi

    quickly pointed at a policeman, who took the woman by the arm, lifted her off the ground, and brought her to the shade of a tree about 50 metres from the meeting place. Thereafter the meeting continued as though nothing had happened.’

    References

    Anacleti, Odhiambo (1993) ‘Research into local culture: implications for participatory development’, Development in Practice 3 (1): 44–7.

    Jackson, Cecile (1997) ‘Development work at the sharp end: field-worker agency in a participatory project’, Development in Practice 7 (3): 237–47.

    Mompati, Tlamelo and Gerard Prinsen (2000) ‘Ethnicity and participatory development methods in Botswana: some participants are to be seen and not heard’, Development in Practice 10 (5): 625–37.

    White, Sarah C. (1996) ‘Depoliticising development: the uses and abuses of participation’, Development in Practice 6 (1): 6–15.

  • Reflecting on observations of participatory budget schemes in the Andean region of South America, this article argues that the statements and behaviour of those who take part in participatory budget meetings should be understood as a form of public performance which often differs significantly from the ‘backstage discourses’ of participants once they are no longer performing in public.

    Most importantly, the widespread prioritisation of small-scale infrastructure projects that involve large volumes of cement highlights the ways in which the participants in participatory budget meetings quietly but strategically adapt external schemes and policies to their own goals and strategies.

  • This article examines the nature of social protest undertaken by an Amazonian indigenous organisation against international energy companies working in Peru. It analyses the response of Peruvian and international NGOs to the indigenous group’s activities and challenges certain stereotypes concerning the nature of indigenous collective action and perceptions of community. In particular, it focuses on the way in which NGO workers attempt to explain the failure of the indigenous organisation to mobilise and sustain collective protest. The paper highlights the dissonance between romanticisation of indigeneity and the lived reality of the indigenous group. It advocates the use of anthropological studies and social movement theory to explore the limits to indigenous mobilisation and suggests their use for more sensitive planning of initiatives with indigenous groups. As demand for oil and gas grows across the globe, and governments in developing countries seek to increase revenues from lucrative extractive industries, clashes between indigenous groups and energy companies are likely to increase. The need for sensitive engagement between NGOs and indigenous groups is therefore of the utmost importance.

  • In 2003, Lutheran World Relief (LWR), an international relief and development NGO, began a peacebuilding initiative in Colombia. They facilitated the formation of a partnership between peace sanctuary churches in Colombia and six communities of faith in the US Midwest, coordinated by LWR staff. This partnership, called Sal y Luz (salt and light) has the goal of education and advocacy both in Colombia and in the USA. Sal y Luz represents a powerful example of transnational solidarity for peace. There are also implications and lessons of this case study for the broader field of NGO peacebuilding work. The Sal y Luz model of peacebuilding brings benefits in terms of NGO accountability and effectiveness in peacebuilding. The key innovation of the model is how LWR effectively helped their US constituency understand and become involved in peacebuilding work.

  • This article analyses the social change practices of Minga Perú, an NGO in the Peruvian Amazon that promotes gender equality and reproductive health through radio broadcasts and community-based interventions. This analysis, grounded in participatory research methods, reveals a feminist and gender-equitable approach, allowing participants to take the role of leader rather than of passive research subject. Further, such participatory research methods helped empower both individuals and their communities in the Peruvian Amazon, encouraging the development of more productive group dynamics and leadership.

  • Lack of working capital hinders collective commercialisation of recyclables. Social exclusion and bureaucratic constraints prevent recyclers from accessing official bank loans. As they continue to depend on intermediaries, the cycle of poverty, dependency, and exclusion is perpetuated. The article discusses collective commercialisation and the micro-credit fund created among 30 recycling groups in the Brazilian city of São Paulo. A committee of eight women recyclers manages this fund. The article contextualises reflections on empowerment and community-based development, applying the theoretical framework of social and solidarity economy. The author finally suggests that inclusive governance structures have the potential to generate greater justice and sustainability.

  • This article discusses the ethical challenges posed to anthropologists working as experts in mining companies and in tourism and alternative solutions that are coherent with the ethical principles of their discipline.

  • A workshop was convened in February 2008 to identify the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the post-Paris Declaration aid agenda, prior to the High-Level Forum to review progress towards achieving aid harmonisation held in Accra in September 2008. The article highlights the many concerns about the focus on the mechanisms rather than the purpose or impacts of aid; the ways in which donors force through their own agendas; and the continuing gap between rhetoric and practice on issues such as gender equity and local ownership.

  • Experience from adaptive and community-based resource management suggests that building resilience into both human and ecological systems is an effective way to cope with environmental change. El Niño phenomena are increasingly signaled in advance of their onset. We argue that it is beneficial to heed warnings of potential harm and to intervene in society to possibly avert extreme negative ecological and social impacts which can trigger socio-political stress and widespread human suffering. The El Niño of 2004 in the island province of Bohol in the Philippines is used as an example of a successful intervention.

  • This study on the impact of fair trade relies on new field data from coffee and banana cooperatives in Peru and Costa Rica, including a detailed assessment of its welfare effects by comparing FT farmers with non-FT farmers as a benchmark. Attention is focused on three major effects: (a) direct tangible impact of FT arrangements on the income, welfare, and livelihoods of rural households; (b) indirect effects of fair trade for improving credit access, capital stocks, investments, and attitudes to risk; and (c) institutional implications of fair trade for farmers’ organisations and externalities for local and regional employment, bargaining, and trading conditions. Although direct net income effects remain fairly modest, important benefits are found to include capitalising farmers and strengthening their organisations.

  • Partnerships can achieve results but they do not develop smoothly.  Members must explore their differences before they can perform well together.  Some agencies look inwards at their own priorities and expect their partners to follow them.  This leads to a blend of cooperation and competition.  Other organisations turn outwards and look for partners who can contribute to shared results.  They see themselves as others seen them.  They do not look back to make sure that others are following.  This leads to a blend of mutual respoect and reciprocity which is as important for successs as finely honed memoranda of understanding.

  • The effects of counter-terrorism legislation on civil society organisations (CSOs) based in the South have received little attention in the wider literature. This article reports on the findings of a series of international workshops to examine the effects of such legislation held in Lebanon, the Kyrgyz Republic, India, the Netherlands, the UK, and the USA. The evidence presented at these workshops suggests that counter-terror legislation is undermining the work of civil society in complex and interrelated ways.

  • The Gender in Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Congress held in Manila 19–22 October 2008) was the Third Global Congress of Women in Politics and Governance. Its purpose was to provide a forum for decision makers to formulate gender-responsive programmes related to gender in climate change and disaster risk reduction (DRR). Over 200 people participated, including parliamentarians, representatives of environmental and women’s organisations, and donor agencies. Proceedings focused on the fact that climate change magnifies existing inequalities, in particular and gender inequality. The Congress issued the Manila Declaration for Global Action on Gender, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction.

  • Communication and its role in development and social change is still poorly understood and supported by large development players, despite decades of innovative practice and positive outcomes. Gaps between discourse and action, outdated evaluation methods, short timeframes, red tape, and power relations, combined with vertical and externally-driven communication models, and confusion between information and communication, all prevent development donors from giving support to participatory and community owned and managed communication initiatives. On the basis of decades of experience and observation, four key recommendations are made for transforming the communication profession both in higher education and in donor and development agencies.

  • While there is a near unanimity on the need for participation, there is as yet no such agreement on the type and degree of participation to be adopted in projects. One thing that has never been doubted is the fact that local people have not been accorded their rightful recognition and respect by most intervention agencies, hence the failure of some projects. So, how does a project that seeks to address issues of citizenship, participation, and accountability using a variety of participatory methodologies fare, especially against the backdrop of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and politically complex society like Nigeria? This paper examines the use of these methodologies, highlighting issues drawn out, and the successes and limitations of the findings for future research. Effective as the methods appeared to be, there were many questions and issues unanswered beyond the immediate mandate of the project, which beg for attention in order for the communities to move towards genuine development and stop open display of sometimes misplaced aggression.

  • This article makes a case for using participatory communication in research. It introduces participatory communication as a citizen-led approach to both creating and expressing knowledge; within research this means that researchers are not simply responsible for generating information and communicating about it, neither are they acting alone. From this perspective the emphasis of participatory communication is on communicating rather than extracting or delivering information. Participatory methods can communicate research findings in new ways and add depth and meaning to articulations of knowledge. This knowledge can easily get ‘lost in translation’ when findings are synthesised or communicated though conventional research outputs alone.

  • In spite of its long history on different countries, ‘citizens communication for social change’ is little known in Spanish academic and social institutions, so few communication professionals know how to address and undertake in-depth planning of communication for development. Since the 1990s, there is still a growing need to build truly participative communication in Spanish society. This article describes the main reasons for this widespread ignorance and offers a small ‘cartography’ of the field in order to advance towards a full recognition of the sector in Spain.

  • Social movements have generated interest in development circles since the mid-1990s as relatively independent expressions of civil society, mobilising people to set their own development priorities and agendas for issues as diverse as water privatisation, neo-liberal trade policies, the rights of women and indigenous peoples, and access to HIV anti-retroviral treatment. In the case of HIV and AIDS, independent civil-society initiative has been key to successful responses. Social movements of people living with HIV and AIDS, gay men, women, sex workers, and people who inject drugs have developed innovative institutions and responses to HIV and AIDS, and organised against stigma and discrimination. By bringing people together and advocating effectively, social movements have amplified voices of people most affected by HIV, enabling them to influence governments and decision makers.

  • Among processes towards democratisation, it has been asserted that alternative radio has a central role in the citizen making of the poor. However, it is important to analyse in detail what possibilities an alternative or citizens’ radio has to strengthen ideas of citizenship and transform the public space into a critical and deliberative public in urban sites. This paper focuses on one local Catholic radio station in Huaycan, a shantytown in the outskirts of Lima. It describes the radio’s journalistic work, showing examples of how they mobilise local leaders and monitor democratic processes, such as municipal elections and the district’s participatory budget. In addition, it shows how the public uses the radio to channel their claims. It also identifies the factors that prevent the radio from fully empowering the public and transforming public space into a more critical and democratic one.

  • This paper seeks to understand the restrictions media actors face in their day-to-day work in Acholiland, northern Uganda, and identify the strategies they adopt to maintain a space for dialogue and debate. Two case studies reveal that it is difficult to see how media actors in this conflict environment can play a significant role in holding the ruling government to account and promoting peace building when they are facing repressive media laws, intimidation, a lack of information, and weak managerial support. This paper calls for policies to support the daily struggles of media actors, such as the adoption of the African Peer Review Mechanism – an instrument used for self-monitoring by participant countries of New Partnership for Africa’s Development. Thus, the investigation turns away from questions of censorship to investigating what can be done to support the daily struggles of media actors who are constantly negotiating their way through a labyrinth of restrictions.

  • Community media represent a crucial input in development processes, playing an important role in democratisation, social struggles, and awareness raising. But they often face difficulties on the financial and legal levels due to the constraints created by national media laws. This paper shows the link between community communication and human development. It provides suggestions for development advocates and communities regarding advocacy for a policy environment supportive of community media. It reflects on the licensing process and financial sustainability of the projects. In demonstrating how practically media policy can be reshaped to meet civil society needs, two case studies are considered: the UK, where the communication regulator has opened a process to license community radios; and Brazil, where thousands of ‘illegal’ community stations are facing repression, but where the regulator has inaugurated a consultation process with practitioners.

  • Mobile cellular phones have already been used widely around the world for activism, social and economic development, and new cultural and communicative forms. Despite this widespread use of mobile phones, they remain a relatively un-theorised and un-discussed phenomenon in community and citizen’s media. This paper considers how mobile phones have been taken up by citizens to create new forms of expression and power. The specific focus is the use of mobile phones in community development, with examples including the Grameenphone, agriculture and markets, the Filipino diasporic community, HIV/AIDS healthcare, and mobile phones in activism and as media. It is argued that mobile phones form a contact zone between traditional concepts of community and citizen media, on the one hand, and emerging movements in citizenship, democracy, governance, and development, on the other hand

  • This article uses the example of a mobile mixed-media platform – a converted three-wheeled auto-rickshaw – in Sri Lanka in order to explore whether and how content-creation activities can enable marginalised communities to have a voice. It draws upon research into participatory content-creation activities conducted in 15 locations across India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The main findings are: the need to pay attention to context when thinking about what might be locally appropriate, relevant, and beneficial in terms of participatory content creation; the benefits that can be gained from creatively reaching out to and engaging marginalised groups and encouraging a diversity of voices; the usefulness of locally produced content for generating local debate around local issues; and the benefits of encouraging participation at all stages of content creation, so that content is locally meaningful and might lead to positive social change.

  • The synergies created through the careful application of both organic and symbolic communication demonstrably reach those most vulnerable to the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS. The Clown Project uses labour-intensive face-to-face street theatre and dialogue, participatory workshops, and symbolic communication such as print-based materials. Some lessons learned in selected communities in Guatemala and other countries in Central America are shared. The paper puts forward an argument in favour of careful and critical analysis of culture in formulating communication strategies with and for specific groups. This analysis takes into account relations of power within and between vulnerable groups, examining the centre–periphery dynamic between classes, genders, ethnicities, age groups, and other social identities. Both appropriately supported insider perspectives and appropriately processed outsider knowledge are recommended, along with ways of bridging science and the field, theory and practice.

  • Citizens’ media and communication are still poorly understood in the mainstream of development policy and practice – and are prone to simplistic forms of implementation, because of the lack of a coherent grasp of the social, cultural, and political processes that make them transformative. Introducing the articles in this guest issue, the authors find that citizens’ media is about more than bringing diverse voices into pluralist politics: it contributes to processes of social and cultural construction, redefining norms and power relations that exclude people. Local ownership and control of their own media can allow people to reshape the spaces in which their voices find expression.

  • Given the centrality of communication to society, who ‘owns’ the media, who gets to speak on behalf of whom, and to what end are critical issues. The regression of ‘mainstream’ media from ‘watchdogs’ of democracies to business ventures resulting in Habermasian ‘refeudalisation of the public sphere’ is worrying. Community media re-engage communities on the periphery, opening possibilities for social change. The dominance of mainstream players in media governance, complicated by sustainability concerns of grassroots enterprises, result in legislation that impedes the potentiality of community media access and participation – as mapped in this paper with the case of community radio struggle in India.

  • The communication practices of three US anti-poverty groups in the San Francisco Bay Area – Coalition on Homelessness, Poor News Network, and Media Alliance – are discussed whose communication strategies work for the recognition and rights of low-income and homeless people, and for policies to better redistribute economic and communications resources. In the wake of media closures in the local public sphere, and major restructuring of social welfare programmes, these groups’ creative and engaged communication strategies empower poor people and support the building of counter-public spheres working in interaction with, and as alternatives to, dominant media spheres.

  • The radio can help to stimulate better governance. However, state-run broadcasting organisations in the South are usually ill-prepared for their public-service role in new democracies. They are often poorly funded compared to their new, commercial rivals and often still bound by the same ‘rules of the game’ that governed them prior to the democratic era. Broadcasters typically remain accountable to government and not to their listeners, and promote the interests and agendas of the political elite. This paper focuses on the experiences of DFID support to a radio programme in northern Nigeria that sought to improve communication and debate between the government and the electorate. It argues that there are legitimate circumstances for development partners to engage with state-controlled media outlets, not least in rural areas where commercial broadcasters lack the financial incentive to establish stations and provide programming that has relevance to the poor. The authors critically examine the lessons learned from DFID’s support and identify measures that could assist similar initiatives in the future

  • The article examines the notion of development as self-determination in the context of current politicisation of indigenous peoples’ affairs. It looks at the links between development studies, indigenous social movements, and community media practices; and more specifically between specific views on development, self-determination, and identity, and how these terms become embodied in specific media-making (video) practices. The article summarises two case studies of indigenous media production in a transnational context: the UNESCO-funded project Information and Communications Technologies for Intercultural Dialogue: Developing Communication Capacities of Indigenous People (ICT4ID), and the emergence and consolidation of CLACPI, a network of indigenous media producers in Latin America.

  • An Action Learning process integrated with Sen’s Capability Approach can support development agencies to formulate interventions that enhance freedom. The authors show that putting this approach into practice has important implications for the manner in which ‘development’ is undertaken as an ideological project. It may help to examine and challenge those who hold power in development—the guardians. This finding is the result of an emergent Action Learning process that was initiated by applying Sen’s principles to focus-group interviews with women who care for people affected by HIV and AIDS. One of the findings of these focus groups was that the participants valued the process because it opened a space for them to influence the work of the implementing NGO. Essentially, they could hold the implementing agency to account. Reflection on this outcome by the agency led to important shifts in processes that are more supportive of freedom.

  • This article examines the changing status of villagers’ knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes towards gender roles and gender relations over time. Data were collected from eastern part of Bangladesh through survey and in-depth interviews. Findings show that knowledge about discrimination, empowerment, violence against women, and marital issues increased remarkably and attitudes on those issues including general perceptions towards men and women changed positively but not change much as expected. Traditional patriarchal norms, values, culture, and social structures still were recognised as barrier to gender equality.

  • This article presents results of a quantitative/qualitative enquiry into ‘transformative learning’ and ‘mind-change’ dynamics among rural community representatives participating in the Government of Afghanistan’s National Solidarity Programme [NSP]: a community-driven, nationwide initiative to rehabilitate the country’s infrastructure. Drawing on frameworks for ‘transformative learning’ proposed by Mezirow (1990) and Freire (1993), and ‘mind-change’ proposed by Gardner (2004), it is argued that NSP catalysed transformative development learning through (1) its responsiveness to the expressed needs and interests of project participants; (2) engagement of community representatives as active development partners; (3) delegation of project management responsibility throughout all stages; (4) provision of social space for reflection and critical analysis; (5) opportunities to achieve project outcomes that are meaningful, attractive, and profitable; and (6) programme features compatible with the social and cultural realities of rural Afghanistan.

  • This article examines the impact of NGO professionalisation on who works in NGOs and why. Based on an in-depth survey of employees in 20 advocacy NGOs in Jordan, it demonstrates the gendered impact of professionalisation. The majority of NGO employees are highly educated women, often Western educated, who work in NGOs primarily for career opportunities and because they are drawn by the NGO's goals. In contrast to existing literature, this article argues that gender considerations, such as job flexibility to accommodate household duties, play less of a role in determining why women seek work in NGOs and their job satisfaction.

  • This ethnographic case study addresses the question of how women in Jopadhola patriarchal society in Eastern Uganda remember three decades of civil war and violence and survived its aftermath. When the war ended, little changed for these women, who are still exposed to a continuum of gender-based violence and continue to use the same tactics that, during the war, enabled them to somehow live with their suffering. The Mifumi Project, an indigenous NGO founded by one of the women whose life history was recorded for this article, has started to assist Jopadhola women to improve the quality of their present-day lives. By rebuilding their human and social capital, this NGO is also creating the space for women to heal their war memories.

  • This article looks at the experience of privatised urban water supply and sewerage services in Turkey, focusing on the case of three cities that have opted for such privatisation. The article opens with an examination of the management of urban water and sewerage services in Turkey, and explores the development of water services and water policies in local government institutions. The second section introduces case studies of cities that have transferred the management, operation, and maintenance of urban water services to private operators.

  • This article highlights lessons learned from field research and related analysis, to address three fundamental aspects of development that are often overlooked: culture and governance, inclusive development, and market-based approaches. All three cases address issues of poverty and inequality. In addition, the critical role of institutions in governance and development is also highlighted. Finally, by bridging the gap between culture, economy, and society through these approaches, better and more effective development policies and programmes can be formulated and implemented.

  • This is a case study of an integral local development project combining elements of agro-ecology, fair trade and risk-conservative finance operated in partnership between a grassroots and promoter organization. We conclude that insurance is a key element in the transition from a traditional rural household economic unit to a family enterprise. We reflect on the need for, and limits of development projects to meet the complexity of structural poverty. The text concludes with an exhortation to value experimentation in development practice, with ethical responsibility, and in terms that can be shared in the larger public arena.

  • This article outlines a comprehensive approach to facilitating the transfer of research into practice. It encompasses three main issues of importance: activities should be seen as part of a long-term endeavour rather than isolated one-off events; there are many audiences which may make use of the research findings in various ways; and there are many modes in which the process can be facilitated.

  • Understanding local variability in context and mobilising local participation to define development agendas are widely accepted development strategies. There remain, hoUnderstanding local variability in context and mobilising local participation to define development agendas are widely accepted development strategies. There remain, however, significant challenges to the systematic and effective inclusion of local communities and households. Projeto MAPLAN, a pilot project in Ceara, Brazil, is a joint effort of the public sector and civil society designed to create a process of participatory development planning which integrates local-level contextual variations. In this effort, the use of a Participatory Geographic Information System (PGIS) stimulates the participation of community members in analysing their needs, goals, and priorities. The visualisation of these factors through easily understood maps facilitates communication and contributes to a democratic and transparent planning process, thus permitting the articulation of local priorities with the state-level planning apparatus. MAPLAN represents part of a shifting paradigm for rural development planning in the state and provides the tools for the effective inclusion of citizen voice in development policywever, significant challenges to the systematic and effective inclusion of local communities and households. Projeto MAPLAN, a pilot project in Cear

  • The Tibet Poverty Alleviation Fund (TPAF) has been working in the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China since 1998 to increase the income and assets of rural Tibetans. From the beginning TPAF recognised that high morbidity and mortality were a constraint on efforts of rural Tibetans to improve livelihoods. Early interventions to train township doctors and midwives were not sustainable. In 2005, in partnership with local health authorities, TPAF launched a Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) strategy to build villagers’ capacity to improve health and hygiene practices and to make informed choices about using Government primary and preventive health services. Results from counties and townships in three Prefectures are preliminary but show significant changes in health knowledge and practice and growing links between village needs and Government services. Next steps include strengthening implementation and institutionalising Government support to extending and supporting the approach.

  • This article reviews experiences of implementing empowerment interventions in Tanzania. Data are based on field visits to programmes, projects, and organisations involved in implementing empowerment interventions in various regions in the country. These visits involved key informant interviews, sample surveys, and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with farmers. The review highlights the perceptions of empowerment at project staff and practioner/beneficiary levels, as well as the approaches used by various organisations/projects in implementing empowerment activities. Furthermore, the article discusses the factors perceived to lead to empowerment as well as its consequences.

  • Huge amounts are being invested in information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phones and their telecommunications infrastructure. Development agencies provide a conventional view on the ‘climate’ needed to encourage such investment; particularly that good governance and security are required. We question this conventional view with a study of mobile telecommunications in three insecure states that score very badly in the Worldwide Governance Indicators. Data are limited but suggest insecurity and ‘bad governance’ may not be the barriers to investment that are normally supposed. Indeed, it is possible—at least for this type of digital technology—that they may encourage investment.

  • On 29 August 2008, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) co-organised a one-day seminar entitled ‘World Heritage and Public Works: Development Cooperation for Poverty Alleviation’, held at the United Nations University in Tokyo. The seminar focused on the role of World Heritage Sites in development and poverty alleviation, balancing public works that sustain community life and preservation of World Heritage properties, and the role of development cooperation – especially international finance organisations – in culture and development projects.

  • This article reports on the tenth anniversary conference of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), drawing attention to the irony that just as progress is being made on the situation of home workers (among the least protected of all working people) the two organisations that have done so much to raise awareness of these issues themselves face closure for lack of funding.

  • In English only

  • This article examines the semantic evolution of the term Community Development (CD) in the latter twentieth century. It is argued that CD has acquired different meanings, theoretical grounding, and practical application starting with a focus on traditional societies up to the 1960s, social and/or civil rights movements up to 1980s, and the modern middle class from the 1990s. The thrust of argument is that the concept is not cohesive and unified but represents a repertoire of meanings that encompass many shades of CD that are not necessarily mutually compatible but reflect the particular political and social practices in the contexts in which they occur.

  • Concerns about gender equity have been at the fore of discussions and analysis of NGO interventions and action since the 1970s. Gender equity, defined as equal rights to access, opportunity, and participation for men and women, has always been a distinctive feature in the programmes of Gram Vikas, a leading NGO in the Indian state of Orissa. Conscious efforts to identify and address these issues began in the mid-1980s. Several specific initiatives have been made to create a level playing field between women and men in the village communities where Gram Vikas works, and within the organisation. There have been resistances and challenges to several of these interventions, and while some of them have embedded themselves to create lasting impact, others have had only limited effect.

  • This article discusses the process of transforming partnership from a conceptual framework into a practical, operational framework for field-level interaction among humanitarian organisations. The authors approach this transformation from the perspective of the core values of the partnership concept and the ability of field workers to behave in ways that are consistent with these core values, illustrated by an empirical study of the relationships between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and NGOs in a refuge-assistance programme in northern Uganda. The authors connect inter-organisational structures with the role of people charged with making partnership work, concluding that the structures and context in which individuals operate make it impossible for them to ‘act out’ the core values of partnership. By identifying the major challenges to creating field-level, operational partnerships, the authors offer lessons for current and future partnership-building initiatives, such as the Global Humanitarian Platform.

  • The article offers a reflective analysis of various problems encountered and lessons learned in implementing a programme to improve the livelihood security of the urban poor in Bangladesh. The study is based on the author’s involvement as an external action-research partner and a review of the literature. The key lessons for success are identified as (i) a clear understanding by all staff of the links between project activities and project objectives; (ii) building staff capacity that is tailored to their needs; (iii) clear targeting criteria and programme coverage; (iv) having all the necessary operational guidelines, workplans, and M&E design before implementation; (v) ensuring ‘partnership of organisations’ not ‘partnership of activities’; (vi) ensuring the real involvement of beneficiaries in all aspects of the project; (vii) staff ‘empowerment’ and a ‘flexible approach’ to operations is more rewarding; (viii) conducting routine reflections on project progress, and finally (ix) being sufficiently bold to make necessary strategic changes even if this means deviating from pre-set activities and hypothetical schedules laid down in the project proposals.

  • Crop genetic diversity and poverty are linked: first, resource-poor farmers often maintain genetic diversity; and second, crop diversity, when properly valued by the market, has the potential to alleviate poverty. This article examines this supposition based on three case studies of the intersection of the market with poverty and maize diversity in Mexico. These cases suggest that the bulk market for maize offers little room for maize landraces (local maize varieties known as criollo maize), in that it does not reward qualitative variation in maize grain, and instead presents incentives that make planting ‘improved’ maize germplasm the rational economic choice for small-scale farmers. Meanwhile, attempts to add value to maize landraces via market differentiation have had varying success. Although there is potential for differentiated markets to contribute to successful business models and poverty alleviation, these cases exhibit tradeoffs between product consistency, investment of labour and resources, and genetic diversity conservation.

  • This article reports on research into the impacts of micro-finance on gender roles, the extent to which socio-cultural factors influence these changes, and how such changes affect the well-being of rural Bogoso households in the Wassa West District of Ghana. Findings indicated that micro-finance has changed men’s and women’s control over decisions and resource allocations, which consequently affected financial responsibilities and education of children, and largely contributed to household well-being. However, the small size of the loans was a limitation. The article concludes that socio-cultural factors may promote or inhibit well-being in rural households, and that micro-finance is not a sufficient tool in itself to promote women’s and household’s well-being. It is recommended that if rural people’s well-being matters, collaborative efforts in the appraisal, monitoring and evaluation of micro-finance initiatives, with the government providing leadership, are imperative.

  • A variety of interventions to mitigate the increasing impact of the HIV and AIDS epidemic on smallholder agricultural production and food security are currently implemented in sub-Saharan Africa. However, documentation and dissemination of such interventions is limited and patchy. Building on emerging experiences from the field, this article seeks to move beyond charting the impacts of HIV and AIDS on rural livelihoods and to review existing mitigation policies and programmes, identify the challenges to mitigation, and provide suggestions for future mitigation strategies and policy priorities. The experiences cited in the article are mainly drawn from the hardest hit Southern and Eastern African regions, but these provide useful lessons for AIDS-affected rural communities in other contexts. The main conclusion is that, as current initiatives are to a large extent ad hoc and localised, there is a need for documentation, dissemination, and scaling up of existing interventions, as well as greater coherence and coordination in policies and programmes to extend their reach and make the most of limited resources.

  • This article examines the role of free-trade agreements that integrate profoundly asymmetrical economies in simultaneously benefiting the more powerful nation and exacerbating inequalities within and between the countries involved. The latest in a series of such agreements in the Americas, the Dominican Republic and Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) opens up the economies of these small nations to US investment and exports, as multinational companies are able take advantage of lower production costs and weak labour legislation. In the global economy, South–South trade agreements offer a far better alternative for countries with weak institutions and little economic or political leverage.

  • Adequate pricing of environmental goods is essential for the sustainable management of natural resources. It is not easy, however, to place a value on natural resources as the excludability problem makes it difficult to protect natural resources from unpaid use and to exercise property rights over them. This article discusses the achievements and limitations of current natural resource policies from the perspective of view of efficiency and equity. It argues that a trust fund operating via market-based transactions is a promising approach to help achieve simultaneously the goals of efficiency, sustainability, and poverty reduction, provided that property rights over the environmental resources are distributed fairly within current generations as well as between present and future generations.

  • In recent years understanding of poverty and of ways in which people escape from or fall into poverty has become more holistic. This should improve the capabilities of policy analysts and others working to reduce poverty, but it also makes analysis more complex. This article describes a simple schema which integrates multidimensional, multilevel, and dynamic understandings of poverty, of poor people’s livelihoods, and of changing roles of agricultural systems. The article suggests three broad types of strategy pursued by poor people: ‘hanging in’; ‘stepping up’; and ‘stepping out’. This simple schema explicitly recognises the dynamic aspirations of poor people; diversity among them; and livelihood diversification. It also brings together aspirations of poor people with wider sectoral, inter-sectoral, and macro-economic questions about policies necessary for realisation of those aspirations.

  • The development of a cadastral system for the Republic of Guatemala was one of the priorities of the 1997 Peace Accord that ended 30 years of civil war. While uncertainty of land ownership and land title are contentious issues, the development of a national cadastre, equitable land distribution, and land tenancy are viewed as key to maintaining peace in Guatemala. This article addresses the most significant barriers to developing a National Land Information System used to support cadastral reform. Findings from interviews with government agencies indicate that while technical improvements can be readily implemented, social factors associated with NGO and government interaction, diffusion of equitable government policy towards land rights, and the costs of the land-registration process seriously hinder the completion of the cadastral process. These findings are discussed in light of international aid and development policy.

  • In recent years understanding of poverty and of ways in which people escape from or fall into poverty has become more holistic. This should improve the capabilities of policy analysts and others working to reduce poverty, but it also makes analysis more complex. This article describes a simple schema which integrates multidimensional, multilevel, and dynamic understandings of poverty, of poor people’s livelihoods, and of changing roles of agricultural systems. The article suggests three broad types of strategy pursued by poor people: ‘hanging in’; ‘stepping up’; and ‘stepping out’. This simple schema explicitly recognises the dynamic aspirations of poor people; diversity among them; and livelihood diversification. It also brings together aspirations of poor people with wider sectoral, inter-sectoral, and macro-economic questions about policies necessary for realisation of those aspirations.

  • In English only

  • This article challenges the terms on which donor agencies evaluate development success, drawing on a particular case to make its point. It describes the resettlement of 60,000 people squatting along the railway tracks in Mumbai, a process planned and carried out by a federation of the railway dwellers themselves, with support from the NGO SPARC (the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres). The article argues that this effort, which met donor criteria for a successful project, was the tip of an iceberg. Without an appreciation of the years of learning and innovation that preceded it, and the underpinning of principles and relationships built up over many years, this achievement cannot be adequately assessed or understood - and certainly not replicated. Yet in the world of formal assessment and evaluation, there tends to be a lack of interest in the deeper learning about social change that makes such success stories possible.

  • All over Gaya District in Bihar, irrespective of a person's caste or economic status, irrigation is the overriding topic of concern on public platforms and in private conversations. In the absence of adequate government action, different kinds of community endeavour are emerging to answer the need, some supported by radical political movements, others by organisations of a religious persuasion, and still others primarily by prominent local citizens.

  • Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) has been adopted in many countries to help disabled people. This article analyses the interplay between CBR and the self-alienation of physically disabled women from their communities. In-depth interviews with 40 women with physical disabilities in northern Thailand found that CBR was barely capable of enabling women with physical disabilities to realise their sense of self within their community, because in itself CBR was unable to change the community's false impression of disability. Despite participating in CBR programmes, the self-alienation of physically disabled women from their community remained; the authors argue that this was due to the heavy reliance of CBR on medical practice, ignoring gender as a major contributing factor. In addition, CBR field workers obviously failed to grasp the magnitude of social models in disability rehabilitation.

  • This article analyses in detail the impact and effectiveness of peer-education projects implemented in Cambodia under the Reproductive Health Initiative for Asia (RHI), in an attempt to provide important lessons for the design and implementation of such interventions and to contribute to the development of best practice. Under RHI, which was the first programme in Cambodia designed specifically to address the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people, peer education was implemented as if it were a directly transferable method, rather than a process to be rooted in specific social and political contexts. Consequently, peer-education concepts of empowerment and participation conflicted with hierarchical traditions and local power relations concerning gender and poverty; peer educators were trained to deliver messages developed by adults; and interventions were not designed to reflect the social dynamics of youth peer groups.

  • Engaging with and assisting marginalised communities remains a major challenge for governments of developing countries, as many national development strategies tend in practice to further marginalise chronically poor communities. Development aid strategies, including poverty-reduction initiatives, have focused primarily on economic development. As a result they have contributed to the erosion of the asset base of these communities, and in particular their access to natural resources. While questioning the impact of aid arrangements on the poorest and most vulnerable communities in society, this article recognises that current aid arrangements, such as national poverty-reduction strategies, have created an environment in which chronic poverty can be addressed by national governments and other stakeholders. The authors emphasise the need for greater sensitivity in the processes of planning and managing national development strategies that seek to reduce poverty, as well as a commitment to institutional arrangements that include marginalised groups in the country's political economy.

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  • The World Bank and IMF have proposed the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) framework for all poor countries as a condition of receiving unconditional debt relief under the HIPC Initiative. The PRSPs will also be the key vehicle for the World Bank and IMF and other donors for various assistance packages, including loans. Like its predecessors, the PRSP framework promotes the ideas of 'participation' and 'ownership'. This article argues that ownership of such a grand framework cannot possibly rest with the poor countries or their people if the whole idea is the product of World Bank and IMF think-tanks. It discusses participation in the development of Bangladesh's PRSP and argues that neither participation nor ownership was the target in preparing a national poverty-reduction strategy: they were merely necessary components of a document required for the continuation of debt and lending relationships with the World Bank and IMF.

  • This article examines the inadequate delivery of social services by city governments in Nigeria. It identifies three problems: lack of transparency and accountability in governance; under-qualified staff and administration; and the tenuous relationship (an 'us' versus 'them' dichotomy) between the urban residents and local governments. It can no longer be argued that lack of funds is the key constraint.

  • Good governance is essential for sustaining economic transformation in developing countries. However, many developing countries currently lack the capacity, as opposed to the will, to achieve and then sustain a climate of good governance. This article addresses, from a practitioner's field perspective, the fundamental objectives, principles, and key areas that need to be addressed for developing capacity for good governance. These frameworks are now beginning to be recognised, as both governments and donor institutions attempt to take advantage of the current demand and opportunities for addressing governance deficits. In pursuing capacity development for good governance, developing countries must ensure that such initiatives are comprehensively designed to be simultaneously related to change and transformation at the individual, institutional, and societal levels and to be owned and controlled locally.

  • Much internal migration in India, including the states of Rajasthan and Orissa, is distress-led. Previously issues pertaining to gender were overlooked, because migration tended to be viewed as chiefly a male movement, with women either residual in the process, or dependent followers. Contemporary migration is taking place in a world marked by a deeper belief in the importance of equality of opportunity across socio-political divides. This article stresses the need to analyse migration through the differential experiences of women and of men in the context of a highly gendered world.

  • An approach to establishing improved private extension-service provision for smallholder horticultural producers in Kenya was developed between 2003 and 2005 by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology and Natural Resources Institute in the UK, in collaboration with EurepGAP FoodPLUS GmbH and the House of Quality-South Africa, international NGOs, export companies, and out-grower farmer groups. The approach focused on good agricultural practices, food safety, EU regulations on maximum pesticide-residue limits, and the EurepGAP Standard. The approach is not a blueprint, but the lessons learned are applicable to similar smallholder production systems in other African countries.

  • A common challenge faces development organisations, from the highest policy-making circles to local, grassroots organisations: how to work with other groups to build stronger partnerships and achieve consensus on goals? This article describes the Net-Map Toolbox, a new tool which builds and expands upon existing social-networking approaches. The article highlights the experience of using the Toolbox with the White Volta Basin Board in Ghana, a multi-stakeholder organisation responsible for overseeing local water resources. The authors discuss how the Net-Map Toolbox can assist members of development-oriented organisations to better understand and interact with each other in situations where many different actors can influence the outcome.

  • Recognising that the stance of investigators could make a major impact on the quality and/or interpretation of development-study findings, a small investigation to explore researcher positions and roles was implemented. This was a subsidiary component of a larger health-development study which aimed to explore the evidence base for psychosocial and mental-health policy formulation and implementation in two conflict-affected, low-resourced countries. Five of the research team were interviewed by a sixth member in an open, semi-structured interview format, and the data were analysed thematically. The primary learning for the team, with wider implications for others in development research and practice, is that if the aim is to produce credible findings from investigations of this nature, it is important to exhibit a high degree of transparency regarding the role and position of each researcher, and an explicit attempt to be reflexive in relation to the associated challenges.

  • Co-operation between researchers in the global North and South is critical to the production of new knowledge to inform development policies. However, the agenda-setting process is a formidable obstacle in many development research partnerships. The first section of this article examines how bilateral donor strategies affect collaborative agenda-setting processes. The second section explores researchers' motivations for entering into North-South partnerships; the obstacles that Southern researchers encounter in agenda-setting processes; and the strategies that they employ to ensure that research partnerships respond to their concerns. This analysis suggests that while strong Southern research organisations are best placed to maximise the benefits of collaboration, donors and researchers alike are well advised to recognise the limitations of this approach and use it prudently, because North-South partnerships are not necessarily the best way to advance research agendas rooted in Southern priorities.
  • Development research has responded to a number of charges over the past few decades. For example, when traditional research was accused of being 'top-down', the response was participatory research, linking the 'receptors' to the generators of research. As participatory processes were recognised as producing limited outcomes, the demand-led agenda was born. In response to the alleged failure of research to deliver its products, the 'joined-up' model, which links research with the private sector, has become popular. However, using examples from animal-health research, this article demonstrates that all the aforementioned approaches are seriously limited in their attempts to generate outputs to address the multi-faceted problems facing the poor. The article outlines a new approach to research: the Mosaic Model. By combining different knowledge forms, and focusing on existing gaps, the model aims to bridge basic and applied findings to enhance the efficiency and value of research, past, present, and future.
  • Partnership has become a key word in the jargon of international development. This article presents the results of research into the perspectives of Cambodian and Filipino NGO workers on their funding relationships. Largely confirming the negative literature about partnership, practitioners generally expressed a view that their relationships with funders are not consistent with the rhetoric of power sharing and collaboration that often accompanies discussions of the subject. In spite of this, practitioners articulated a desire for collaborative relationships with Northern organisations, ideally with a greater focus on the local context and personal relationships. Practitioners believe that an important part of their role is mediating development in order to make it more relevant and responsive.
  • Starting from an analysis of social and environmental injustice, the author argues that the concept of environmental racism is integral to the hegemonic model of capitalist development. She reveals how the financial mega-conglomerates, helped by the media, exploit such prejudices, and highlights the relevance of environmental racism in the struggle to overcome inequalities, to value the importance of diversity, and to build full citizenship for all.
  • This article argues that the practice of poverty alleviation is greatly limited by a vision of poverty that fails to capture the locally specific causes of and solutions to the challenges that threaten human well-being. This problematic vision of poverty takes real-world form in such initiatives as Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers. It is a key reason why this and other contemporary poverty-alleviation efforts do not show greatly improved results compared with previous efforts. By reframing our understanding of the challenges to human well-being from poverty to 'poverties', however, we might envisage a new approach to policy development in relation to poverty that moves us towards a truly sustainable development.
  • Advocates and activists for human rights are currently facing a paradox: the coexistence of profound challenges in familiar territory (civil liberties) alongside expansion into new areas. Rights-based approaches (RBAs) are a part of this latter expansionary stream. This article argues that four kinds of potential value-added can be claimed. First, value-added can be sought through direct, indirect, and strategic uses of the law. Second, value can also be added by re-centring the state and (re)asking the question about its appropriate role in development (delivery, oversight), and strategising engagement with the state. Third, in relation to accountability, RBAs add value by calling the state to account; building capacities of rights holders and duty bearers; and encouraging a new kind of ownership of human rights among NGOs. Fourth, the article explores claims that RBAs re-politicise development, redefining it as rights-based rather than based on benevolence; reclaiming or re-politicising the key (process) terms of development; addressing the root, structural causes of poverty and conflict, rather than the symptoms; and speaking truth to power. Not all of these contributions are unique to RBAs, however, and on all counts it remains to be seen if RBAs will deliver on their promise.
  • The behaviour of international NGOs (INGOs) continues to impede aid effectiveness. The reasons for this are identified. Six prescriptions are offered which, if adopted by INGOs, would reduce the harm that they cause.

  • Over the past 10-15 years there has been an expansion of interest in the subject of Development Studies (DS). There are now significantly more taught courses focused on DS, and research funds are booming. However, over the same period, DS has faced sustained critiques about its essential nature. This has led us to ask: what is Development Studies? And what could or should it be?
  • This brief article highlights some major contributions made by the United Nations to development thinking and practice from 1945 to 2000. The term 'development' is used here broadly to refer not only to increases in economic growth and per capita income and to structural change, but also to progress in promoting human rights, poverty reduction, employment generation, fairer distribution of the benefits of growth, participation in decision making at different levels, equality of men and women, child development and well-being, and social justice and environmental sustainability. There is first a discussion of the values that have underpinned UN work on development. This is followed by a summary of some key contributions made by the UN system to thinking on development issues. The article concludes with some observations on the ways in which these contributions were made and on strengths and weaknesses of the system in generating development ideas and action.
  • The quality of NGO work is hugely dependent on the quality of critical thinking and analysis of poverty among all levels of staff. In particular, the quality of the work in the field - at partner and community levels - depends on an understanding of development processes and on strong facilitation skills, both of which rely on strong levels of critical thinking. While these are innately present in almost everyone, rote learning in education systems and patriarchal and top-down power structures often impede their development. This article suggests some practical means by which development agencies can develop strong analytical thinking and strong facilitation skills among their staff. While the article is mainly aimed at frontline staff, the implication is that such mechanisms are required at all levels if organisations are going to develop their own capacities.
  • The vast natural resources of India's forests, including non-timber forest products (NTFPs), such as medicinal and aromatic plants, leaves, fruits, seeds, resins, gums, bamboos, and canes, offer employment that provides up to half the income of about 25 per cent of the country's rural labour force. However, poor harvesting practices and over-exploitation in the face of increasing market demand are threatening the sustainability of these resources, and thus the livelihoods of forest-dependent tribal communities. This article analyses the role of NTFPs in livelihoods-improvement initiatives and considers recent initiatives intended to enhance their conservation and sustainable management. It recommends policies to optimise the potential of NTFPs, both to support rural livelihoods and to contribute to India's social, economic, and environmental well-being.
  • Much has been researched and said about the impacts of international trade liberalisation at the country level; but little is known about its social and environmental local-level impacts. Since national averages can mask the existence of winners and losers, national-level studies may be a poor guide to addressing the plight of the rural poor and the environment that are at the core of the agenda of the social and conservation movement. This article compares the international trade-liberalisation debate with the findings of local rural-based case studies in seven countries, co-ordinated by WWF and the World Bank during 2004-2007. It discusses some actions that the conservation and social movement could take to improve the discussion and the practice of trade liberalisation, poverty alleviation, and environmental conservation.
  • So much work has been done on participatory research and gender analysis - their implementation, evaluation, and institutionalisation - that it is difficult to recommend a limited set of resources. The context here is 'challenges to operationalising participatory research and gender analysis', so we have sought out resources which shed light on some new practical issues and are based on empirical evidence. Some of the classics in the field have also been included. Readers will find additional resources in and through the bibliographical references of articles included in this issue. pp 658-669
  • This case study from Búzi district, Mozambique investigated whether gender equality, in terms of male and female participation in groups, leads to gender equity in sharing of benefits from the social capital created through the group. Exploring the complex connection between gender, groups, and social capital, we found that gender equity is not necessarily achieved by guaranteeing men and women equal rights through established by-laws, or dealing with groups as a collective entity. While there were no significant differences in the investment patterns of men and women in terms of participation in group activities and contribution of communal work, access to leadership positions and benefits from social capital were unequally distributed. Compared with men, women further found it difficult to transform social relations into improved access to information, access to markets, or help in case of need. pp 650-657
  • International Wheat and Maize Improvement Center (CIMMYT) projects on new resource-conservation technologies (RCTs) in the Indo-Gangetic Plains of Nepal aimed to strengthen equity of access, poverty reduction, and gender orientation in current rural mechanisation processes - more specifically, to promote machine-based resource conservation and drudgery-reduction technologies among smallholder farmers. These projects, together with other projects and other actors, gave rise to an informal 'coalition' project, which used participatory technology development (PTD) approaches, where farmers, engineers, scientists, and other partners worked towards equitable access to new RCTs. This experience showed that PTD projects need to be flexible, making use of learning and change approaches. Once successful adoption is occurring, then what? Such projects need to ensure that everyone is benefiting in terms of social inclusion and equity; this might necessitate new unforeseen work. pp 643-649
  • Evaluations involving stakeholders include collaborative evaluation, participatory evaluation, development evaluation, and empowerment evaluation - distinguished by the degree and depth of involvement of local stakeholders or programme participants in the evaluation process. In community participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E), communities agree programme objectives and develop local indicators for tracking and evaluating change. PM&E is not without limitations, one being that community indicators are highly specific and localised, which limits wide application of common community indicators for evaluating programmes that span social and geographic space. We developed community indicators with six farming communities in Malawi to evaluate a community development project. To apply the indicators across the six communities, we aggregated them and used a Likert scale and scores to assess communities' perceptions of the extent to which the project had achieved its objectives. We analysed the data using a comparison of means to compare indicators across communities and by gender. pp 633-642
  • While rural poverty is endemic in the Andean region, structural adjustment programmes have led to a dismemberment of agricultural research and extension services so that they are unable to serve the needs of smallholder farmers. The NGO Practical Action has been working in the Andes to address farmers' veterinary and agriculture needs. The work has included the training of farmer-to-farmer extension agents, known locally as Kamayoq. The Kamayoq have encouraged farmer participatory research, and local farmers pay them for their veterinary and crop advisory services in cash or in kind. The Kamayoq model is largely an unsubsidised approach to the provision of appropriate technical services and encouragement of farmer participation. The model also illustrates that, in the context of encouraging farmer participation and innovation, NGOs have advantages over research organisations because of their long-term presence, ability to establish trust with local farmers, and their emphasis on social and community processes. pp 627-632
  • PETRRA was an agricultural research-management project which used a values-based approach in project design, planning, and implementation. Through an experiential learning process, agricultural research and development (R&D) institutes, NGOs, private agencies, and community-based organisations rediscovered and improved the understanding of their strengths in meeting development commitments. The project successfully showed how values-based research can meaningfully be implemented and a sustainable pro-poor impact achieved. pp 619-626
  • Women play the major role in food supply in developing countries, but too often their ability to feed their families properly is compromised; the result is high levels of food-borne disease and consequent limited access to higher-value markets. We argue that risk-based approaches - current best practice for managing food safety in developed countries - require adaptation to the difficult context of informal markets. We suggest participatory research and gender analysis as boundary-spanning mechanisms, bringing communities and food-safety implementers together to analyse food-safety problems and develop workable solutions. Examples show how these methodologies can contribute to operationalising risk-based approaches in urban settings and to the development of a new approach to assessing and managing food safety in poor countries, which we call 'participatory risk analysis'. pp 611-618
  • The real experts on poverty are poor people, yet the incidence and trends in poverty are usually measured by the use of official economic indicators assumed by researchers to be relevant. Poor householders themselves distinguish between subsistence and cash income. In a 'self-assessed poverty' exercise, poor villagers in rural China specified and weighted key poverty indicators. Eight key indicators describing three basic types of poverty were isolated and used to construct a participatory poverty index (PPI), the components of which provide insights into core causes of poverty. Moreover, the PPI allows direct comparison of the incidence of poverty between villages - differences in social, cultural, and environmental characteristics of each village notwithstanding. As a result, the PPI offers an objective method of conducting poverty monitoring independently of physical and social features. This article provides a brief description of the PPI and the data needed to construct a village-specific PPI. pp 599-610
  • This study assessed the extent to which participatory methods had been used by CIMMYT, and how the scientists perceived them. Results suggest that participatory approaches at the Center were largely 'functional' - that is, aimed at improving the efficiency and relevance of research - and had in fact added value to the research efforts. The majority of projects surveyed also placed emphasis on building farmers' awareness. This is understandable if we think that the limiting factor in scientist-farmer exchange is the farmers' limited knowledge base. Thus, in situations such as marginal areas and in smallholder farming, exposure to new genotypes and best-bet management options would be a first requirement for effective interactions and implementation of participatory approaches. pp 590-598
  • Until recently, participatory and conventional approaches to agricultural research have been regarded as more or less antagonistic. This article presents evidence from three sub-projects of a Thai-Vietnamese-German collaborative research programme on 'Sustainable Land Use and Rural Development in Mountainous Regions of Southeast Asia', in which participatory elements were successfully integrated into conventional agricultural research as add-on activities. In all three sub-projects the costs of studying local knowledge or enhancing farmers' experimentation consisted of additional local personnel, opportunity costs of participating farmers' time, and travel costs. However, these participatory elements of the research projects constituted only a small fraction of the total costs. It may be concluded that conventional agricultural research can be complemented by participatory components in a cost-effective way, while producing meaningful benefits in terms of creating synergies by blending scientific and local knowledge, scaling up micro-level data, and highlighting farmers' constraints affecting technology adoption. pp 576-589
  • The popularity of participatory research approaches is largely driven by the expected benefits from bridging the gap between formal agricultural science institutions and local farm communities, making agricultural research more relevant and effective. There is, however, no certainty that this approach, which has been mainly project-based, will succeed in transforming agricultural research in developing countries towards more client-responsive, impact-oriented institutions. Research managers must consider appropriate strategies for such an institutional transformation, including: (1) careful planning of social processes and interactions among different players, and documenting how that might have brought about success or failure; (2) clear objectives, which influence the participation methods used; (3) clear impact pathway and impact hypotheses at the outset, specifying expected outputs, outcomes, impacts, and beneficiaries; (4) willingness to adopt institutional learning, where existing culture and practices can be changed; and (5) long-term funding commitment to sustain the learning and change process. pp 564-575
  • This study explores the intra-household impact of improved dual-purpose cowpea (IDPC) from a gender perspective, in terms of productivity and food, fodder, and income availability, the impact of which is linked to the income thus placed in the women's hands. Surplus income is important in providing food and nutritional benefits to the home, particularly during periods of risk. More importantly, income generated through the adoption of improved cowpea varieties has entered a largely female domain, where transfers of income reserves were passed on between women of different ages, with significant impact in terms of social and economic development. However, the technology has strengthened the separation of working spheres between men and women. Future technologies should, from the outset, explore provisions existing within the local rubric, to focus on women with the aim of expanding their participation in agriculture with the associated benefits to their families. pp 551-563
  • The need to increase agricultural sustainability has induced the government of India to promote the adoption of integrated pest management (IPM). An evaluation of cotton-based conventional and IPM farming systems was conducted in India (2002-2004). The farmers managing the IPM farms had participated in discovery-based ecological training, namely Farmer Field Schools (FFS). The evaluation included five impact areas: (1) the ecological footprint and (2) occupational hazard of cotton production; and the effects of IPM adoption on (3) labour allocation; (4) management practices; and (5) livelihoods. The analysis showed that a mix of approaches increased the depth and the relevance of the findings. Participatory and conventional methods were complementary. The study also revealed different impacts on the livelihoods of women and men, and wealthy and poor farmers, and demonstrated that the value of the experience can be captured also in terms of the farmers' own frames of reference. The evaluation process consumed considerable resources, indicating that proper budgetary allocations need to be made. pp 539-550
  • The debate on empowerment encompasses an older discourse about the intrinsic value of empowerment, and a newer discourse about the instrumental benefits of empowerment; the concept of agency is useful in understanding this distinction. In agricultural development, empowerment efforts are often instrumentalist, viewed as an advanced form of participation that will improve project effectiveness, with adoption rates that promote compliance rather than intrinsic empowerment. Nevertheless, it is possible for projects to enhance the means for - and facilitate the process of - intrinsic empowerment. With regard to process, research and extension can make use of a constructivist rather than the behaviourist approach to support changes in knowledge, behaviour, and social relationships. In assessing empowerment, both developers and 'developees' need to look for evidence that people are taking control of their lives. Case studies - such as those used by the Indonesian Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Programme - will help to capture context and chronology, with unplanned behaviours being particularly useful indicators. pp 524-538
  • This article is based on participatory development research conducted in Soroti district of Uganda with the aim of assessing the impact of agricultural development among poor farmers. The central argument is that a combination of farmer empowerment and innovation through experiential learning in farmer field school (FFS) groups, changes in the opportunity structure through transformation of local government staff, establishment of new farmer-governed local institutions, and emergence of a private service provider has been successful in reducing rural poverty. Based on an empirical study of successful adaptation and spread of pro-poor technologies, the study assesses the well-being impact of agricultural technology development in Soroti district. The study concludes that market-based spread of pro-poor agricultural technologies requires an institutional setting that combines farmer empowerment with an enabling policy environment. pp 506-523
  • This article traces a history of agricultural participatory research, largely from the author's personal experience. Participatory research in the 1970s was mostly led by disciplinary scientists, and characterised by innovative activities and open academic debate, with some recognition that policy and development practice was a political process. The 1980s saw a shift to learning from past experience, and a participatory mainstream developed, seeking methods for scaling up. Meanwhile, others sought to understand and influence policy and institutional change in their political and cultural contexts, and to keep open the academic debates. The author considers the 1990s as 'lost years', during which mainstream participatory practitioners became inward-looking development generalists, not so interested in learning from others outside their paradigm. The late 2000s provide a chance to re-recognise the political and cultural embeddedness of science and technology; re-introduce strong, widely based disciplines; and learn from past activities that resulted in positive development outcomes (planned or unplanned). pp 489-505
  • This article reviews, through reference to the published literature, some key questions about participatory research. When should participatory research be used? How should participatory research be applied? What about quality of science in participatory research? Are there any institutional issues associated with the use of participatory research? And what are the benefits and costs of participatory research? The article is not a comprehensive literature review on participatory research, it is not meant to set standards for participatory research, nor to define what constitutes 'good' participatory research, but rather it seeks to summarise the realities of implementing participatory research, as discussed and debated by several published authors, and to provide some useful background for this special issue. pp 479-488

  • Participatory research approaches are increasingly popular with scientists working for poverty alleviation, sustainable rural development, and social change. This introduction offers an overview of the special issue of Development in Practice journal on the theme of 'operationalising participatory research and gender analysis'. The purpose of the special issue is to add value to the discussion of methodological, practical, philosophical, political, and institutional issues involved in using gender-sensitive participatory methods. Drawing on 16 articles, we place some of the main issues, empirical experiences, and debates in participatory research and participatory technology development in the context of implementation, evaluation, and institutionalisation of participatory research and evaluation approaches. pp 467-478

  • In English only

  • In attempting to rebuild post-conflict failed states, the international community has drawn heavily on neo-liberal development paradigms. However, neo-liberal state building has proved ineffectual in stimulating economic development in post-conflict states, undermining prospects for state consolidation. This article offers the developmental state as an alternative model for international state building, better suited to overcoming the developmental challenges that face post-conflict states. Drawing on the East Asian experience, developmental state building would seek to build state capacity to intervene in the economy to guide development, compensating for the failure of growth led by the private sector to materialise in many post-conflict states. The article concludes that such an approach would, in the first instance, require the international community to accept more honestly its developmental responsibilities when it decides to intervene to rebuild failed states. pp307-318
  • In the emerging ‘post-Washington Consensus’ era, neo-liberalism is searching for alternatives that once again emphasise the state. Yet neither Latin American dependencia nor East Asian developmentalism – two development models actually practised ‘on the ground’ – shares the basic assumptions of the liberal, rationalist state. First, there persists a significant ontological divide over the purpose of the state. Developmentalists and dependentists advocate deep, dynamic state agency rather than the hands-off, liberal, night-watchman state. Second, development theory has unfolded within a modern liberal framework of science, democracy, the interests of US foreign policy, and increasingly a commitment to poverty alleviation. Dependency and developmentalism reject these neo-liberal benchmarks in the interest of state consolidation and autonomy. The persistence of dependentist and developmentalist understandings of the state precludes a uniform, post-neoliberal reversal in development theory back to the state. pp319-332
  • This article offers strategies for women’s empowerment in conservative, tribal, and religious environments, based on an innovative programme in Pakistan. Mainstreaming Gender and Development (MGD) encouraged participants to build on their communities’ strengths, minimised resistance among families and communities by including them in the development process, and succeeded in building a cadre of women activists. Drawing on its experience, the author questions the importance of collective action, suggests that the selection of participants should be based on aptitude rather than socio-economic status, and highlights the potential for women’s empowerment in challenging environments. pp333-344
  • Increasingly development theorists and practitioners view NGOs as catalysts of sustainable development. NGOs have been regarded as champions of democratisation and promoters of new ways of engaging in politics, with considerable influence on the development of civil society and new partnerships in environmental and social advocacy. This article analyses the ways in which Costa Rican environmental NGOs (ENGOs) engage in politics, by focusing on their perceptions of their roles in environmental governance and in representation of civil society. The results of this study suggest that the ENGOs’ ways of engaging in politics differ little from traditional forms of governance, while their conceptions of engaging in politics without being political are novel. While most ENGOs had no clear conception of the stakeholders whom they were supposed to be representing, the notion of representativeness is complex and should be revisited. pp345-356
  • This article discusses the history and evolution of international volunteer-sending agencies and volunteers as a response not only to symptoms but also to causes of global poverty and inequality. It considers how international volunteers might be defined, what makes their role different from other forms of overseas development assistance (particularly their contribution to capacity development), and the positives and negatives that may accompany those differences. It also reflects on international volunteers’ suitability as contributors in the transition to a globally more ecologically sustainable state, presenting some insights from volunteers and other stakeholders. pp357-370
  • This article explores efforts to bridge multi-disciplinary research and policy engagement to tackle child poverty in the contexts of developing countries, based on the experiences of Young Lives, an international longitudinal policy-research project. It focuses on a case study involving the application of research evidence on child poverty to shape policy debates concerning Ethiopia’s second-generation Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2006–2010). The discussion is situated within theoretical literature on the interface between knowledge, policy, and practice, which supports the conceptualisation of policy making as a non-linear dynamic process. It pays particular attention to the importance of understanding the political and policy contexts of Southern countries, rather than assuming that they should simply import Northern-derived models of advocacy. It concludes by identifying general lessons for translating research into social-policy change. pp371-384
  • While it is internationally agreed that the worst forms of child labour should be eliminated in order to promote children’s welfare, the consensus breaks down when trying to define what constitutes ‘light work’. This article seeks to show why it is difficult to get everyone to agree on this issue, focusing on the definition of child labour proposed by the International Labour Organization (ILO). pp385-394
  • Post-conflict governance is an increasingly important aspect of foreign development assistance in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where the weakening and disintegration of the state undermine sustainable human development. A major challenge in post-conflict rebuilding in SSA concerns the incorporation of subnational non-state structures and informal institutions into the post-conflict governance apparatus. In order to tackle this apparent gap in sustainable peacebuilding, more theoretical and empirical research is needed into the nuanced role(s) and contribution(s) of the post-conflict state in reconstituting governance and rehabilitating communities. This article discusses the post-Washington Consensus (PWC), an emerging development approach which seeks to re-introduce the role of the state in development and post-conflict studies. The central proposition of the article is that, contrary to the anti-statist premise of the Washington Consensus, states, non-state structures, and informal institutions play an important role in cultivating institutional reconciliation, interpenetration, and integration between macro-level government structures and subnational social institutions. pp395-402
  • The world is at a critical point as humanity contemplates how our own activity is contributing to changes in the earth and atmosphere. Formidable challenges require raising fundamental questions and learning from unlikely sources. Drawing on field research conducted on the Zambian Copperbelt, this article explores how public conversations concerning differing views of reality can inform development-related thinking about the environment. Enumerating practical examples where words and images both conveyed and shaped conflicting viewpoints in the industrial mine setting, the article asserts that much can be learned from the experiential viewpoints of underground miners. Policy making could benefit, for instance, from lessening its dependence on dominant economic thinking and increasingly drawing upon historical, cultural, philosophical, and theological insights when devising policies, projects, and procedures. Questions of power, control, and humanity’s self-conception in relation to the physical world are also explored. pp403-411
  • Women planners in Africa do not constitute a critical mass: their numbers remain negligible and their output unrecognised, while mentors and role models still tend to be male. Women’s experiences are undervalued, and their knowledge is often excluded in policy, project planning, and implementation. This article arises not from systematic academic research but from confessional, reflective, pilot research based on personal experience and the experiences reported by 25 women planners between 1999 and 2004. It deliberately seeks to break the monotony of drawing from survey results, which are often detached from experiential and emotional encounters. Using anecdotal material from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, it examines the training and professional environment of the ‘planneress’; and discusses the emotions, expectations, and experiences of female planners in everyday encounters. pp412-419
  • Though less than expected, resources are available for simple, cheap interventions that can accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Results-based management has been the key to increasing access to education and health care, but it does little to change the political, social, and economic conditions that make people poor. Unless there is a better balance between the drive to achieve measurable impact, investments in long-term poverty-eradication measures, and the creation of space where poor people can discuss and develop strategies for achieving equality and social justice, it will not be as easy to make poverty history as many people think. pp420-423
  • While there is often a heavy emphasis on disaster response, disaster preparedness and mitigation are, rightfully, receiving more attention. In examining the state of preparedness in Indonesia, this article is divided into three sections. First, it reviews the hazards present in the country, such as conflict, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Second, it considers some of the current efforts underway by the government and international community. Finally, the article contends that the disaster- preparedness process is not yet complete. The main challenges remain: improving co-ordination between different organisations, creating a culture of disaster-risk management, implementing appropriate methods, and maintaining momentum on this issue in the future. pp424-429
  • Development brings about changes in people’s lives and their ways of understanding and dealing with their world. It is possible to distinguish between two types of development intervention: (a) improvements in the external situation, chiefly through the provision of public goods; and (b) strengthening people’s inner capacities, an endeavour which depends on cognitive processes. The article links basic concepts from cognitive theory to development practice and proposes avenues for further research to study the way in which people develop their capacities and to find ways of supporting such processes. A fuller understanding of cognitive change as a key factor could greatly enhance the sustainability of development projects. pp430-436
  • This article reports on a study to explore the factors and motivations that contribute to community volunteers’ participation in a nursery feeding project in Malawi. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with community volunteers in 15 of the 32 sites in the programme. The findings pointed to a mix of intrinsic motivations, namely a deep concern for orphans and vulnerable children, a moral obligation to help, and a declared love of the work undertaken, and also to external factors such as spirituality, links of reciprocity, and the building of social capital. Understanding what motivates volunteers to take part in resource-poor settings is crucial to recognising, facilitating, and sustaining the work that they do. Further research into volunteering in the South is crucially needed. pp437-445
  • The boom in the construction industry in South Africa has drawn attention to the need for skills development. This article reports on an evaluation of the ‘People at the Gate’ training programme initiated by Group Five in Gauteng and Mpumalanga Provinces. The programme aims to empower unemployed local community members in areas where the company operates. The programme targets women and men who come to the company’s sites looking for possible employment and are unable to be accommodated due to their lack of skills. The study evaluated the difficulties that trainees are faced with during and after the project; employment opportunities that are created; and the skills most needed in different trades and provinces. pp446-449
  • In English Only pp161-163

  • Governments in developing countries need effective programmes to advance public policies and improve social welfare. NGOs often have well-tested programmes and research outcomes that are relevant to such needs, yet the scaling up of pilot programmes to national level is difficult to achieve and frequently unsuccessful. This article presents a case of successful scaling up for an adolescent sexual-health and psychosocial-competencies programme in Mexico, through an NGO–government partnership involving IMIFAP, a Mexican NGO. The case illustrates how an NGO can create a successful partnership with government to scale up effective programmes, in ways that meet key needs of the target population while protecting the NGO’s core values. pp164-175

  • HIV threatens the survival of many civil-society organisations (CSOs) in Africa. While we know the range of potential costs to such groups, we lack a detailed picture of the extent of the impact. This article highlights important findings from exploratory research in Malawi. Respondents perceived that overall performance in the four CSOs studied declined by an average 20 per cent because they were working in a context of high HIV prevalence. Yet the CSOs’ workplace response to this threat was very limited, and they remain highly vulnerable to future impact. We consider why the CSOs have not been more proactive, and we recommend that donor policy should help partners to respond to the epidemic and enable them to remain effective. pp176-189
  • This article analyses the international humanitarian response to the earthquake in Jogjakarta, Indonesia in May 2006. It also compares it with a small but very successful local initiative. It identifies inherent weaknesses in the international system, and argues for the possibility of scaling up lessons learned from the local example. pp190-200
  • Development practice is informed by theories of change, but individuals and organisations may not make these explicit. Practitioners may be unaware of the extent to which strategic choices and debates are informed by disparate thinking about how history happens and the role of purposeful intervention for progressive social change. In the past few years, some Oxfam GB staff have been creating processes to debate their theories of change as part of an effort to improve practice. In this context, the authors introduce four sets of ideas about change, with a discussion of how these have been explored in two instances, and some of the challenges emerging from this process. Through explicitly debating theories of change, organisational decision-making processes can be better informed and strategic choices made more transparent. pp201-212
  • NGOs in Asian countries often experience fluctuations in funding because of the constantly shifting priorities of their international donors. Without domestic sources, Asian NGOs are forced to re-align their priorities with donor interests in order to compete for funding. In the case of advocacy NGOs, the resulting asymmetry in donor–grantee relations often leads to a crisis of legitimacy and deteriorating effectiveness for the NGO. Because of the political nature of advocacy work, these NGOs must maintain a reputation for independence and legitimacy if they are to be influential in the political process. This article analyses the impact of fluctuating international donor assistance to advocacy NGOs in Cambodia, the Philippines, and Thailand, and offers recommendations for donors. While donors have spent significant resources building the capacity of advocacy NGOs in South-East Asia, funding trends usually undermine the effectiveness of their grantees long before funding is ended. pp213-222
  • This article undertakes a critical re-evaluation of a DFID-funded project in South Africa which ran between 1998 and 2001. The evaluation sought to test whether the development of community-led indicators would improve governance. Since the project ended, a series of papers have been published that are critical of such participatory methods, arguing particularly that they are apolitical and adopt a technocratic approach. In the light of these criticisms, this article re-assesses the DFID project, following on from the initial evaluation carried out by the author in 2001. Sobantu, a black township in Pietermaritzburg, was one of the original project sites. It was chosen as the subject of our research because the local implementing agency was a politically astute, well-connected institution that understood the political nature of the process required to develop the indicators. Although the project achieved some positive outcomes, the long-term commitment to the indicators has since been compromised. This was in large part due to the inability of community members to engage meaningfully with key municipal service providers. However, recent changes to the South African planning regime might provide opportunities for the indicators to become more useful again. pp223-234
  • This article investigates the interaction between the processes of building development theory and development practice, arguing that theory must start with practice – and should not be top–down, starting with the ‘outside gaze’ of a supposedly detached academic or policy maker. The questions posed point to critiques of mainstream development narratives and notions of innovation through the diffusion of new technologies. The authors suggest that the assumptions embedded in mainstream development processes lead to unequal access to global and local markets, and that when they are imposed from the outside without a real understanding of the context, the development project is bound to fail. Parameters for assessing and evaluating outcomes also need to be based upon a close understanding of context – and this often comes through active involvement within it and not through being ‘detached’ and outside it. The assumption that an outside gaze is ‘objective’ is based in an implicitly colonial discourse, while building theory by being involved in the practice produces better methodologies for action and development. pp235-244
  • As they move from responding to needs and demands to a more rights-based approach, some French NGOs are rethinking both their areas of work and their ways of working. ‘Empowerment’ has become a key concept in this changing context, although it is sometimes difficult to know how best to apply it and understand what really means in an NGO setting. This article shares some thinking on empowerment, analysing its ‘object’ (individuals, organisations, networks, or movements) and the ‘process’ through which it is realised. Drawing on the author’s own experience and on a brief literature review, it is illustrated by the examples of the international disability and US gay movements. pp245-257
  • The article explores knowledge and practices of family planning among the tribal population of south Gujarat. The authors examine the reasons for discontinuation and non-use of various modern contraceptive methods by tribals and draw contrasts with practices in the urban population. They consider the roles of women, family members, local leaders, and effective communication, along with NGOs and the private sector, and make recommendations for increasing access to and usage of various family-planning methods by the tribals. pp258-266
  • Traditional approaches to fighting poverty have yielded unsatisfactory results in some African countries, and have been positively damaging in others. Economic growth and social expenditure on the part of both national governments and international donors have been ineffective in some countries, while in others they have exacerbated poverty. The author considers that this is due to the absence of participatory governance. From a theoretical perspective, support for participatory governance stems from Amartya Sen’s approach to understanding poverty, which conceptualises poverty as a lack of capabilities, leading to social exclusion. The lack of such governance has led to the failure of traditional approaches in the fight against poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, the author proposes a tool for assessing the quality of governance, and its application in Cameroon. pp267-272
  • With a rapidly growing population and limited resources, accountability has taken on increased importance, especially in the area of public management. To assess the effectiveness of public spending on education in the Caribbean, this article compares performance in five Caribbean nations, looking at input indicators such as the teacher–pupil ratio, expenditure per pupil, the number of adequately trained teachers as a proportion of total teaching staff, and public commitment to education. It analyses their impact on output indicators, including performance in English and mathematics, the repetition rate, and survival rate to the final grade in school. The article concludes that the levels of efficiency in the development of human capital in the Caribbean are very uneven, and that serious challenges face Caribbean countries as they seek to maximise the returns on their investment in education. pp273-279
  • Compared with the divisive views of the past, integrative thinking has recently come to characterise the methodological debate on poverty. 'Qualitative vs quantitative' has given way to 'qual–quant'; 'cross-disciplinarity' has replaced 'economics vs anthropology'. This article attempts to review this change. It begins with a historical overview of the pure economic approach to poverty and its critique. The critique, both from within economics and from the participatory and anthropological disciplines, is examined, and recent trends are considered. The current ‘qual–quant’ approach is illustrated with examples, and the author concludes that the future may well see the emergence of a 'participatory qual–quant' approach. pp 280-288
  • Values are an important theme in discussions in international NGOs (INGOs), helping to create the conditions for solidarity among staff. But at the same time they are also frequently a source of demoralisation and destructive conflict. This is because the prevailing perceptions of values as instruments of management or as elements in some inchoate mystical whole render the power relationship between staff and managers undiscussable. Values need not be thought of as an instrument of management, and they are above all idealisations. An alternative theory of values is that they are emergent and intensely social phenomena that arise daily between people engaged in a collective enterprise. They are idealisations, but they must be discussed in the everyday context. Conflict is inevitable, but the exploration of the nature of this conflict in daily practice is the only way of ensuring that the discussion about values is an enlivening process. pp 5-16

  • Based on a two-year, multi-method study of ‘development’ in one small community in rural Manitoba, Canada, the article examines how the community and people’s reasons for living there have both changed and remained consistent since the beginning of the area’s settlement by Ukrainian immigrants in the late nineteenth century. The community has much in common with marginalised areas of the global South, in terms of its treatment at the hands of those in the centre and those who promote ‘development’. The author argues that the concept of ‘place-making’ allows for both a greater understanding of the dynamics in the community and greater possibilities for building sustainable, liveable places, than does the concept or practice of ‘development’. pp 17-29
  • Only in English

  • This article is an attempt to examine one of the better-known failures in UK community development – the Barrowfield Project in Glasgow (1986–1996) – and to compare and contrast it with other attempts at community development, especially some associated with the work of Mohammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, and the legacy of Paulo Freire. We conclude that both Freire and Yunus make assumptions about the pre-existence of community which limit the potential impact of their ideas in an area such as Barrowfield, where anomie and apathy were rife. We further find that just as actions intended to be liberating may reinforce the dominant hegemony, the converse may on occasion also be true. In recent years the Barrowfield Project has risen from the ashes of its previous demise, and so the present work needs to be seen in that context. pp 30-39
  • For the purposes of accountability and uniformity, and as a way of giving insight into their intellectual capital regarding development practices, NGOs in Southern Africa are required by donor agencies to describe their intended activities in very clear, unambiguous terms. These requirements may include the expression of theoretical approaches, the development of logical frameworks, clear objectives, indicators for success, criteria for sustainable development, and relationships to government policies. However, the interface between reality and these planning measures and tools, most often completed without the input and contributions of the communities whom they are to serve/service, produces a much more messy, dynamic, and involved picture of the development process. None the less, the NGOs are still required to be accountable on the basis of their original proposal and planning. The author presents examples of this phenomenon and discusses the challenges facing an evaluator when dealing with competing principles of accountability, autonomy, and authenticity. pp 40-52
  • In 1993 the World Bank assisted the Ministry of Water and Irrigation of Jordan in updating a review of the water sector, and thus began the process of private sector participation (psp) in service provision to improve the efficiency of the water sector and wastewater services. In this article, the privatisation of water and wastewater services is examined from the perspectives of stakeholders (input) and consumers (output). The goal is to assess the changes that have been taking place to date in relation to the principles of good governance. The results from interviews with stakeholders and from consumer questionnaires show that the privatisation process has to date shown only a few signs of ‘good’ governance. Despite the range of stakeholders involved, the state remains responsible for designing a good-governance approach that is responsive to the concerns and interests of all stakeholders. pp53-65
  • How do we move from identifying ethical principles to enhancing development practice? How can donors and NGOs move beyond the reporting of technical outputs to explore less tangible aspects of their health projects: contributions to rebuilding trust, promoting social cohesion, and enhancing good governance at community level? This article considers these questions in relation to health and peace-building activities in conflicted settings. It describes difficulties facing practitioners and donors seeking to undertake health and peace work, in particular focusing on the lack of appropriate tools for screening, monitoring, and evaluating projects. It critiques the logical framework, a tool commonly used in project planning, monitoring, and evaluation, and considers it alongside a new tool, the Health and Peace Building Filter, which has been designed to reflect on health programming in fragile or conflicted settings. The authors argue that such tools can help to move us beyond focusing on inputs and outputs to examining processes, relationships, and the indirect consequences of aid programmes. pp 66-81
  • The enthusiasm for civil society that emerged in the late 1980s and 1990s with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the spread of democratic regimes has been replaced in recent years by a backlash against civil society on many levels and fronts. This has particularly intensified since the attacks of 11 September 2001 and the ensuing global war on terror. This article examines the causes of this backlash within the context of the ‘Long War on Terror’, describes the overt and implicit manifestations of the backlash, and reflects upon the implications for the future. It considers how the growing prominence of concerns about security and the concomitant expansion of counter-terrorist measures across the world threaten the spaces for civil society to flourish and act. It argues that while the manifestations of the backlash, such as the crackdown on NGOs in Russia and the taming of NGOs by bilateral and multilateral agencies, may appear to be disparate, unconnected phenomena, on closer inspection it is clear that they are intricately intertwined. pp 82-93
  • Recent interest in migrant remittances as a development resource calls attention to a deeper issue: the relationship between migration and development. Remittances may be a significant source of economic inflows to poor countries and regions, but their actual development impact (positive or negative) is tied to the migration processes that generate them. Attention to migration in turn creates an opportunity to think about the broader context of development policy and practice, and to re-think the boundaries that we put around our work. pp 94-99
  • In early 2007, the Indonesian government decided to withhold its samples of the avian influenza (‘bird flu’) virus from WHO’s collaborating centres, pending a new global mechanism for virus sharing which would provide better terms for developing countries. The 60th World Health Assembly held in May 2007 subsequently resolved to establish an international stockpile of avian influenza vaccines, and to formulate mechanisms for equitable access to these vaccines. The article asks whether there are there analogous opportunities for study volunteers or donors of biological materials to exercise corresponding leverage to advance health equity. pp 100-109
  • News about Norway’s plans to establish a ‘doomsday vault’ for seeds in the permafrost of the Artic archipelago of Svalbard as a back-up for conventional gene banks reached the world press in 2006. The idea of a Global Seed Vault, which today is considered a ‘Noah’s Ark’ for seeds, was previously regarded with suspicion and considered to be unrealistic. In 1989/90 the Norwegian government offered to construct an international depository for seeds in permafrost, but the initiative was sidelined in the agitated debates between developed and developing countries over access to and control of plant genetic resources. The realisation of the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (2004) resolved some of the most difficult issues and made possible the launching of a new Norwegian initiative to safeguard some of the world’s most important plant genetic resources for the future. pp 110-116
  • Both national and international policy-making institutions have acknowledged the contribution of NGOs in alleviating poverty, through empowering the poor and continuing to support their endeavours. In Bangladesh NGOs are working at national and local levels, but very few are working with the poorest and most vulnerable groups who live in the riverine and coastal areas, known as the char lands. These areas are unlike other parts of the country in terms of their physical, economic, and social structures, and they require a different approach in order to address the unique set of problems facing those who live there. Using experimental and innovative programmes, a small number of local NGOs have begun to make an impact in an area where government interventions and success are rare. pp 117-124
  • Patronato de Nutrición introduced a range of 18 optional agricultural technologies in the indigenous community of Chalite, Panama. Three of the technologies were adopted by more than half of the farmers surveyed, while an additional eight technologies were adopted by between 20 per cent and 50 per cent of the farmers. Farmers were more likely to adopt technologies associated with familiar crops, previously promoted by other groups, or requiring limited labour or financial resources. The article shows how development groups can quickly reduce the number of technologies promoted in order to deliver services more effectively. pp 125-130
  • This article discusses two organisations currently providing voluntary private health insurance in Uganda and considers their contributions to bridging the gap in provision in the country’s public health sector. pp 131-135
  • Only in English
  • This introduction presents the core concepts that shape this special issue on the impact of violence and the processes of development in Central and South America. The understanding of development is considered in terms broader than the economic context alone, in order to assess wider social and political aspects. With a similarly expansive scope, forms of violence are addressed that range from direct physical harm and bodily attack to the often more subtle aggression of racialised abuse or the pressures on community-centred production from dominant market forces. In these contexts, violence, economic initiatives, and political allegiances form unintended and often dangerous networks of consequence for development matters. All the articles in this volume exemplify further the spatial environments of violence and diverse ‘landscapes of fear’ that shape our existence, and help to define our actions, territories, and understanding of what happens around us. pp 713-724
  • From an analysis of recent empirical research in the Dominican Republic, this article addresses the ways in which racism underpins elements of governance and explores organisational and individual responses to racialised discrimination initiated by the state. The context is timely, given the steady rise in reported racist and violent attacks against people presumed to be of Haitian origin in the Dominican Republic over the past five years. The government has intensified formal military and police round-ups of migrants and settlers suspected to be of Haitian origin, and this article assesses the group and individual responses to these state-led actions, analysing formal and informal interventions, their evolution, maintenance, and impact. pp 725-738
  • Although it is increasingly recognised that violence, crime, and associated fear are challenging democratic governance in Latin America, less attention has been paid to the ways in which state responses to crime contribute to the problem. By analysing El Salvador as a case study, this article addresses three key interconnected issues in this debate. First, it explores the dynamic of violence. It then locates youth gangs as violent actors within this context. Finally, it addresses the state response to the growing phenomenon of youth gangs. It is argued that current strategies, dubbed Mano Dura – Iron Fist – employed by the Salvadoran government serve to reveal the fragility of the democratic project, exposing the underside of authoritarianism that remains key to Salvadoran political life in the transitional process from civil war to peace. pp 739-751
  • A progressive piece of legislation in 1993 granted collective land rights to Colombia’s black communities living in the rural areas of the Pacific coast region. This measure aimed partly to support sustainable development strategies in the region through territorial empowering of local communities. Yet 14 years later, the escalation of the country’s internal conflict into the Pacific region has created unprecedented levels of forced displacement among rural black communities. Once referred to as a ‘peace haven’, the Colombian Pacific coast is now characterised by new spaces of violence and terror, imposed by warring guerrilla and paramilitary groups, as well as the armed forces. This article examines the nature of the externally induced violence in the region and shows how specific economic interests, in particular in the African Palm sector, are colluding with illegal groups that are used to spread fear and terror among local residents, to make them comply with the requirements of these economic actors. pp752-764
  • While everyday forms of resistance are not new in Argentina, the spontaneity that characterised the insurrection on 19 and 20 December 2001 was unprecedented. It showed how the absence of leadership, co-ordination, and promise might open the doors to powerful forms of mobilisation and radical practices in direct democracy. The author suggests that in challenging capitalism and the social paradigms that it generates, the values and practices of counter-power, self-affirmation, collectivity, and multiplicity can all play a vital role in the success and survival of radical democracy. The article is largely inspired by the works of Colectivo Situaciones, an autonomous research collective in Buenos Aires and draws on the example of the Movimiento de Trabajadores Desocupados (MTD) Solano. This movement of unemployed workers struggles against capitalist and state violence by practising a constantly renewed spiral of rebellion and creativity. The article considers their successes, challenges, and limitations in developing radical democratic thought and practice from the perspective of a participant observer. pp 765-774
  • The article considers international advocacy concerning the exploitation of gas reserves in an area inhabited by an isolated indigenous group in Peru, the Machigengua. Considerable international advocacy activity was centred mainly in Washington, DC. Poor communication between those directly affected and international environmental NGOs illustrated very different and not always compatible agendas. The article concludes that this failure to adapt the international lobby both to the views of the indigenous population and to political realities in Peru severely weakened the impact of the international advocacy work. pp 775-783
  • Translation raises ethical and epistemological dilemmas inherent in cross-cultural research. The process of communicating research participants’ words in a different language and context may impose another conceptual scheme on their thoughts. This may reinforce the hegemonic terms that Development Studies should seek to challenge. The article explores the idea that a reflexive approach to translation can not only help to overcome the difficulties involved in cross-cultural research, but also be a tool with which to deconstruct hegemonic theory. It addresses the epistemological and political problems in translation, techniques of translation, and the impact of translation on the author’s own research, which is used to illustrate some of the ways in which translation can support deconstruction and highlight the importance of building a framework for talking with rather than for research participants. pp 784-790
  • National frontiers with ecosystems experiencing rapid changes pose difficult challenges for scientific contributions to democratic processes for environmental governance. We describe an innovative outreach model, the ‘knowledge exchange train’, which combines educational outreach with capacity-building mechanisms to broaden public participation in planning for sustainable development. This involved an international team of scientists and practitioners from conservation and development organisations who travelled across a tri-national frontier area of the south-western Amazon to share recent findings with local leaders and stakeholder constituencies of several municipalities. The knowledge exchange train quickly increased public awareness in many places and provided a means of broadening participation in planning and governance. This model supports planning for sustainable development and can be adapted to other geographic contexts and topics. pp 791-799
  • Although the emphasis in current thinking about work with street children has changed from aid-dependency towards youth protagonism, many organisations ignore the role of the children’s families in their interventions. In so doing, they reproduce obsolete welfare traditions and also violate rights guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and national legislation. This article illustrates the importance of child–family ties for both children and families, and argues that interventions that lack the involvement of parents and families serve to reproduce images of failed families and inadequate mothers. The author presents an alternative approach from Brazil which respects the rights and needs of children and families through family empowerment. pp 800-806
  • This review essay focuses on the most crucial points in the evolution of Celso Furtado’s contribution to economic and political thought in relation to development, in the hope that a wider readership will appreciate the importance of his ideas to Latin America’s ‘development’ during the 1960s and 1970s, and perhaps even see value in reviving them. It opens with a description of the background to the rise of development economics, highlighting aspects of the discipline that this remarkable Brazilian economist confronted and transformed. This is followed by a description of his period as a development theorist or ‘reform monger’ (Hirschman 1963) and his subsequent exile (1964–1975). The article concludes with a discussion of some of the work produced on his return to Brazil. pp 807-819
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  • In English only
  • Despite its widespread usage, the meaning of the term ‘development’ remains vague, tending to refer to a set of beliefs and assumptions about the nature of social progress rather than to anything more precise. After presenting a brief history of the term, the author argues that not only will development fail to address poverty or to narrow the gap between rich and poor, but in fact it both widens and deepens this division and ultimately creates poverty, as natural resources and human beings alike are increasingly harnessed to the pursuit of consumption and profit. The survival of the planet will depend upon abandoning the deep-rooted belief that economic growth can deliver social justice, the rational use of environment, or human well-being, and embracing the notion that there would be a better life for all if we move beyond ‘development’.
  • A word analysis of six UK government White Paper policy statements on aid (selected between 1960 and 2006) compares the top 20 words and key word pairs used in each document. Characteristic sentences are composed of the top 20s to represent the spirit of each paper. Results illuminate changes in the content of White Papers on aid, and point to trends in the history of the UK’s approach to international development. A characteristic sentence to illustrate the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness is contrasted with a sentence of words that did not appear in that document. Readers are invited and challenged to identify words they would like to be used and acted on more in development.

  • The idea of poverty reduction naturally attracts all kinds of angels – in NGOs, government departments and international financial institutions – but their ministrations are frustrated by many obstacles. These include the narrow and static way in which economists define the poor; the remoteness of the poor, their social invisibility and elusiveness to most forms of targeting; and the absence of political will to engage in poverty-reduction policies. The angelic response to these obstacles has been to trumpet a global campaign of poverty reduction with millennial goals, international aid targets, and poverty-reduction strategy papers. It would be better to re-discover the language of risk, vulnerability, and social insurance. The message of the association between risk and reward, and the collective need for social mechanisms that will allow individuals to bear increased risk without exposure to irreversible damage, is the one that really needs to be delivered.
  • The term ‘social protection’ has been widely used around the world and is often treated as synonymous with ‘social security’, which is misleading. This article considers the numerous terms that have become part of the language of social protection, indicating that the image conveyed by the term is rather different from what is meant by it.
  • The term ‘globalisation’ is widely used to describe a variety of economic, cultural, social, and political changes that have shaped the world over the past 50-odd years. Because it is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, globalisation has been attributed with a wide range of powers and effects. Its proponents claim that it is both ‘natural’ and an inevitable outcome of technological progress, and creates positive economic and political convergences. Critics argue that globalisation is hegemonic and antagonistic to local and national economies. This article argues that globalisation is a form of capitalist expansion that entails the integration of local and national economies into a global, unregulated market economy. Although economic in its structure, globalisation is equally a political phenomenon, shaped by negotiations and interactions between institutions of transnational capital, nation states, and international institutions. Its main driving forces are institutions of global capitalism – especially transnational corporations – but it also needs the firm hand of states to create enabling environments for it to take root. Globalisation is always accompanied by liberal democracy, which facilitates the establishment of a neo-liberal state and policies that permit globalisation to flourish. The article discusses the relationship between globalisation and development and points out that some of the most common assumptions promoted by its proponents are contradictory to the reality of globalisation; and that globalisation is resisted by over half of the globe’s population because it is not capable of delivering on its promises of economic well being and progress for all.
  • This article questions the growing use of the term ‘faith-based’ in development policy and practice. It is argued that it homogenises people in minority migrant and developing-country contexts and excludes many who are working for human rights and social justice from secular perspectives, thus providing an unsound analytical base for policy. Against the background of the ‘war on terror’, the author also examines the differences in US and British development policy arising out of the term ‘faith-based’.
  • Participation was originally conceived as part of a counter-hegemonic approach to radical social transformation and, as such, represented a challenge to the status quo. Paradoxically, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, ‘participation’ gained legitimacy within the institutional development world to the extent of achieving buzzword status. The precise manipulations required to convert a radical proposal into something that could serve the neo-liberal world order led to participation’s political decapitation. Reduced to a series of methodological packages and techniques, participation would slowly lose its philosophical and ideological meaning. In order to make the approach and methodology serve counter-hegemonic process of grassroots resistance and transformation, these meanings desperately need to be recovered. This calls for participation to be re-articulated within broader processes of social and political struggle in order to facilitate the recovery of social transformation in the world of twenty-first century capitalism.
  • This article discusses the different meanings that citizenship has assumed in Latin America in the past few decades. Its main argument is that, in the perverse confluence between neo-liberal and democratic participatory projects, the common reference to citizenship, used by different political actors, projects an apparent homogeneity, obscuring differences and diluting the conflict between those projects.
  • This article traces the centuries-long evolution of the concept and practice of empowerment, its adoption by radical social movements, especially women’s movements from the 1970s onwards, and its conversion, by the late 1990s, into a buzzword. Situating the analysis in the context of women’s empowerment interventions in India, the article describes the dynamic of the depoliticisation and subversion of a process that challenged the deepest structures of social power. The ‘downsizing’ and constriction of the concept within state policy, the de-funding of genuine empowerment strategies on the ground, and the substitution of microfinance and political quotas for empowerment are examined and analysed.
  • In parallel with, and as complement to, globalisation, ‘social capital’ has enjoyed a meteoric rise across the social sciences over the last two decades. Not surprisingly, it has been particularly prominent across development studies, not least through heavy promotion by the World Bank. As a concept, though, as has been argued persistently by a minority critical literature, social capital is fundamentally flawed. Although capable of addressing almost anything designated as social, it has tended to neglect the state, class, power, and conflict. As a buzzword, it has heavily constrained the currently progressive departure from the extremes of neo-liberalism and post-modernism at a time of extremely aggressive assault by economics imperialism. Social capital should not be ignored but contested – and rejected.
  • This article is based on interviews with several staff members of NGOs located in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, regarding partnerships between them and their funding sources, such as foundations or agencies of the North that do or support development work in the South. The motive behind the interviews was an interest in the word ‘partnerships’, in particular strategic ones. Do partnerships exist now and, if they do, what does it mean for the NGOs to have a partnership with a funding source? The general conclusion was that strategic partnerships have indeed existed in the past, and may again emerge in the future, but that currently they exist only sporadically, given the distinct ways of viewing and carrying out development work within NGOs on the one hand, and foundations or agencies on the other.
  • This article reflects on the vocabulary commonly used within development organisations to communicate about ‘gender and development’. It argues that the relevant terminology, though frequently used, remains problematic. Some terms are almost entirely absent, while others are used loosely and inappropriately – with the subtleties of carefully developed and much-debated concepts often lost. Terms such as ‘empowerment’, ‘gender’, and ‘gender mainstreaming’ which originated in feminist thinking and activism have lost their moorings and become depoliticised. Despite these problems, there are indications that debates and language may be taking a more radical turn with the acknowledgement of the shortcomings of the practices of gender mainstreaming, the deepening of interest in the notion of empowerment, and the explicit adoption of a human-rights language.
  • As a consummately effective ‘boundary term’, able to link disparate groups on the basis of a broad common agenda, ‘sustainability’ has moved a long way from its technical association with forest management in Germany in the eighteenth century. In the 1980s and 1990s it defined – for a particular historical moment – a key debate of global importance, bringing with it a coalition of actors – across governments, civic groups, academia and business – in perhaps an unparalleled fashion. That they did not agree with everything (or even often know anything of the technical definitions of the term) was not the point. The boundary work done in the name of sustainability created an important momentum for innovation in ideas, political mobilisation, and policy change, particularly in connection with the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio in 1992. All this of course did not result in everything that the advocates at the centre of such networks had envisaged, and today the debate has moved on, with different priority issues, and new actors and networks. But, the author argues, this shift does not undermine the power of sustainability as a buzzword: as a continuingly powerful and influential meeting point of ideas and politics.
  • This article offers an intellectual genealogy of how the concept of human rights has entered the development discourse—from the formulation of a ‘right to development’ to the rhetorical incorporation of rights within prevailing discourse, to the articulation of a ‘rights-based approach’ to development. It concludes with some propositions about the important role that a focus on rights might play in the practice of international development.
  • The idea of civil society has proved very elusive, escaping conceptual grasps and evading sure-footed negotiation of the concept itself. Resurrected in a very definite historical setting, that of authoritarian states, the concept of civil society came to signify a set of social and political practices that sought to engage with state power. The close connection with the re-emergence of the concept and the collapse of dictatorial states made civil society attractive to a variety of political agents pursuing different agendas: expanding the market at the expense of the state, transiting from mass politics to single-issue and localised campaigns, undermining confidence in accepted modes of representation such as political parties, and in general shrinking the domain of the state and that of accepted mode of politics. That the concept of civil society could suit such a variety of different political projects is cause for some alarm, for it might well mean that civil society has come to mean everything to everyone remotely interested in it.
  • Public and people-centred advocacy are shaped by the political culture, social systems, and constitutional framework of the country in which they are practised. It is the practice of advocacy that determines the theory, and not vice versa. If advocacy is not rooted in grassroots realities and is practised only at the macro level, the voice of the marginalised is increasingly likely to be appropriated by professional elites. However, the very credibility of advocacy practitioners depends on their relationship with mass-based movements and grassroots perceptions of what constitutes desirable social change.
  • The associations that the term 'NGO' has acquired in development discourse need to be critically analysed in relation to practice on the ground. Drawing on an analysis of the rise of NGOs in Palestine, the author suggests that the development of the NGO movement served to demobilise Palestinian civil society in a phase of national struggle. Through professionalisation and projectisation brought about by donor-funded attempts to promote 'civil society', a process of NGOisation has taken place. The progressive de-politicisation of the women’s movement that NGOisation has brought about has created a vacuum that has been increasingly filled by the militancy of the Islamic Movement (Hamas). As this case shows, 'NGOs' may be a development buzzword, but they are no magic bullet. Rather than taking for granted the positive, democratising effects of the growth and spread of NGOs as if they represented 'civil society' itself, this article contends, a more critical approach is needed, one that takes greater account of the politics of specific contexts and of the dynamics of institutionalisation.
  • This article focuses on the role that development NGOs play in capacity building, arguing that many conventional NGO practices are ultimately about retaining power, rather than empowering their partners. This leads to tunnel vision and to upward rather than downward or horizontal accountability, based on the assumption that the transfer of resources is a one-way process. At worst, this undermines rather than strengthens the capacities of the organisations that NGOs are attempting to assist. Sharing responsibilities and risks, mutual accountability, and committing to the long term rather than to short-term projects are more likely to create partnerships that can withstand vicissitudes and contribute to lasting change.
  • Harmonisation of donor efforts is one of the current buzzwords in the world of official aid. However, while it is an attractive idea in theory, as long as donors do not recognise and address the operations of power in the aid relationship, harmonisation is likely to be counterproductive in promoting locally initiated responses to development challenges.
  • The term ‘country ownership’ refers to a property of the conditionality attached to programmes, processes, plans, or strategies involving both a ‘domestic’ party (generally a nation state) and a foreign party (generally the IMF, the World Bank, the Regional Development Banks, and other multilateral and bilateral institutions). Under what circumstances and how can the concept of country ownership be relevant to a country with a myriad heterogeneous and often conflicting views and interests? Or to a country whose government’s representational legitimacy or democratic credentials are in question? The author argues that the term has been abused to such an extent that it is at best unhelpful and at worst pernicious: a term whose time has gone.
  • In this brief critique of the idea of ‘best practice’, the author argues that good practice is not replicable or uniform; it cannot be reduced to its component parts for replication elsewhere. Furthermore, the criteria for what constitutes ‘best practice’ are at best unscientific and tend to discourage diversity and local experimentation.
  • The concept of peacebuilding is a buzzword of the development policy and practice mainstream. The recent introduction of managerial tools and the focus on measuring the ‘effectiveness’ of peacebuilding have marginalised and depoliticised critical questions about the causes of violent conflict, and have replaced them with comforting notions for donors that peace can be built and measured without challenging Western understanding of economy, governance, and social aspirations of people.
  • The concepts of transparency and accountability are closely linked: transparency is supposed to generate accountability. This article questions this widely held assumption. Transparency mobilises the power of shame, yet the shameless may not be vulnerable to public exposure. Truth often fails to lead to justice. After exploring different definitions and dimensions of the two ideas, the more relevant question turns out to be: what kinds of transparency lead to what kinds of accountability, and under what conditions? The article concludes by proposing that the concept can be unpacked in terms of two distinct variants. Transparency can be either ‘clear’ or ‘opaque’, while accountability can be either ‘soft’ or ‘hard’.
  • This article engages with the ways in which corruption has taken centre stage in much development policy making and rhetoric. It argues that there is a need to destablilise ‘taken for granted’ assumptions about what corruption is and how it operates. This means generating an understanding of how meanings of corruption vary, and how this variation is determined by the social characteristics of those engaged in corruption talk. It also means examination of how discourses of corruption and anti-corruption are translated from international to national and local stages – from the anti-corruption ‘establishment’ to the realities of bureaucratic encounters in diverse contexts.
  • The concept of good governance originated among African scholars in relation to state–society relations in Africa, expressing the concern that these be developmental, democratic, and socially inclusive. The term has since been taken up by the international development business – in particular the World Bank – and used by them as a new label for aid conditionality, in particular structural adjustment in all its various manifestations.
  • This article examines the links between development and ‘security’, situating these concepts within their philosophical and political contexts, particularly in relation to contemporary wars, including the ‘war on terror’, and the so-called ‘securitisation’ of development. The security of states does not necessarily ensure the security of their citizens, and the very concept of security is both complex and contested. The author provides a succinct summary of various interpretations of security – of states, collectivities, and individuals – showing how each is double edged and ambivalent.
  • Since the 1990s, states that lack the capacity to discharge their normal functions and drive forward development have been referred to as ‘fragile states’. This article focuses on Africa, which not only has the largest concentration of prototypical fragile states, but has been the focus of attention for scholars, international development agencies, and practitioners. The author reviews competing analyses of the post-colonial African state and concludes that its characteristics of weak institutions, poverty, social inequalities, corruption, civil strife, armed conflicts, and civil war are not original conditions, but are rooted in specific historical contexts. It is essential to understand both the external and internal factors of fragility if such states are to get the assistance and empowerment they need – not only for the benefit of their impoverished citizens, but also for the sake of global peace, prosperity, and security. Ultimately, it is the citizens of the countries concerned who are responsible for determining when states are no longer fragile – not ‘benevolent’ donors and the international community, whose prime motivation for interventions supposedly to strengthen the state is to ensure that fragile states find their ‘rightful’ places in the hegemonic global order.
  • This article looks at ‘knowledge management’, using a case study of the World Bank’s research department, located in the Bank’s Development Economics Vice-Presidency (DEC). Despite the Bank's presentation of its research arm as conducting 'rigorous and objective’ work, the author finds that the Bank’s ‘knowledge management’ involves research that has tended to reinforce the dominant neo-liberal globalisation policy agenda. The article examines some of the mechanisms by which the Bank's research department comes to play a central role in what Robert Wade has termed 'paradigm maintenance', including incentives in hiring, promotion, and publishing, as well as selective enforcement of rules, discouragement of dissonant views, and manipulation of data. The author's analysis is based both on in-depth interviews with current and former World Bank professionals and on examination of the relevant literature.
  • This article presents some of the key findings of the Southern African Reconciliation Project (SARP). The SARP was a collaborative research project involving five Southern African NGOs in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. It examined how the concept of reconciliation was understood in political and community contexts in Southern Africa and investigated the ways in which national government policies and civil-society participation in reconciliation initiatives have opened up and/or foreclosed on opportunities for reconciliation, transitional justice, and the promotion of a culture of human rights. The author summarises the historical context of reconciliation in Southern Africa, outlines the reconciliation initiatives in each country, and identifies emerging debates around and principles of reconciliation that have surfaced in the work of civil-society organisations (CSOs) in the region.
  • In recent years, there has been renewed interest in the concept of civil society in development and governance circles. Broadly understood as the space in society where collective citizen action takes place, civil society has, in fact, proved an extremely difficult concept to define and operationalise. This article proposes a framework and methodology for measuring and comparing the state of different civil societies around the world. It concludes with a discussion of outstanding questions and challenges, drawing on preliminary insights from current efforts to apply the approach in more than 50 countries.
  • In English only
  • This article proposes a theoretical framework, the Capacity-building Paradox, which defines individual relationship work as the basis for capacity building. It explains why capacity building has hitherto been largely unsuccessful. ‘Relationship work’ is central to the functions of practitioners. It consists of both ‘dependent work’ and ‘friendship work’, the latter synonymous with capacity building. To do relationship work, practitioners require power, in order to overcome environmental obstacles. Financial resources emerge as the predominant environmental influence, often prompting practitioners to use dependent work rather than friendship work. This results in a reduction in capacity and does not contribute to sustainable development. Most of the current literature provides organisational and institutional tools for capacity building. While there is an increasing recognition of the centrality of personal relationships in this work, there is as yet no theoretical framework within which to locate it. The article presents original research into people’s experiences of capacity-building work in a development context and proposes a conceptual model that may have important implications for capacity-building practice.
  • This article presents field-based insights into the application of the Most Significant Change (MSC) technique as a method to monitor social change resulting from a development intervention. Documentation of this innovative qualitative monitoring technique is slowly growing, but is mostly limited to grey literature. In particular, there is a lack of rigorous investigation to assess the complexities and challenges of applying the technique with integrity in the development context. The authors employ a conceptual model of monitoring and evaluation practicalities (the ‘M&E Data Cycle’) for a systematic examination of the challenges to, and key components of, successful application of the MSC technique. They provide a detailed analysis of how MSC was employed in two projects in Laos, extracting the lessons learned and insights generated. This practice-based information can inform future deployment of the MSC technique and contribute to its development.
  • This article draws preliminary lessons from the experience of engaging village elites in support of a BRAC programme for ultra-poor women in rural Bangladesh. It describes the origins, aims, and operation of this programme, which provides comprehensive livelihood support and productive assets to the extreme poor. Based on field research in the rural north-west, the article examines the conditions under which elites can support interventions for the ultra-poor, and the risks and benefits of such engagement. It describes the impact of committees mandated to support ultra-poor programme participants, and attempts to understand the somewhat paradoxical success of this intervention. Conclusions and lessons from the experience involve revisiting assumptions that dominate scholarship and programmes relating to the politics of poverty in rural Bangladesh.
  • Markets and businesses are undergoing major changes as globalisation deepens. Pressure from diverse social groups, both environmental and economic, is changing the operating environment. Many corporations are interested in devising social-responsibility strategies, both as a response to outside pressures and in their own interests. Against this background, this article considers the case of Inditex, a company based in Galicia, and the ‘harassment’ to which it was subjected by Setem, the Spanish chapter of the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC). Reviewing Setem’s claims leads to a better understanding of the repercussions for social systems that are now increasingly informed by external actors. The authors argue that both corporations and non-government organisations must account for the social impact of their activities.
  • Cambodia has embarked on a process of decentralisation and democratisation, including the establishment of elected Commune Councils in early 2002. Given the lack of a tradition of encouraging civic participation in public affairs, however, there was initially little general awareness of how to engage with these Councils. The authors describe a project supported by the Ministry of Rural Development and the German bilateral agency, GTZ, and undertaken with local no-government organisations, to identify and support active community groups and improve their capacity to interact with the Commune Councils, while at the same time seeking ways for the Commune Councils to support the different groups.
  • Rice banks are increasingly used in South-East Asia as a means of addressing seasonal food crises facing poor communities. Despite general agreement about the effectiveness of community-managed rice banks in improving food security, there has been almost no research into their effectiveness in reaching the poorest, or the prospects of sustainability linked to regular repayments of rice. Concern Laos sought to answer these questions through community mobilisation, forming rules and regulations to encourage the participation of the poorest, developing simple tools and procedures in line with existing community capacity, and building greater community capacity. Other challenges remain, such as changing the prevailing ‘relief’ mentality, ensuring women’s participation, and establishing regular savings schemes, in order to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of the rice banks.
  • This article describes Learning Platforms, a structured effort by the Dutch-based agency SNV to encourage its expert advisers to engage in reading and analysing academic research related to the context in which they work, and to undertake research of their own. Although the practitioners’ ability to apply their research to their daily practice, and the organisation’s ability to absorb the findings of the research as part of its ways of working, have been partial or limited, the approach has the potential to bring academic and practice-based endeavour together in ways that are mutually beneficial.
  • Results-based management (RBM) is well entrenched as a management tool for international development practice. Yet after a decade of its use, many development practitioners view RBM in a negative light, considering it to be a donor requirement that diverts time, energy, and resources away from actually doing development work. This article provides some broad reflections on RBM from a distinctive vantage point: the perspective of the project (or programme) evaluator. The article reflects on challenges associated with RBM and draws from these reflections a number of suggested strategies to improve its use. It concludes that development practitioners need to be more aggressive in implementing RBM.
  • The article identifies challenges and opportunities for the Ugandan robusta coffee industry in the context of the global coffee crisis. It presents a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of development strategies through which Uganda might promote its largest export commodity. It is suggested that Uganda would benefit from moderately increasing robusta production, while a further decline in output could undermine its current price premium in the market. There may also be important benefits associated with increasing the value of Ugandan robusta through improvements in quality.

  • Constrained largely by lack of resources – technical, financial, legal, and/or administrative – governments in developing countries often create multi-layered management structures to regulate and monitor protected resources. Such structures are created when non-government organisations are given authority to monitor and/or manage certain aspects of a protected natural or indigenous resource. Other aspects, often regulatory, remain under the management of government. Using case studies from Belize and Malaysia, the research reported here suggests that the multi-layered management structures created between NGOs and governments in developing countries often encourage chaotic monitoring, reactive policies, and conflicts over jurisdiction as well as a dependency on the technical, financial, and/or legal resources of NGOs.
  • This article is based on research that explored and analysed the potential role of diasporas in development aid in the Netherlands. The research adopted the hypothesis that development agencies could benefit from the knowledge, skills, and views of diasporas as ‘agents of development’ and thereby make aid more effective and sustainable. Data were derived from semi-structured interviews with representatives of diasporas residing in the Netherlands; Dutch NGOs selected by the Dutch government for their capacity-building programmes; official donors, namely the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken); and international organisations, such as the International Organization of Migration (IOM). Secondary data were derived from a literature review.
  • In English only
  • This article describes the exploratory and preparatory phase of a research project designed to use cooperative enquiry as a method for transformative and participatory action research into relations between donors and recipients in two developing countries, Bolivia and Bangladesh. It describes the origins of our idea, the conceptual challenges that we faced in seeking funding, and what we learnt from this first phase. We analyse why the researchers, as well as the potential subjects of the research, were uncomfortable with the proposed methodology, including the challenges arising from our own positions and the highly sensitive nature of the topic. We explain why we decided to abandon the project and reach some tentative conclusions concerning the options for participatory action learning and research in development practice.
  • Overcoming challenges to ecosystem health calls for breaking down disciplinary and professional barriers. Through reflection on a research and development project to address pesticide-related concerns in northern Ecuador, this paper presents challenges encountered and accommodations made, ranging from staff recruitment, through baseline assessments, community education activities, to mobilising for policy change. In so doing, it exposes underlying problems of paradigm and process inherent in bringing researchers and development practitioners together as well as the problematic role of advocacy that is associated with joint agriculture and health, research and development initiatives.
  • Natural chewing gum or chicle represents just 3.5 per cent of the total chewing-gum market, which is dominated by synthetic chewing gum made from hydrocarbons. However, recent interest in sustainable livelihood strategies has opened up opportunities for enlarging chicle commercialisation for what is still a small, niche market. The production of chicle can serve to strengthen forest conservation, and provide regular employment to those dependent on forest products, as part of a range of sustainable forest activities. However, the production and marketing of natural chewing gum has faced several serious problems: producers in Mexico have been organised in ways that enabled them to be exploited both by intermediaries and state institutions, and the processes of certification for organics and fair trade are unwieldy and expensive. This paper suggests a number of ways of addressing these problems.
  • Between 1994 and 2003, the TRIPS (Trade-Related Intellectual Property) Agreement of the WTO was refined to allow for flexibilities in the use of compulsory licences to import and export ‘generic’ varieties of pharmaceutical products, including ARV drugs for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. After summarising this process, and assessing its implications in practice for developing countries, the paper briefly places the current regime in a longer-term context of the institutional protection of patents in Britain and Europe dating from the nineteenth century. It traces how that that pattern, which benefits major patent holders, continues to be present in TRIPS. The paper goes on to demonstrate the continuity of corporate influence over the state as expressed in the ‘TRIPS-plus’ conditions, which are appearing in bilateral free-trade agreements between the USA and either individual developing countries or regional groupings. This array of what amount to institutional obstacles to the sustained availability of cheap drugs, at present and in the future, presents serious problems for future operations of the supply chain for many imported medicines and, in the case of HIV/AIDS, with negative implications for the long-term clinical effectiveness of the most widely used drugs.
  • The paper reviews current methodologies for the design of development projects and identifies foundational reasons for conflict between design approaches and participatory methods. A number of alternative approaches to the design of interventions in social systems are examined, and the potential application of some of these new ideas within a visioning process that is based on communicative rationality is explored. We conclude that there are many problems to be overcome before describing a complete design methodology that moves away from the objectivist basis of existing design systems, and that the new approach will need to address power relationships and the consequent and interrelated problems of accountability and trust.
  • The accountability of international development NGOs (INGOs) has attracted a great deal of interest from academics and development practitioners. INGO accountability falls into two categories: practical accountability (for the use of inputs, the way activities are performed, and for outputs) and strategic accountability for how INGOs are performing in relation to their mission. This paper presents a conceptual framework for exploring INGO accountability. It is based on information collected through a literature review and semi-structured interviews with representatives from 20 UK-based INGOs. The research found that INGOs tend to use a number of quality-assurance mechanisms to achieve ‘practical’ accountability. However, it is suggested that this kind of accountability will not necessarily enable INGOs to achieve their missions to alleviate poverty and eliminate injustice. Furthermore, the predominant use of practical accountability has led to a number of gaps in INGO accountability. It is suggested that, like the term participation before it, accountability has been co-opted for its instrumental benefits to INGO project performance and management. It is argued that if INGOs are to achieve their missions, this will require more ‘strategic’ forms of accountability geared towards fundamentally changing those social, economic, and political structures that promote poverty.
  • Andries Du Toit (2004) argues that the concept of social exclusion has limited use in the field of development studies since chronic poverty is often the result of incorporation on particularly disadvantageous terms (adverse incorporation) rather than any process of exclusion. Du Toit therefore calls for going beyond seeing ‘exclusion’ and ‘inclusion’ in binary terms and looking more closely at how different kinds of power are formed and maintained. This papers argues that thinking about social exclusion has already moved beyond a simple included /excluded dichotomy, and that use of Sen’s analytical framework assists researchers to tease out the complex, interconnected factors underlying chronic poverty, such as that experienced by agricultural workers in South Africa’s Western Cape district of Ceres.
  • In this brief Viewpoint, the author argues that the common understanding of average life expectancy in any given country is an inappropriate measure in relation to development, since among AIDS-affected populations it fails to differentiate between significantly different life-spans depending on whether or not a person contracts the disease.
  • International networks for social change are growing in number and influence. While they need to be able to assess the extent to which they achieve their purpose and determine ways in which to be more effective, conventional evaluation methods are not designed for such complex organisational forms, or for the diverse kinds of activity to which they are characteristically dedicated. Building on an earlier version of the paper, the authors present a set of principles and participatory approaches that are more appropriate to the task of evaluating such networks.
  • This article discusses the role of animals in small-scale crop/animal systems in Asia. It examines how the animals are generally multipurpose, rather than single or dual purpose, with security also being an important element. Farmers can be stimulated to produce more meat and milk when other forms of security such as banks are considered equally reliable. Multiculture is the predominant system of plant production in the region with leguminous crops complementing non-leguminous crops. This also has benefits for soils. Multiculture systems are labour intensive, but in a context in which labour is not a problem, labour-saving devices provide no solution. Animals in agroforestry are discussed in detail, with an emphasis placed on animals grazing under coconut and oil-palm plantations. Asian animal scientists should spend more time exploring the roles of multiculture and animals in agroforestry.
  • AIDS-related morbidity and mortality affects not only individuals and their families, but is rapidly undermining the struggling capacity to develop of African states. Stemming the impacts of the pandemic has therefore become a major concern. This calls for addressing the issues of care and support for those affected, and increasing the access of persons living with HIV/AIDS to effective treatment. Provision of such complex medication in resource-limited settings is a fairly recent phenomenon. In this context, the paper builds on emerging experiences from the field in identifying issues and challenges that need to be addressed in order to facilitate the scaling-up of HIV/AIDS treatment in Africa.
  • In this study the Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile was used to compare health-promoting behaviours in three groups of chronically ill people being treated as outpatients at clinics and hospitals in Fiji, Nauru, and Kiribati. Significant differences were found between males and females and among groups in relation to practices and attitudes toward health responsibility, physical activity, nutrition, and stress management. Health professionals and educators must develop ways to transmit the message of healthy lifestyles to populations that do not give much attention to conventional health education methods.
  • This report summarises a project of participatory action-research combining concepts from the field of development management with practice in international mental health. The research was conducted in Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, and Romania. The policy-as-process model is central to understandings of development management but is unfamiliar to organisations working in mental health, even those working from a community level, bottom-up perspective to influence mental-health policy. At the same time practice and learning from the field of mental health and radical user-empowerment models have received little attention from development managers. The research reported here found that the policy-as-process model was useful to mental-health activists and that it provided a competing framework to more traditional, top-down and prescriptive policy concepts, and made it possible to make sense of the multiple perspectives, value-based conflicts, and power dynamics that characterise understandings and practice in mental health. Among the recommendations is a call for closer links between mental-health activism and development management, and a transfer of knowledge, understanding, and experience between the two disciplines.
  • in English only
  • It is virtually undisputed that poverty is multi-dimensional. However, 'economic' or income/expenditure/monetary measures of poverty still maintain a higher status in key development indicators and policy: The number one Millennium Development Goal (MDG) is the dollar-a-day; the Human Development Index (HDI) and Gender Development Index (GDI) of UNDP both use weightings that very strongly favour GDP per capita; and the income poverty headcount is generally the main focus in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers. This article is concerned with this apparent contradiction between the consensus over the meaning of poverty and the choice of methods with which to measure poverty in practice. A brief history of the meaning and measurement of poverty is given and it is argued that while 'economic' determinism has gradually retreated from centrality in the meaning of poverty it has continued to dominate the measurement of poverty. This is followed by a section that contrasts the relative merits of 'economic' and 'non-economic' measures of poverty. The question is posed: why do 'economic' measures of poverty still have a higher status than non-economic measures?
  • Gender inequality is now widely acknowledged as an important factor in the spread and entrenchment of poverty. This article examines the World Development Report 2000/01 as the World Bank’s blueprint for addressing poverty in the twenty-first century along with several more recent Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) with a view to analysing the manner in which gender is incorporated into the policy-making process and whether it constitutes a new approach to gender and poverty. It is argued that World Bank’s approach to poverty is unlikely to deliver gender justice because there remain large discrepancies between the economic and social policies it prescribes. More specifically, it is contended that the Bank employs an integrationist approach that encapsulates gender issues within existing development paradigms without attempting to transform an overall development agenda whose ultimate objective is economic growth as opposed to equity. Case studies from Cambodia and Vietnam are used to illustrate these arguments.
  • Poverty and the way in which it is researched are major preoccupations for many social scientists. This article presents different ways of researching urban poverty in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), focusing on qualitative methods and the different ways in which these can be used to collect data. Examples are drawn from field research carried out in urban areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaïre) to illustrate the ways that different research methods and techniques are used in the field and how a researcher might organise data collection.
  • The concern driving current debate on agricultural extension is increasingly that of what can be done to help farmers learn how to deal with the complex world around them responsibly and profitably, in such a way that the extension worker is ancillary. This paper seeks to deconstruct and provide a more reasoned assessment of agricultural extension services through a reflection on development paradigms, adult education, individual empowerment, and institutional pluralism. By calling into question the underlying ethical dimensions of agricultural extension, it is possible to develop an alternative paradigm and thereby generate new insights into it. The article concludes that the raison d’être of agricultural extension today must be to create an ethical basis that ensures that extension practices are more inclusive and thus responsive to the needs of farmers and other rural populations, integrating individual expectations into the wider socio-economic, cultural, political, and geographical environment.
  • This paper reviews prevention strategies initiated and implemented by NGOs across the globe to address female sex trafficking. It sets out the conceptual bases for anti-trafficking measures in general and prevention measures in particular before presenting a representative cross-section of programmes and approaches currently underway. The authors identify some of the gaps apparent in these responses, and offer recommendations to improve the implementation of prevention strategies. The paper concludes that anti-trafficking prevention measures must be skilfully integrated into current community-development practices and that for this reason, local and global development planners must become more aware of this issue and the strategic actions necessary to address it.
  • It is frequently contended that NGOs and the wider context of development are intrinsically different from other organisational settings within which Human Resource Development (HRD) is believed to play an important role. In this paper, the author outlines the basic concepts underpinning human development within organisations, and organisational development, and sets out the arguments for greater investment in people. While this can raise ethical and practical issues in organisations that depend on external funds rather than generating their own income, the failure to develop the staff on whom a development organisation ultimately depends carries far greater risks. Management and specifically HRD are not desk-bound activities that can be pursued through the application of protocols and sanctions, but require vision, leadership, and hands-on engagement.
  • This article discusses the role NGOs play, not in their traditional role as service providers, but as employers in the Egyptian labour market. Over the last two decades, NGOs have been offering attractive job opportunities to middle-class professionals who are disillusioned with the private sector and no longer interested in joining the state bureaucracy. The working conditions of the growing number of NGO employees and how NGOs fare as employers has not been investigated in the substantial academic and policy literature on NGOs, which so far has been almost exclusively concerned with NGOs’ relationships with their ‘beneficiaries’ rather with than with their position as active players in a changing labour market.
  • This paper discusses the meaning of development from a post-development perspective, based on a case study of a goat-keeping project involving a small community of farmers from a rural town in northeast Brazil. The development project was fraught with conflicting views of development as it sought to impose an interventionist, ethnocentric, and modernist view of what was best for the community, even stipulating how the farmers should work together. The modernist interpretation has been criticised on various grounds, but nevertheless continues to condition how the ‘development industry’ defines its values and views its mission.
  • The political project of gender equality in Africa has gained momentum and made many achievements. However, these have been largely confined to the ‘big’ women working in the public and private bureaucratic contexts in which there is a greater commitment to gender equality. It is argued that in the context of Cameroon, until these ‘bigger’ women renew their commitment to their grassroots sisters, the experience of gender equality among will remain largely unequal. Only strong linkages between white-collar workers and less privileged women will span this chasm.
  • This paper argues that Africa’s developmental efforts can be greatly enhanced both by an improvement in its bargaining power and more a genuine demonstration of generosity by its trading partners, in particular the developed countries. This generosity entails putting no conditions or restrictions on Africa’s products, particularly agricultural exports, and eliminating farm subsidies in developed states. Unless this is done, concessions made to African countries will remain merely symbolic.
  • This paper offers a case study of a secondment of staff from a Northern NGO (Trócaire) to a Southern partner, the Catholic Development Commission (CADECOM) of Malawi, as a possible model for capacity building. The approach described was tried in the context of an emergency programme but could also be used in a development context. The paper analyses the appropriateness of the model in terms of its administrative structure, focus, and impact, and attempts to draw lessons for practitioners for its successful application.
  • Although not part of the national curriculum until 2004, HIV/AIDS education has been taught for some time in Ugandan secondary schools through a variety of extracurricular means, including the media, youth groups, drama, music, and Parent Teacher Associations. This paper identifies and evaluates the integration of HIV/AIDS information into the national curriculum in Ugandan secondary schools between 2002 and 2004, based on the viewpoints of administrators, teachers, and students from 76 schools. While most schools did not include HIV/AIDS as part of the formal national curriculum at this time, the information was disseminated through a range of alternative means. The paper identifies the most effective of these, discusses the perceived reactions of various stakeholders regarding HIV/AIDS being taught in secondary schools, and makes recommendations for curricular reform.
  • Harriet Matsaert, Zahir Ahmed, and Shah Abdus Salam This paper describes the experiences of a small Bangladeshi NGO in using actor-oriented tools to focus on key people and partnerships in project planning, monitoring, and evaluation. The approach has helped to identify interventions that are context-specific, building on key local actors and indigenous networks, and sensitive to the constraints experienced by the poorest. As a result, the NGO has away from an externally driven agenda and to become a more thoughtful and responsive organisation. In developing the approach, the NGO encountered some problems due to the political sensitivity concerning the representation of linkages. This underlines the importance of using these tools in a politically-aware, positive, and reflective way.
  • Floating-bed cultivation has proved a successful means to produce agricultural crops in different wetland areas of the world. In freshwater lakes and wetlands, vegetables, flowers and seedlings are grown in Bangladesh using this floating cultivation technique, without any additional irrigation or chemical fertiliser. No detailed study of this indigenous cultivation technique has been published to date, although the laboratory method, hydroponics, is well documented in the professional literature. Our study is focused on the nature and characteristics of the Bangladeshi system, where local farmers have demonstrated the potential for the sustainable use of such common property local water resources. We seek to establish a reference point for further research into this technique for its possible refinement and an assessment of its suitability for replication.
  • Based on the contemporary interest in developing new adult literacy learning programmes based on ‘literacy for livelihoods’, this paper examines some case studies from New Zealand, Bangladesh, and Egypt of literacy being used in livelihoods, and relates these to the kind of literacy being taught in many adult literacy programmes today. It points out that people often change their livelihoods and that each livelihood has literacy practices embedded within it. The paper suggests that the use of these literacy practices embedded within the livelihood activities might be a better starting point for adult literacy learning than a school-based textbook.
  • Part of New Zealand’s aid to Pacific Island nations is in the form of tertiary scholarships. Students awarded scholarships study at tertiary institutions throughout the Pacific, including New Zealand. But what is it like when they return home, fitting back in to their culture and family life and finding work? The research described in this article explored this question in relation to women graduates from Vanuatu when they returned after studying overseas for three or more years. Some slipped back in easily and found work quickly, others experienced profound culture shock on re-entry and took many months to find suitable work. If Vanuatu is to make the best possible use of these women’s tertiary qualifications, and if donors are to realise the goals of their scholarship scheme, necessary changes include more coordinated support and regular tracer studies.
  • This article provides an overview of issues relating to the use of knowledge by development organisations. It starts by exploring the various definitions of knowledge which exist in a world of many cultures and intellectual traditions and the role of language. It considers their relationship with each other and with the many and varied ‘informational developments’ – information-related changes in work, culture, organisations, and technology across the world. It argues that these issues pose a number of fundamental strategic challenges to the development sector. The second part looks at where, in practice, development organisations get their information and knowledge from and identifies problem areas with many of the channels used. Its conclusion is that most current practice consistently militates against the type of relationship and type of communication that are essential if development policy and practice is to be anything other than an imposition of external ideas, however well intentioned.
  • This article focuses on the development of African Studies, principally in post-1945 Europe and North America, and its counterpart in post-independence Africa. African Studies enjoys an increasingly close connection with bilateral and multilateral development cooperation, providing research and researchers (along with their own conceptual frameworks and concerns) to assist in defining and providing direction for aid and related policies. This is leading to unhealthy practices, whereby African research is ignored in the formulation of international policies towards the continent; while external Africanists assume the function of interpreting the world to Africa and vice versa. This dynamic reinforces existing asymmetries in capacity and influence, especially given the crisis of higher education in most African countries. It also undermines Africa’s research community, in particular the scope for cross-national and international exchange and the engagement in broader development debates, with the result that those social scientists who have not succumbed to the consultancy market or sought career opportunities elsewhere, are encouraged to focus on narrow empirical studies. This political division of intellectual labour needs to be replaced with one that allows for the free expression and exchange of ideas not only by Africans on Africa, but with the wider international community who share the same broad thematic and/or theoretical preoccupations as the African scholars with whom they are in contact.
  • Using autobiographical experience with reference to woodfuel research in two locations in West Africa, this paper illustrates how knowledge processes influence what can be produced as knowledge; how such knowledge is actually produced; and what is eventually produced as knowledge. However, although it explores the various roles which knowledge plays in the social relations at particular historical moments in the personal and professional development of a single individual, the questions this subjective experience raises are of wider import: whose knowledge matters? how do certain knowledges get suppressed or are denied, while others are privileged? In turn, this raises additional questions concerning the ways in which research and practice are mediated through local research, policy, and development prisms. In a general sense, the paper is about the way in which woodfuel philosophies, methodologies, and practices are constructed, modified, and maintained in existence as knowledge; and a reminder that such knowledge processes cannot truly be understood in isolation, but need to be situated within complex, diversified contexts of individual agendas, group strategies, etc, as well as in multiple sites of production.
  • This paper argues that those keen to characterise and harness the empowering potential of Information and Communications Technology [ICT] for development projects have to understand that the very existence of this technology opens up alternative models of cooperation and collaboration. These models themselves necessitate breaking away from ‘traditional’ command-and-control models of management. One alternative is to persuade participants, or potential participants, to coordinate their efforts along the lines exemplified by the open-source software movement and the contributors to Wikipedia: models of coordination that ought not to work, but appear to do so. The paper offers an outline of this argument, and then suggests ways in which NGOs in particular might try to incorporate these insights into their strategies. This is particularly critical for organisations with a reliance on increasingly pressurised funding opportunities, and which also seek to develop and engender participation and determination from within and among specific target groupings.
  • The paper examines whether the concept of social capital can facilitate our understanding of online networks in development. Much of the knowledge generation and social learning in development takes place in networks, which are increasingly online. Although these networks are assumed to be a positive force in development, there are many unknowns about them, partly because they are in their infancy. The concept of social capital has traditionally been applied to examine the functioning of groups and societies. More recently, it has also been applied to development and to online networks outside development. Three non-development approaches to examining social capital in online networks and communities are reviewed in the article. Elements of these approaches, combined with development-related aspects, are used to produce a framework to facilitate the analysis of social capital in online networks in a development context.
  • In this article, the authors reflect on the establishment and rapid evolution of an African electronic newsletter, Pambazuka News, an initiative that is rooted in the relationship between information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the one hand, and the struggle against impoverishment and injustices, on the other. Among the main learning points are that electronic publishing is a long-term commitment because of the trust established between the organisation providing the service and those using it. The immediacy of the medium enables information to move around in a range of different ways, and exerts new forms of mutual accountability. There remains, however, the critical issue of how to guarantee the resources to maintain such a service without compromising the content or diluting the purpose.
  • Knowledge in development has been perceived as a one-way commodity that developed nations could bring ‘down to’ the level of ‘developing countries’. Sharing knowledge is generally seen as a North–South operation. This vertical approach to knowledge in development echoes the vertical approach to development in general, wherebyt knowledge is perceived as an ingredient of the technical assistance given by those who have it to those who do not. However, no organisation can offer social transformation or knowledge sharing if it is not itself engaged in an internal learning process that systematically questions certainties, authorities, and decision making. Learning is a complex process of acquiring knowledge both within the organisation that facilitates social change and among the subjects of and partners in social change.
  • This article explores the motivation for, traces the development of, and details the distinctive strategy shaping The Communication Initiative (The CI), a network of those using communication to foster economic and social change in communities around the world. Network members access information and collaborate with each other through any of three knowledge websites - one with a worldwide overview and focus, one with a worldwide overview and focus on Latin America, and one with a focus on Africa - and their associated electronic newsletters. These online spaces are components in a broader process that the author terms ‘horizontal communication’, which is central to providing a non-judgmental, level platform for accessing the information and interactions that are important to those actually practising communication for development. Drawing on this approach, The CI has engaged 50,000-plus people from 184 countries over the past seven years; the author outlines the elements that have been central to this success.
  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have created new economic and social opportunities the world over. Their use, however, continues to be governed by existing power relations where women frequently experience relative disadvantage. Amidst this inequality are individuals and organisations that are working to use ICTs to further gender equality. These are the issues addressed by the BRIDGE Cutting Edge Pack on Gender and ICTs. This section consists of extracts from the Overview Report part of the Pack. The first, most of the section ‘ICTs as tools to challenge gender inequality and promote women’s empowerment’ (a section on women and e-government has been omitted), describes ways in which women have been able to use ICTs to support new forms of information exchange, organisation, and empowerment. The second, taken from the textbox ‘Telecentres: Some Myths’ describes three assertions which frequently lead to problems in all forms of investment in development-related information exchanges with poor or less powerful groups, not only those relating to telecentres and women.
  • We suggest that PhD and post-doctoral researchers are a strong, untapped resource with the potential to make a real contribution to global health research (GHR). However, we raise some ethical, institutional, and funding issues that either discourage new researchers from entering the field or diminish their capacity to contribute. We offer a number of recommendations to Canadian academic and non-academic institutions and funders, and aim to generate discussion among them about how to overcome these constraints. We need changes in the way graduate research is organised and funded, so there are opportunities to work collaboratively within established low- and middle-income countries (LMIC)/Canadian research partnerships. We urge changes in the way institutions fund, recognise, value, and support GHR, so established researchers are encouraged to develop long-term LMIC relationships and mentor new Canadian/LMIC researchers. We ask funders to reconsider additional GHR activities for support, including strategic training initiatives and dissemination of research results. We also encourage the development of alternative institutions that can provide training and mentoring opportunities. GHR per se faces many challenges. If we address those that reduce our potential to contribute, we can become real partners in GHR, working towards equitable global health and solutions to priority health issues.
  • This brief paper outlines a range of facilities and new developments in web-based and Internet services. While many of the applications are being used for publishing, dialogue, research, and feedback in development, the question remains of how profoundly the development of communications and in particular the Internet, is changing the international development community and the way it works.
  • This review essay surveys the theoretical insights emerging from within the Global Justice and Solidarity Movement, also known as the Anti-Globalisation Movement, or the Movement of the Movements, and also reviews the literature focused on this phenomenon from those closely involved as well as from other observers. The central concern is to understand the nature and significance of the movement of the movements as it operates across local, national, and global boundaries, and to consider its capacity to represent and mobilise the many millions worldwide who stand to gain little or nothing, but may lose a great deal, from neo-liberal globalisation.
  • This article is concerned with some initial reflections on the distinctive features of Development Studies (DS). The aim is to trigger more debate rather than attempt ‘closure’. Discussion of the nature of DS is timely because of the expansion of taught courses at various levels over the last decade or so; because of sustained critiques of DS in recent years; and because DS has entered a period of ‘soul-searching’ - illustrated by several journal special issues and events - to identify its defining characteristics. The article argues that DS is a worthwhile endeavour (how could a concern with reducing global poverty not be?) but the field of enquiry needs to think about how it addresses heterogeneity in the ‘Third World(s)’ and opens space for alternative ‘voices’.
  • In English only
  • This article examines the capacity-building experiences of two research teams in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces in southwest China who used participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) to strengthen their development research actions, particularly in the area of natural resource management (NRM). The authors describe their efforts to incorporate PM&E practices in their work. The process proved challenging despite political and economic changes in China that aim to allow more space for local voice and decision-making power in the management of natural resources and other village affairs. Institutionalising PM&E has still a long way to go and will require more field practice, greater integration in the processes of organisational development, and stronger connections with agendas of political change.
  • The central argument of this paper is that many of the tools developed to strengthen for-profit businesses can be applied to NGOs to make them more effective and accountable. The paper addresses a gap in the development literature by defining and describing how business tools can be effectively transferred to NGOs. It examines the implementation of ISO 9000 Quality Standard by one NGO, the Cambodia Trust. The experiences of the Cambodia Trust demonstrate that business tools have a place in NGO management. The paper also questions the extent to which the Cambodian experience can be seen as best practice for NGOs.
  • Business Development Services (BDS) programmes have become big business for international donors and NGOs. Focusing on small enterprises in developing countries, the current BDS approach revolves around the idea that the development of commercial markets is the key to success. Yet many of these programmes continue to have a limited impact. A review of modern theories of innovation and services marketing management, suggests this may be because current BDS support practice reflects a rather limited understanding of how new markets actually develop. Drawing on the insights these theories offer, the authors suggest that BDS practice should develop a more evolutionary approach, recognising that service innovations develop through active, ongoing interaction between suppliers and customers. The article concludes with practical policy guidelines and a discussion about tools that could help BDS to adopt this more successful approach.
  • Fair-trade activities in the South have tended to be studied in relation to the internal aims of the fair-trade organisations themselves. This paper argues that it is also critical to consider the wider fair-trade ‘arena’ or set of interactions. The authors focus on the fair-trade coffee ‘arenas’ of Tanzania and Nicaragua and study the role of four key actors - small-scale producers, cooperatives, development partners, and public authorities. Using comparative data from field studies conducted in 2002-2003, the paper draws out key national and international issues affecting local producers. Illustrating how fair trade evolves differently according to context, the paper examines how the cooperative movement in Nicaragua has been strengthened by fair-trade production, in contrast to the situation in Tanzania. It concludes by looking at some of the challenges faced by fair trade, including how to reconcile the demands of the market with building solidarity.
  • This paper highlights some key factors shaping the micro enterprise sector in urban French West Africa. Drawing on interviews with micro entrepreneurs and microfinance practitioners in Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Togo, this study explores the needs, characteristics, motivations, and success factors for micro entrepreneurship in the region along with some of the impediments to the growth and success of micro enterprise ventures. It was found that those operating micro enterprises in the informal economy are entrepreneurs principally by necessity and that their most basic needs tend to drive their business activities and behaviours. It was also observed that their success was constrained by a number of barriers, including poor access to capital, poor training, and general aversion to risk. As a result, the development of the micro enterprise sector in urban French West Africa has been sub-optimal and the paper concludes that this situation may persist unless broader economic and social barriers are addressed.
  • The interchangeable use of the terms microcredit and microfinance creates serious confusions and misunderstandings in both academic and policy discourses. Microcredit programmes provide mainly one kind of service, namely loan distribution and collection, while microfinance programmes provide several financial and organisational services including credit, savings, insurance, and community development. From the functional perspective, differences appear more semantic than substantive. However, the conceptual differences are fundamental because they involve both the underlying motives and the ways in which the two types of venture operate in practice. Microcredit is essentially a non-profit approach to development and depends on external support, while microfinance programmes seek to return enough profit to be self-financing. Thus, the two programs need to be treated separately in relation to their role in the alleviation of Third World poverty.
  • Ministries of Finance (MoF) cannot ignore the major challenge to development posed by HIV/AIDS. To tackle the epidemic a new comprehensive and consistent approach is required: HIV/AIDS must be mainstreamed. This paper investigates the instruments MoF do, can, and should employ in order to be proactive and effective in mainstreaming HIV/AIDS through supporting the implementation of the ‘three ones’, promoted by UNAIDS and other partners – One strategic framework, One Authority, and One Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System. It suggests strategic paths as well as specific initiatives to exploit the comparative advantages of MoF in ensuring the implementation of national strategic plans, repositioning national authorities, and providing the basis for a strong M&E system.
  • Through an analysis of practical examples and key literature, this article considers what will enhance learning in and between NGOs and other development partners. The authors explore how the types and qualities of relationship currently evolving in the development sector affect learning, drawing predominantly on experiences of relationships between Northern and Southern NGOs. The article identifies those aspects of relationships that foster learning and those that inhibit it, and offers recommendations to strengthen learning. The authors highlight the relevance of, the challenges posed by, and the potential of partnership work, as well as the impact of accountability demands, procedures, and processes, on organisational relationships and on learning.
  • Processed by rural West African women and desired by wealthy Northern consumers of natural beauty products, shea butter seems a prime candidate for fair trade, yet to date there has been little study of the industry. This article analyses the opportunities and constraints of the development of fair-trade exports of shea butter from Burkina Faso, taking into account the context in which shea is produced and sold locally and internationally, the concept of fair trade, and the impact of gender relations on shea production. Although a definitive positive or negative determination cannot be made, given the complex and divergent factors affecting the potential international market and the production process, the author finds that the development of the fair-trade shea butter industry in Burkina Faso has great potential. However, such development must occur with restraint and consideration of possible challenges and limitations, in order to remain sustainable and viable for rural female producers
  • Summary: Microcredit is a means of providing financial services to people who lack access to conventional credit sources. New programmes in the North are endeavour to emulate successful experiences in the South. But such programmes have their own characteristics that differentiate them from those in the South, as illustrated in a case study of experience in Spain.
  • Thanks to the range of natural resources and the wealth of human capital, Vietnam is well placed to develop its aquaculture sector. Although it is one of the world’s largest producers of seafoods, Vietnam faces environmental and food security problems, and adequate planning is therefore a critical issue if acquaculture is to be developed in a sustainable fashion. In Vietnam, efforts are being redoubled in order to improve the physical conditions in which acquaculture is conducted as well as providing technical, organisational, financial, and training levels of those dependent on such activities, and to promote the development of the sector overall.
  • Reporting on AccountAbility’s 2005 Annual Conference, Hyatt observes that the Northern-driven ‘accountability industry’ is more concerned about predicting outcomes and controlling resources, and is thus largely missing the moral, political nature of accountability in terms of promoting equity and integrity, and is little concerned with the failure to learn and to encourage learning.
  • In English only
  • This article discusses humanitarian advocacy in the contemporary world within the wider crisis of political vision. Humanitarian advocacy over the last 15 years has drawn attention to how crises have been precipitated by state policies and has sought international intervention to protect people. It has consequently become associated with challenging the national sovereignty of the developing state. This article contends that the weak state is the problem, and suggests that the existing paradigm of humanitarian advocacy helps to legitimise the erosion of equality among sovereign states and the reassertion of international inequalities.
  • Colombia’s chronic war is one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Amid armed actors, pervasive violence, and increasing militarisation, many citizens experience hostility from all sides. This violence continues the historical marginalisation of Afro-descendent, indigenous, and campesino communities and is intensified by the Global War on Terror. In this context, aid agencies are challenged in their call to respond to the needs of those who suffer. But some ‘peace’ communities are rejecting violence and seeking ways to survive within war—becoming protagonists in their own protection. This is risky; it draws accusations, threats, and attacks. Over time, the lack of sustainable livelihoods, weak internal cohesion, and antagonistic external dynamics test peace communities’ determination. This article examines four such communities and explores factors that generate and sustain grassroots protagonism, leading to suggestions for how development organisations can enhance community-level protection and reinforce local peace processes to contribute to broader peacebuilding.
  • This paper underlines the importance of grounding the analysis of humanitarian aid in an understanding of everyday practice by presenting and discussing ethnographic vignettes about three aspects of aid response in Sri Lanka following the 2004 Tsunami. The first deals with the nature of humanitarian actors, the second explores how different kinds of politics intertwine, and the third discusses the issue of humanitarian partnerships. Each vignette points to the need for detailed analysis of everyday practice as the starting point for understanding humanitarian aid. This would require a shift in current academic approaches, where discussions on humanitarian aid usually start from the level of principles rather than practice. It is argued that accounts of the everyday practices and dilemmas faced by NGOs help to counterbalance blind expectations, expose uncritical admiration, and put unrealistic critiques into perspective.
  • Why has the humanitarian world already forgotten the people of Rwanda? And why do the survivors of the Rwandan genocide continue to be sidelined, particularly those women who were raped and deliberately infected with HIV/AIDS in a campaign of systematic sexual violence? The focus of humanitarian organisations shifted from Rwanda after 1994, and these women – most of whom have to maintain their households alone – are needlessly dying because they have no access to treatment. Humanitarian and development efforts will not achieve lasting benefits without better coordination, and the ability to act on lessons learned.
  • As Tony Vaux points out in his Guest Editorial in this issue, the concept of humanitarianism applies to both war and general disaster, and is based on the principle that ‘in extreme cases of human suffering external agents may offer assistance to people in need, and in doing so should be accorded respect and even “rights” in carrying out their functions’. However, policy makers in humanitarian agencies, and aid workers on the ground, face a bewilderingly complex set of challenges in determining such ‘rights’. Gone are any comfortable certainties about what in the commercial sector is known as ‘the licence to operate’, and claims to the moral high ground of ‘neutrality’ have an increasingly hollow ring. Perhaps more to the point, such assumptions are of little practical use to frontline workers who may risk ambush, abduction, deportation, or even their lives as the result of their professional activities. Nor do outdated road maps help relief agencies to orient their decisions on whether to withdraw or continue providing material assistance in the knowledge that a proportion of it is fuelling the violence or lining the pockets of conflict profiteers. There are no standard ‘off-the-peg’ answers, because each situation must be considered on its own merits. And of course no aid agencies share an identical mandate, or have precisely the same expertise or history of involvement with the affected population – all factors that must be weighed up in deciding what is the appropriate course of action. For reasons of space, we have not sought to cover the areas of early warning, prevention, and mitigation associated with ‘natural’ disasters, although of course the two are always linked, as became very clear in wake of the Asian tsunami in Aceh and Sri Lanka. It has long been recognised that since catastrophic events disproportionately affect the poor and marginalised, they expose and may intensify existing social divides and structural injustice. For instance, in his seminal work on the 1943 Bengal famine, Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation (OUP, 1984) Amartya K Sen argued that such food shortages do not occur in functioning democracies. Similarly, Roger Plant's, Guatemala: Unnatural Disaster (Latin America Bureau, 1978) showed how the 1974 earthquake triggered an intensification in state violence that was to result in the death or disappearance of 200,000 Guatemalans and create ‘a nation of widows and orphans’. In accordance with the focus of this issue, we have given priority to publications and organisations that reflect on some direct involvement in humanitarian endeavour, rather than giving priority to more policy-oriented or scholarly works or academic institutions. We have included literature on the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, since this was such a defining event for humanitarianism; and some recent publications concerning the US-led invasions of Afghanistan in October 2001 (‘Operation Enduring Freedom’) and Iraq in March 2003 (‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’), since these have significantly redefined the global landscape of policy and practice within which humanitarian agencies operate. Inevitably we can offer only a glimpse of the growing literature in these fields, but we hope in so doing that readers, and particularly those directly involved in humanitarian endeavours, will be encouraged to explore the issues further.
  • One could be forgiven for concluding from the current debate that the ‘protection of civilians’ is something ‘done to’ the passive recipients of international largesse. Whether the macro-level interventions of the UN Security Council or micro-level attempts to reduce the negative side effects of relief action, those in need of protection are rarely seen as key players in their own futures. Although this type of external intervention can be valuable, it is a far from complete picture of how people manage to survive the effects of conflicts. This vision of protection seriously underestimates the resourcefulness of people who have no choice and in so doing misses opportunities to help communities as they are forced to adapt to their new realities. Effective humanitarian action will thus not only focus on the actions of those with a responsibility to protect, but will also support and strengthen the rational decisions that people themselves take to be ‘safe’ in conflict.
  • The paper documents lessons learnt from a study on aid partnerships in post-conflict development and peace building in Bougainville. The paper examines how donor agencies, in this case the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) through the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) contributed to the successes and failures of the Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency (LNWDA). While the donors contributed to the organisational development and capacity of the LNWDA, the balance of power remains skewed. Furthermore, the deployment of an intermediary body in the partnership exerts considerable pressure on the LNWDA as it has to deal with multiple accountabilities, thus affecting the impact of its own work on the ground. It is argued that in order to enhance the impact of their assistance, donor agencies need to develop a framework in which partnerships are sustained through mutual and less demanding accountabilities.
  • Humanitarianism and politics are more often than not considered distinct despite the increasing complexity of contemporary conflict. In some cases the separation is pushed too far and leads to unintended consequences. This article highlights the specifics of the flight of one renegade soldier and some 300 of his men to Rwanda, while the international community was plotting the road map for an ideal solution that everybody could have signed up to. This did not happen, and the article studies what caused the relevant parties to forfeit such a solution and makes recommendations for how to improve coordination and complementarity in international operations involving a range of actors.
  • This review essay explores the need to make the roles of women and of men visible in order to understand the different ways in which they are involved in, and affected by, armed conflict; and also to examine the ways in which gender roles, the relations between women and men, are changed during and as a result of such conflict. The author reviews current literature on the political economy of conflict, and feminist writing on women in conflict, noting that the former tends to be gender-blind while the latter generally fails to take an understanding of the wider Realpolitik into account. The author focuses on five recent feminist works that have attempted to do this, and hence contributed to moving the debate forward.
  • The humanitarian aid sector faces a growing skills shortage, at a time when it aspires to expand the scale, quality, and impact of its response to humanitarian needs. Rapid staff turnover has been pinpointed as one of the major constraints on both staff capacity building and organisational learning. A study undertaken for Oxfam GB (OGB) supports previous findings that traditional human resource practices in the humanitarian field, with many staff employed on short-term contracts, have inhibited skills development as well as programme and organisational learning.
  • Decentralisation, or the transfer of decision-making power and funds from central to local governments, is one of the most important reform movements in Latin America. Recent constitutional changes in Ecuador have contributed to the democratisation and empowerment of municipal governments. Case studies of three municipalities in highland Ecuador examine new opportunities for NGO-municipal government collaboration. NGOs have considerable experience of working locally and can help municipalities with planning and capacity building. Municipalities offer NGOs the legitimacy and local accountability they may lack, as well as the means both to extend project activities beyond isolated communities and to maintain the results once NGO assistance ends.
  • Scaling-up local innovations in natural resource management (NRM) involves learning that is centred around three themes: promoting local-level innovation, understanding why local innovations work in specific contexts, and reflecting on their relevance in other geographical and social contexts. Successful scalin- up depends in part upon the relationships among multiple stakeholders at different levels around this learning. The experiences of researchers supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) provide insights into four questions: What is scaling-up? Why scale-up? What to scale-up? and How to scale-up? The authors propose that scaling-up is a multi-stakeholder process consisting of five components including: framing the context, promoting participation, fostering learning, strengthening institutions, and disseminating successful experiences. Key bottlenecks to scaling-up are the absence of open communication and the mutual recognition among stakeholders of each other’s rights, responsibilities, and roles.
  • Epidemiological combined with experiential evidence from communities can produce important and sometimes surprising insights into gender relations, to inform policies that address changing needs. CIET has standardised a community-based cross-design for the gender-sensitive collection and analysis of three types of evidence: impact, coverage, and costs. Five steps help to ensure that women’s voices are heard in planning. Gender-stratified analysis of existing data is a starting point. Stratification of all responses by sex of the respondent prevents a numerical bias in favour of men translating into a gender bias in the analysis. Female focus groups inform survey design, interpretation, and appropriate strategies for change. Gender is a factor in risk and resilience analysis. Finally, gender-sensitive logistics ensure women’s equal participation. First-order outputs include actionable gender data to advocate in favour of women. Second-order outputs include an enabling environment for equitable development, challenging the gendered patterns of economic marginalisation.

  • Fair Trade has become a dynamic and successful dimension of an emerging counter-tendency to the neo-liberal globalisation regime. This study explores some of the dilemmas facing the Fair Trade movement as it seeks to broaden and deepen its impact among the rural poor of Latin America’s coffee sector. We argue that the efforts to broaden Fair Trade’s economic impact among poor, small-scale producers are creating challenges for deepening the political impact of a movement that is based on social justice and environmental sustainability. The study is based on two years’ research and seven case studies of Mexican and Central American small-scale farmer cooperatives producing coffee for the Fair Trade market.
  • This paper describes the research methodology followed in the ‘Livelihoods of the Extreme Poor Project’, a collaborative research project in Bangladesh between PROSHIKA (a large national NGO) and DFID (the UK government department for international development). The dual purpose of this project was to learn about poor people’s livelihoods and train the PROSHIKA research team in the use of qualitative research methods. The research findings were to be fed directly into policy formulation and the planning of new development interventions for the poorest people in Bangladesh. The paper provides an assessment of what the approach used achieved both in terms of building staff capacity and in policy influence, concluding that it has been largely successful in achieving its purpose.
  • Following the Renamo/Frelimo conflict and the 1992 Rome Accord ending hostilities, the Christian Council of Mozambique undertook to remove arms from the civilian population by trading them for development tools. The weapons were given to artists associated with a collective in the capital, Maputo. The weapons were cut into pieces and converted to sculptures that subsequently focused international attention on the Tools for Arms project, or TAE (Transformação de Armas em Enxadas). While succeeding in drawing attention to the proliferation of arms among civilians, and collecting a considerable number of arms and munitions, the project encountered difficulties in relating the production of art to the overall initiative. This paper examines the aspect of the project that produced art from weapons, with insights and observations based on fieldwork conducted for CUSO and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
  • This paper critiques the ‘freedom-centred’ view of development by arguing that while development must be about expanding peoples’ freedoms, the dynamics of power between ‘developers’ and ‘developees’ must not be ignored. There is little analysis of the implications of multi-party political system (seemingly equated with democracy) in facilitating development and freedom. Using Malawi as an illustration, it is argued that freedom and development are inextricably linked such that one cannot function without the other. Access to basic social services, the right of democratic participation for all citizens, and the right to act as free economic actors cannot be achieved unless these freedoms are buttressed by genuine decentralised governance structures, strong partnerships among government, opposition political parties, and civil society organisations, and good governance backed by good civic education programmes on the two themes.
  • Gender mainstreaming was established in the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action as a major strategy for the promotion of gender equality. As a development strategy, gender mainstreaming requires attention to gender perspectives, making them visible and showing the links between gender equality and the achievement of development goals. To evaluate gender mainstreaming in development projects and programmes requires a squaring of evaluation criteria such as relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability, with gender mainstreaming indicators at both project and programme level. This paper suggests a framework for evaluating development interventions from a gender-mainstreaming perspective, with a view to integrating gender perspectives in every phase of the project cycle.
  • The extractive industrial sector, increasingly breaking new grounds in developing countries, is increasingly aware of the environmental and community issues involved in mining, including questions relating to gender. However, the main focus is on the impacts of mining on ‘women’ in the community, leaving aside practical issues related to the processes of mainstreaming gender within the company, in the workplace itself. What tools and approaches would be useful for those addressing gender issues in the mining sector, a sector that is still perceived as a masculine area of work? This short paper reports on a practical study undertaken in a privately run colliery in Indonesia. Through this example, it suggests ways in which to take a first step towards gender mainstreaming in the mining sector.
  • In English only
  • While development cooperation can cause or exacerbate conflicts, withholding aid is not the solution. The issue is how to provide aid in a manner that prevents conflict, so as to achieve sustainable peace. This Practical Note examines how NGOs have prevented and managed conflicts arising from water projects in Ethiopia. The legal framework and institutional settings in that country leave little room for manoeuvre for NGOs, so their scope for adopting a conflict-preventive approach lies mainly in being more sensitive and being non-confrontational yet firm in their style of communication. Different funding conditions, and a more conducive legal framework, are fundamental to increasing NGOs’ effectiveness in preventing conflict.
  • A visit to Ghana, with the hosts interested in developing leaders and the guest interested in developing countries, led to a questioning of both. Three approaches to development were discussed. The top-down government planning approach, discredited with the fall of communism, has been replaced by an outside-in ‘globalisation’ approach, which is now promoted as the way to develop an economy. But has any nation ever developed by throwing itself open to foreign companies, capital, experts, and beliefs? The notable success stories, including the USA, point to a third approach, inside-up indigenous development, which has worked in concert with state intervention. Globalisation thus denies developing countries the very basis by which other countries developed. This argument is woven together with a corresponding one about the development of leaders, which must also happen indigenously, from the life experiences of individuals, not programmes that purport to create leaders. We have had enough of hubris in the name of heroic leadership much as we have had enough of foreign experts pretending to develop the ‘developing’ countries.
  • Collaboration has become a watchword for development practitioners and theorists. Yet collaboration or partnerships between academics and community-based researchers and activists have often proved difficult. This is particularly true for partnerships with smaller, grassroots community researchers, who are generally less resourced than their academic partners. This paper focuses on such partnerships in gender research, with the aim of reflecting on past problems as well as successes in order to develop strategies for making such projects more truly collaborative, rather than a minefield of broken promises and unspoken (and sometimes spoken) resentments.
  • This article looks at lessons that emerge from one specific approach to bridging activism and scholarship – the collaborative research partnership between scholars and activists. What these lessons share is a focus on recognising difference in order to bring people together.
  • Decades of development practice suggest the fundamental importance of improving aid-delivery systems and stakeholder competence in order to improve the well-being of poor people. However, it is questionable whether the aid system is able to change its attitudes and values through such partnerships in a way that will do this. This paper suggests that for this change to be possible, processes of individual, organisational, and inter-organisational learning have to be encouraged, in ways that do not sacrifice the knowledge obtained by aid workers in the processes of global management. The paper explores procedures of bilaterally funded community education projects in Ghana, in order to give insights into the working of partnership arrangements as a means to contribute to the alleviation of global poverty. Critical instances from the case study projects reveal the ways in which learning is facilitated, used, ignored, and hindered as the organisational relations develop.
  • This paper considers the role of urban agriculture in addressing the practical and strategic needs of African women, and assesses the gender implications of embracing urban agriculture as a development intervention strategy. Empirical evidence from Botswana and Zimbabwe points to the multi-faceted role of urban agriculture whereby some women use this activity to support their households on a daily basis, and others use it as an avenue for social and economic empowerment over the longer term. In order to benefit rather than burden women, the promotion and support of urban agriculture must take on an emancipatory agenda, which supports individual practical and strategic goals, and ultimately challenges the structural conditions that give rise to women’s involvement in the activity in the first place.
  • There are a number of serious ethical challenges and problems posed in conducting development research in a poor country. It is argued here that the best way to ensure that research is ethical is to apply three foundation principles. By focusing on self-determinism, non-malfeasance, and justice and beneficence, it is possible to avoid the risks of an unethical, pro-forma approach. This paper discusses the particular challenges of applying standard university guidelines on ethical research to conducting social research in Uzbekistan, where to fulfil all these guidelines would prevent the research from taking place. However, by applying the most basic ethical principles, it was possible to design an ethical research project.
  • This article examines different uses of forest-based incomes by local communities in Cameroon. Following, the 1994 forestry legislation, local communities have had the opportunity to derive income from forests in the form of annual fees from logging companies, and through the creation of community forests. Currently, several village communities are benefiting from these financial mechanisms, which should allow them to reduce their chronic poverty and to develop. However, this study – undertaken in the village of Kongo – indicates how these incomes are generally poorly managed and diverted by local elites. This finding runs contrary to the poverty-reduction objective underlying the development of community forests and the allocation of a proportion of forest taxation to local populations. A profound change in direction is required, through instituting democratic local governance.
  • This Research Roundup reports on the pilot phase of BRAC’s ‘Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction/Targeting the Ultra Poor Programme’ (CFPR/TUP), which was initiated in three of the poorest districts of northern Bangladesh (Nilphamari, Rangpur, and Kurigram) in January 2002. The authors find a close link between the initial conditions of the programme participants and the degree of change they have experienced in their lives since its inception, with the most vulnerable reporting the least change. Some modifications to the CFPR/TUP are recommended.
  • Better use of research-based evidence in development policy and practice can help save lives, reduce poverty, and improve the quality of life. But for this to happen more effectively researchers need to do three things. First, they need to develop a detailed understanding of (a) the policy-making process – what are the key influencing factors, and how do they relate to each other?; (b) the nature of the evidence they have, or hope to get – is it credible, practical, and operationally useful?; and (c) all the other stakeholders involved in the policy area – who else can help to get the message across? Second, they need to develop an overall strategy for their work – identify political supporters and opponents; keep an eye out for, and be able to react to, policy windows; ensure the evidence is credible and practically useful; and build coalitions with like-minded groups. Third, they need to be entrepreneurial – get to know, and work with the policy makers, build long-term programmes of credible research, communicate effectively, use participatory approaches, identify key networkers and salespeople, and use shadow networks. Based on over five years of theoretical and case-study research, ODI’s Research and Policy in Development programme has developed a simple analytical framework and practical tools that can help researchers to do this.
  • This Practical Note examines the design and implementation of Community-Driven Development (CDD) programmes, using the Kecamatan Development Programme (KDP) and the Urban Poverty Programme (UPP) in Indonesia as case studies. Launched in 1998, both have been praised as successful twin CDD pilots, allowing community groups to gain control over financial resources and decision-making processes. Despite similarities, the paper finds that different CDD approaches have been adopted, for various reasons. By exploring the rationales and trade-offs of these different approaches, the paper offers deeper insights into how CDD principles can be translated into local practices.
  • This paper describes a technique used to evaluate an NGO support and development project in Nepal. The project has been operating since 2000 or before in five Districts of Nepal and has the primary objective of assisting NGOs to work more closely with the poorest and most disadvantaged people in their catchment areas. The impact evaluation methodology used is both participatory and qualitative, but does arrive at quantified ranking estimates of project value-added in terms of stages of empowerment. The results suggest the project has been successful in developing the internal capacities of the NGOs and improving relationships with poor and disadvantaged people, but that the impact on their livelihoods is more limited even after three or more years of intensive inputs.

  • Aid agencies provide significant funding for research that is directed at socio-economic development. These agencies typically require out-of-country (OC) researchers to work with in-country (IC) researchers on such projects. Moreover, building the research capacity of IC researchers is often an important objective. This paper is written from the perspective of an OC researcher engaged in building the research capacity of IC researchers.
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  • This article argues for a combination of long-term engagement in providing security, culminating in training and mentoring of new security forces; a comprehensive approach to reintegrating ex-combatants that also benefits civilian host communities and helps to ensure that agricultural livelihoods are made viable; and the opening of a space for discussion of governance issues and revenue distribution that is supported by a revenue-collection trusteeship that takes some of the key areas of economic pillage out of the purview of the state and deposits state revenues transparently into the state's coffers, leaving it to a new breed of Liberian politicians to emerge.
  • Since the early 1990s, the international community has become increasingly involved in efforts to (re-)build states that have been torn by war and violent conflict. Today, the United Nations alone is engaged in more than ten political and peace-building missions around the world. Roland Paris's most recent work, At War's End: Building Peace after Civil Conflict (2004) examines 14 of the major UN peace-building missions launched between 1989 and 1999. In particular, Paris questions whether the predominant models of peacekeeping, with their emphasis on rapid democratisation and market liberalisation, are appropriate in fragile post-conflict contexts. In this interview, Roland Paris shares what can learned from the peace-building record about its effectiveness as a means of preventing the recurrence of violence in post-conflict situations.
  • A critical review of five contrasting publications on peace building, including the 2004 UN report A More Secure World.
  • This annotated list highlights some 70 recent publications and organisations that focus primarily on what happens after rather than before or during armed conflict. Issues covered include the political, economic, and social aspects of post-war reconstruction, and questions related to transitional justice and post-conflict reconciliation, and we have sought to offer a sample of the growing theoretical and empirical literature analysing the contemporary challenges involved in peace building and post-war reconstruction.
  • The overarching challenge facing the growing number of international peace-building interventions is to achieve sustainable peace. This paper illustrates this proposition through a brief investigation of the situation in East Timor as the UN mission withdraws at the five-year state-building mark, and in Haiti as a ninth UN mission is established. Adopting the view that participatory democratic governance will best ensure long-term peace, the paper maintains that to build sustainable peace requires transformation on three inter-related fronts: (a) transformation of the society from one that resorts to violence to one that resorts to political means to resolve conflict, requiring that the elite negotiate and that there should be widespread social dialogue and reconciliation; (b) reform of the governance framework to seek to ensure both that a negotiated governance arrangement between parties prevents future conflict and the adoption of basic democratic governance; and (c) the creation of meaningful institutions that will be sustainable after the mission leaves. These institutions cannot be imposed from outside, but must be bodies that are able to perform their core function and are committed to doing so.
  • A recent report by the World Bank reiterates the widely-held view that donor agencies commit large amounts of funding in the immediate post-conflict phase, only for this to taper off to more `normal' levels once the crisis is over. The World Bank criticises this phenomenon, referred to as `frontloading', claiming that damages the prospects of economic growth, which in turn undermines the peace. This article argues that the Bank's analysis is flawed because it does not distinguish between commitments and disbursements, or take sufficient account of other factors influencing aid patterns over time and in different settings. Moreover, the link between official aid and post-war economic performance is of only marginal significance. Any critique of aid policies needs to be based on a detailed analysis of what is delivered rather than what is promised, and of the impact of donors' assistance on the ground.
  • In English only
  • This article explores three main themes in comparing the transitional processes in Afghanistan and Iraq: (i) the clarity of the transitional frameworks and the need to separate discussions on such frameworks from debates on new constitutional arrangements; (ii) the degree of representation in the transitional institutions and the availability of channels for political consultation in the transitional processes; and third, the participation of civil society and the public at large in the transition processes.
  • This article focuses on the debate about the developmental impact of migration on the sending countries. Throughout the post-World War II period, temporary labour migration has been promoted as a path to development. Remittances have grown to rival or surpass official development assistance and have increased living standards in the sending countries. However, the evidence over time is that the remittances do not lead to development or even to higher incomes that are sustainable without further migration. Some determinedly temporary labour migration schemes offer promise. But where the pattern of migration and remittances locks into a semi-permanent arrangement (the standard line is `There's nothing more permanent than "temporary" migration'), then this may be a developmental trap for the South whereby, in a semi-permanent `3 D's Deal', the South foregoes self-development in favour of being a long-range bedroom community to supply the labour for dirty, dangerous, and difficult jobs in the North.
  • This Research Round-up summarises the findings of the 2004 Control Arms Report: Guns or Growth? Assessing the Impact of Arms Sales on Sustainable Development, published by Amnesty International, IANSA, and Oxfam International, in association with Ploughshares and Saferworld.
  • This paper reports on a collaborative research project that shows how participatory social research can be used as a strategy for combating social exclusion. The Crime Prevention Partnership Project brought together dominant and disempowered groups to explore social issues of mutual concern and identify potential solutions. Indigenous Australian undergraduate students played a central role in this project, working with the police as customer service trainees and with the university as members of a project research group. This project became an opportunity to train and empower new researchers who, as people from disadvantaged groups, brought their own knowledge, concerns, and worldviews to a research process that they helped design and carry out themselves. The result was a learning process for all involved, referred to here as multidirectional empowerment. It led to tangible bridge building between mainstream, powerful institutions and a disadvantaged community. The project process offers a model for using participatory research as a framework in which to address development issues.
  • As a tool both for research and for structuring community- level interaction, PRA is now well embedded in development practice. This paper, however, argues that in order to play an enabling role towards community action, facilitators need to offer much more than the traditional PRA approach. Based on work with groups of women and of men in North Bengal, the paper describes how local politics and facilitators' strategies interact and complicate the use of PRA-like planning approaches. The article stresses the need for effective and long-term facilitation strategies that take into account organisational, methodological, and contextual considerations, and argues that organisations need to invest far more in ensuring the quality of facilitators than is generally the case.
  • Kenya is not yet a major emigration country, but emigration of Kenyan professionals and technicians is increasing in importance. Kenyans and those with links to Kenya living abroad are a potentially important resource for national development. It is thus useful to examine the various ways in which this potential can be more effectively realised. The paper first discusses the patterns and impact of emigration before exploring the different ways in which the contribution of Kenyans abroad can be enhanced. It then puts forward proposals for priority action to implement the suggested initiatives.
  • The World Bank and world religions are two of the most powerful forces in the developing world. The Bank has access to vast financial resources, while faiths have vast social access and credibility. Partnership between the Bank and religious groups could have a significant impact on development efforts, but dialogue between them appears impotent. That appearance is deceptive. The dialogue stems from the Bank's long-term shift towards poverty alleviation and popular participation. As long as the Bank continues to address these issues, its actions will bring it into contact with faith groups. Despite its limitations, the Bank - faith dialogue, has fostered a greater openness to faiths among Bank staff, which in turn has resulted in specific roles being given to faiths in several major Bank programmes and opened the door to future partnerships.
  • Global workers' remittances have grown noticeably in recent years. Remittances are now a key macroeconomic factor in many developing countries, representing an increasingly large percentage of total monetary inflows. For many developing countries, remittances are comparable to or greater than total export earnings, official development assistance (ODA), and foreign direct investment (FDI). Remittance flows are also more progressive than these other international flows as they more equally distributed. The relative volume of this resource and its sharp increase over the past decade makes remittances increasingly significant in terms of development. Focusing in Nicaragua, this paper reviews the increasing importance of remittances and examines their potential to bring positive development outcomes to developing countries.
  • Based on primary research on the applicability of social exclusion frameworks to the experiences of people with leprosy in Bangladesh, this article compares two means of intervention: health education of society, and socio-economic rehabilitation of individual patients. These interventions commonly remain distinct, but it is concluded that only by integrating the two approaches can deep-seated prejudices be removed, facilitating early detection and elimination of leprosy. Processes of inclusion are more effective when they involve the same actors that promoted exclusion, and when they create bridges across the rigid divides separating the excluded from the excluding society or group.
  • Total remittances from migrant workers (US$80bn in 2003) significantly outstrip the total amount of overseas development assistance (US$55bn in the same year). Many conclude that such remittances make a positive contribution to development in the global South. However, the experiences of women health-care workers and migrants contradict easy and hopeful assumptions about the positive effects of migration. Further, the more economistic analyses of the benefits of migration do not subtract its gendered and social costs when calculating labour savings in the North or income from remittances in the South.
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  • Non-formal education often represents a last chance for adolescent girls who do not attend school to receive some education to improve their health before they become mothers. This paper describes the development of a literacy and health education curriculum for adolescent girls in southern Malawi who will never enter formal schooling. The curriculum was redefined in the light of participants’ feedback and providers’ observations. The health messages could effect change but would have had limited impact on girls’ health practices without the participation of the wider community. The curriculum’s innate visibility ‘under the trees’ was a key factor in facilitating villagers’ involvement and exponential learning.
  • Few issues in the development process raise as much heat as the role of the international private sector in the form of transnational corporations (TNCs) and foreign direct investment (FDI). This article reviews the most recent research on the impact of FDI on economic growth and poverty reduction in developing countries. A brief history of FDI is given. This is followed by discussion of the conceptual transmission mechanisms linking FDI, growth, and poverty. The available empirical evidence is then discussed. It is argued that it is not a question of whether FDI is good or bad for social and economic development, but that its impact is determined by the terms upon which FDI is accepted. Although overall the evidence on FDI, growth, and poverty is not conclusive, research has had a tendency to suggest the benefits of FDI are linked to the FDI policy regime; and that the current orthodoxy of maintaining a highly liberal FDI policy regime leads to a situation whereby developing countries have a precarious trade-off to make between attracting FDI and maintaining policy instruments to extract the benefits of any inflows.
  • This paper investigates how, why, and when community-based strategies are effective in promoting corporate accountability (CA) to the poor. It argues that mainstream approaches to corporate social responsibility (CSR) underestimate the importance of power in the relationship between corporations and the communities in which they invest, which limits their applicability to many developing country contexts in particular. In addressing this neglect, the article draws on literatures on power, accountability, and citizen participation in order to analyse 46 cases where communities have attempted to hold corporations to account for their social and environmental responsibilities. The paper argues that more attention should be paid to a number of state-, corporation-, and community-related factors, which are found to be key to the effectiveness of strategies aimed at enhancing CA to the poor.
  • Although the concept that corporations are responsible not only to their shareholders but also for the social and environmental impacts of their activities has now entered the mainstream, pressure is still required to ensure that companies honour their public commitments. This article describes the work of the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility in harnessing the power of individual shareholders and ethical investors in order to hold companies to account, with particular reference to the activities of Shell in Nigeria and the Republic of Ireland. It is argued that companies do not exist to carry out community development, and so should be judged not on these grounds, but rather on the impact of how they conduct their core business.
  • Economic issues associated with poverty are complex and require holistic responses in order to realise the goals of sustainable development. While business alone may have significant economic impacts, the link between business-level behaviour and macro-level development aspirations is unclear. By developing a sound grasp of how companies understand and manage these impacts, we are better placed to understand how corporate responsibility clusters, or partnerships with other companies, civil society organisations, and governments, can harness corporate impacts to deliver qualitatively better sustainable development outcomes at the macro level.
  • As corporate social responsibility (CSR) increases in large corporate organisations, a genuine approach to sustainable development is often best achieved through the supply chain. This is directly applicable to North-South supply chain interactions (private sector organisations, NGOs, and donors). CSR has adopted techniques from their `development' usage, yet a reverse flow is not observed back to the `development' sector. This is unfortunate. Private sector organisations and NGOs (especially the larger ones) are well placed to take advantage of the increase in CSR relating to developing countries. More importantly, donors of all types would have increased influence if they took up CSR principles. Opportunity costs are not high and the advocacy potential is huge. This paper reviews CSR techniques and argues for donors to accept the challenge of incorporating them into their operations to influence more efficiently the process they seek to change.
  • A corporation has only limited ability to create social capital through philanthropic activity, and in the context of a decline in official aid, the corporate sector is increasingly assuming a de facto developmental role. The presence of social capital assists communities in moving towards sustainable development and may contribute to the business case for corporate- community partnerships. While it is not the role of corporations to deliver social services, their ability to enhance social capital by partnering with community organisations can both contribute to development and work to their own commercial advantage. Such partnerships, whether philanthropic or commercial, will be more effective if delivered through balanced and transparent relationships with community organisations that help to create social capacity at the local level.
  • Current mainstream development thinking, with the exception of a few areas like microcredit, tends to favour size over substance. This article aims to challenge the belief that large-scale companies, markets, and institutions are the most effective means of `delivering development'. We argue that, by designing institutions to meet different needs at different scales, long-term sustainable development outcomes are more likely. Through an analysis of `new economics' thinking, we look specifically at how the concept of subsidiarity could be applied to development thinking at the community and business levels, and we draw on some examples of where the concept is already manifest in practice, such as energy and commodity production.
  • In the corporate world, design has received increasing attention over the last 50 years and is now firmly embedded within almost all aspects of corporate activity. This article explores the role of design in development. Design is widely used and understood, within capitalist economies, to denote a diverse set of tools, used to maximise market share, sales, and profits, and support market differentiation and brand identity of products. The progress of two convergent design-related threads is briefly charted: the growth, since 1950, of a view that design has a real contribution to make to social responsibility and sustainability; and the increasing evidence of design-like skills being used in development contexts. The article reviews several alternative models that are being developed and concludes with a number of short case studies, which illustrate these models and highlight the potential of their largely process-based methodologies for private sector activity in a development context.
  • Many governments and aid agencies believe that small businesses can contribute to promoting more equitable development, as well as enhancing the competitiveness of local industries within a global economy. While small, micro, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may have a role to play in creating jobs, and generating and redistributing wealth, they need to overcome many obstacles. This article stresses the importance of understanding the specific context, establishing priorities among competing policy goals, and distinguishing between the actual and potential roles of different kinds of enterprises (by sector, size, and geographical location). Only on such a basis is it possible to identify the resources and policies most appropriate for each goal and each type of enterprise. These arguments are illustrated with reference to South Africa, whose government has sought simultaneously to promote SME-development, Black Economic Empowerment, and global competitiveness.
  • Since the mid-1980s, aid agencies have endorsed the need to support the development of private enterprise in low-income countries as an instrument for overall economic development and poverty reduction. Facilitated collaboration between firms in industrialised and developing countries has become one of the most popular forms of assistance in this endeavour. Although such collaborations vary in design, they all involve third-party organisations that identify partners and sponsor the first steps in the establishment of a business platform for the cooperation. This paper discusses the mechanisms involved in such facilitation and assesses the effectiveness of the catalyst institutions in nurturing collaboration between companies in industrialised and developing countries. The discussion is illustrated with case studies drawn from Ghana.
  • Microcredit, defined as small loans to people who have no regular access to credit, is an innovative strategy in the fight against poverty. Microcredit institutions can obtain funding from Private Institutional Investors (PIIs) that channel funds from donors, private lenders, and socially-responsible investors. Private financing of development aid is likely to become more important and microcredit presents an investment opportunity within this context. Microcredit institutions (MCIs) need to become more transparent, however, and require more incentive to seek commercial funding rather than relying on subsidies. With better information about MCIs, PIIs could achieve more impact with their investment.
  • Since the 1990s, development agencies and international institutions have promoted private-sector involvement in infrastructure, assuming that this would inject both investment and efficiency into the under-performing public sector. In the water and energy sectors, these expectations have not been fulfilled. Private-sector investment in developing countries is falling, multinational companies have failed to make sustainable returns on their investments, and the process of privatisation in water and energy has proved widely unpopular and encountered strong political opposition. This paper examines the role of this opposition in delaying, cancelling, or reversing the privatisation of water and energy. Local civil society has successfully mobilised highly effective political activity, its opposition being based on the perceived conflicts between privatisation and equity, and over the role of the state and community in these sectors. Such opposition has involved dynamic interactions with existing political parties and structures, including the use of existing electoral and judicial mechanisms. Its success poses challenges for the multilateral and donor community, NGOs, the opposition campaigns themselves, and the future of national systems of electricity and water.
  • Post-conflict recovery and development is the subject of current attention and a major challenge is that of post-conflict economic development, which is central to reducing poverty and improving local livelihoods. In this regard, many post-conflict development plans place a high priority on private sector development. This paper examines the role of the private sector in post-conflict situations and discusses possible interventions for economic recovery based on a review of the literature and fieldwork in Timor-Leste. The paper identifies key factors critical to pro-poor private sector development in post-conflict situations, with particular reference to Timor-Leste, considers some of the major obstacles, and suggests public policies to identify promising export products and to strengthen small and micro enterprises that might help the country to achieve pro-poor economic recovery and growth.
  • This article is concerned with the question of whether participation in the global economy leads to sustainable income growth. It examines the furniture industry of Central Java, which has grown rapidly since the financial crisis in 1997. The article shows that the exporting small and medium-sized enterprises generated substantial employment and income growth. However, this growth is not sustainable because the viability of exports has become dependent on wood which is logged illegally and risks depletion. Government and donor projects aimed at small enterprises risk driving these enterprises deeper into the race to the bottom. The article then discusses ways to avoid this, stressing the need for a coalition of public and private actors along the local-global axis.
  • The World Bank's Community Empowerment and Local Governance Project (CEP) was the key donor programme to assist with community reconstruction in a newly independent Timor-Leste. Commencing in 2000, the US$18 million project provided funds to over 400 local development councils that had been newly created to meet their community's development needs. Rather than creating genuine participatory structures, tight deadlines to disburse project funds and bureaucratic project rules reduced the councils to little more than transmission lines to Bank-controlled dollars. By bypassing existing governance structures, including that of the fledging government, the councils also bypassed sources of local legitimacy and technical knowledge, which resulted in community conflict, indifference, and poor project sustainability. The CEP's poorly administered micro-credit scheme led to a proliferation of unviable kiosks - underlining the folly of hastily attempting to construct a market economy on a deeply scarred subsistence economy.
  • In the last two decades, the private sector has been placed under intensifying pressure to ensure it operates in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Companies have moved through various phases of response, starting with a `deny and defend' position, moving to `paying penance' through donations and philanthropy, and currently settling on risk management through mitigating the negative impacts of their business operations. Drawing on research undertaken by Oxfam International mainly in the retail sector, as well as in the coffee and pharmaceutical sector, this article argues that the current approach is, as yet, inadequate. Simply mitigating negative impacts through castigating intermediaries or suppliers does not contribute to sustainable solutions. For the private sector to meet corporate social responsibility pledges, companies need to pursue alternative business models that forge connectivity, coherence, and interdependence between their core business operations and their ethical and environmental commitments.
  • As retailers in the North increasingly adopt codes of practice containing social and/or environmental provisions in global supply chains, there is a need for rigorous assessment of their social impact. Moving beyond the rhetoric, it is important to establish the actual impact of such codes on poorer workers, their families, and other local stakeholders. This paper sets out the key methodological and conceptual issues arising in such an assessment as identified by a three-year study on the South African wine. It reviews the different motivations and approaches employed by code bodies, donors, academics, and practitioners, and highlights the lack of workers' voices in the debate on corporate responsibility as well as some of the early research findings. Finally, it explains how the inherent power inequalities in global supply chains make it more difficult to adopt a truly empowering approach to assessing the impact of codes.
  • The debate among NGO and union activists about how to improve working conditions and labour rights has been dominated by proponents of specific approaches, arguing variously that the best route is through company codes, legislation, organisation of workers, or sweatshop-style campaigning. This article describes a campaign by NGOs and trade unions that integrates these approaches to improve the labour rights and conditions of UK homeworkers. Its `change model' is to seek changes in company behaviour as part of a strategy to strengthen legislation while also exploring the opportunities and mechanisms for leveraging change in (company) practices and (government) policies: the susceptibility of brand-name companies to campaigning creates an opportunity to leverage changes in their practices; campaigning (threatened or actual) invigorates, and should underpin, engagement with retailers and brand-name companies on the implementation of voluntary codes; and the establishment of a `level playing-field' dynamic means that companies meeting higher standards can become allies in advocating better corporate practices and labour legislation. International development NGOs, with their ability to campaign, engage with brand-name companies, and work alongside unions and workers' organisations across the North-South divide, are uniquely placed to facilitate such integrated strategies.
  • Ethical trade, through codes of practice, forms an important part of the value chains for horticultural products sourced from Africa by major European buyers. This paper explores the relationship between value chains in the horticultural sector, the employment patterns of African producers, and the process of code implementation from a gender perspective. It asks whether, in the context of the gendered economy, codes alone can improve working conditions for all workers. Using case studies of Kenyan flowers, South African fruit, and Zambian flowers and vegetables, the article highlights the implications of flexible employment strategies for workers, and shows that social codes have not necessarily achieved better outcomes for women and informal workers, owing to the gendered economy. Ultimately, it is only by addressing the local gendered economy that the employment conditions of all workers, including those of marginal workers and women, are likely to improve.
  • The global garment-manufacturing industry will confront significant changes from 2005, when the system of quotas established under the Multi-Fibre Agreement comes to an end. These changes pose serious threats to jobs in the Central American assembly plants, or maquila industry. One possibility, however, is that `politically correct' consumption could provide a niche market for firms that are committed to corporate social responsibility and the respect for human rights, and that this might even be a way to improve working conditions in the region. In this sense, notwithstanding the grave risks it represents for the very poorest, the market could serve to bring about changes favourable to working people.
  • Fair trade represents an innovative approach to make the rules of global trade work for disadvantaged producers in the South and for sustainable development. But who are the real beneficiaries of fair trade? Has fair trade resulted in any discernible improvements in the lives of small coffee producers and their communities? This paper examines the effectiveness of fair trade as a development tool and the extent of its contribution to the alleviation of poverty in coffee-producing regions of Nicaragua. The paper argues that it is crucial to analyse the experiences and problems of small coffee producers and producer organisations involved in the fair trade market to ensure that the objectives and claims of fair trade are achieved in practice. The study concludes that there are limits to the extent to which fair trade can significantly raise the standard of living of small coffee producers because of factors such as the debt problems faced by cooperatives, lack of government support, and volatile international coffee prices.
  • The movement to promote sustainably produced coffee is one of many efforts aimed at linking social responsibility and market capitalism. In the wake of a worldwide coffee crisis in which prices have fallen to levels that do not support small-scale production or living wages for plantation workers, non-profit certifying and labelling organisations are working to develop a market that is sustainable for workers and the environment. They seek to influence cultural and political values in such a way that consumers and corporations in the North will have to respond to them by incorporating the welfare of Southern workers and ecosystems into their purchasing decisions. This paper discusses and evaluates current strategies to link producers and consumers within this movement, all of which involve a great deal of education. It argues that partnerships between businesses and NGOs are essential for broadening the corporate base of the market for fairly traded coffee and promoting norm change among consumers, and discusses the challenges and opportunities that such partnerships create.
  • This article discusses the privatisation of public services in Argentina in light of the severe crisis that afflicted the country between 1999 and 2002. An inadequate regulatory framework and the absence of effective regulatory agencies resulted in the exercise of monopolistic power over public-service fees. The emergence of a series of external shocks, starting in 1997 with the SE Asia crisis, weakened the country's external accounts. In the context of a strict fixed exchange-rate regime, rising public-service fees and overseas obligations contracted by the privatised firms placed growing pressure on the balance of payments. Although privatised firms were not directly responsible for the four-year recession or the balance of payments crisis, their actions contributed to the onset and prolongation of the difficulties faced by Argentina.

  • This paper addresses the introduction of a public-private partnership (PPP) for water provision in urban Congo. It describes the organisational context before and after PPP and discusses the various outcomes of the partnership, both positive and negative. Despite some promising early results, the PPP arrangements did not develop as planned and the private enterprises ran into financial problems. The role of the political environment in compromising the potential benefits of PPP was important, and the article closes with some policy recommendations in light of Congo's ongoing negotiations with the international financial institutions to secure their assistance for new economic reforms.
  • This article evaluates potential mechanisms for facilitating increased private sector engagement in agricultural research for development and technology transfer (ARDTT), with particular emphasis on Bolivia. It reviews the mixed results of efforts, in developed and developing countries alike, to decentralise ARDTT and to encourage private sector investment. Potential mechanisms for Bolivia are considered within three broad categories: taxation schemes; co-funding arrangements; and output-based approaches. The constraints to participation in ARDTT by the private sector that arise from concerns over high transaction costs, intellectual property rights, and the legal and regulatory environment are also assessed. The article concludes that a compliance, or a hybrid of a compliance and competitive co-funding scheme, is most suited to Bolivia's needs. A flexible approach to intellectual property rights systems is required, although it remains a challenge to identify appropriate taxation regimes.
  • Radical approaches to introduce public-private partnerships (PPPs) for infrastructure provision in South Asia have been largely unsuccessful. Yet the region is home to a thriving informal private sector and several regional NGOs have become engaged in efforts to involve communities in improved infrastructure provision. Many line agencies and local authorities have devolved some responsibilities for service delivery to the private sector through small-scale service and management contracts. This paper explores the possibilities for expanding and building on these activities, bearing in mind institutional factors, including both organisational structures and the attitudes and assumptions of the various stakeholders. Particular attention is paid to the options for regulating the private sector and the balance to be struck between encouraging competition and promoting improved stakeholder cooperation. Options for moving to `higher' forms of PPP are considered, and brief concluding remarks summarise key findings and suggest some possible directions for the future.
  • Since Vietnam introduced its Doi Moi reform policy in 1986, the development of the private sector has been a main policy concern for the government and the ruling Communist Party. The main development challenge for Vietnam is how to sustain economic growth and reduce poverty as the labour force continues to expand. It is envisaged that the private sector will play a major role in that respect. This article looks into the issue of whether the private sector can live up to widespread expectations. High and stable economic growth indicates that reforms have been consistent but also that private sector initiatives have moved ahead of formal institutional changes. Private sector development is new in Vietnam and starts from a low level. The public and foreign investment sectors are major players compared to the domestic private sector, which comprises many small firms. Poverty reduction has been impressive but it is only now that private sector development is becoming an important contributor. Stemming the growth in inequality remains a challenge where the private sector's contribution to increasing public revenue has yet to materialise.
  • Stakeholder dialogue, participation, and partnership have become mainstream concepts in international development policy, in particular in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, the accountability of multi-stakeholder initiatives on CSR to their intended beneficiaries in the global South is increasingly questioned. This paper looks at how the agendas of some initiatives in the areas of ethical trade and sustainability reporting are driven by what Western NGOs push for, what large companies consider feasible, and what consultants and accountants seek to provide. It describes how the resulting practices and discourse restrict change and marginalise alternative approaches developed by Southern stakeholders. It is argued that enthusiasm for stakeholder dialogue, participation, and partnership in CSR matters, and beyond, needs to be reconceived with democratic principles in mind. `Stakeholder democracy' is offered as a conceptual framework for this endeavour, and some recommendations are made for NGOs, companies, and governments.
  • The corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda has taken off since the 1980s, with both civil society and business actors involved in mobilising around it. This paper examines the reasons for civil society mobilisation on CSR issues, the types of organisations involved, and their different forms of activism and relations with business. It then identifies the ways in which big business is engaging with and shaping the CSR agenda, but questions whether this agenda can effectively contribute to development. The paper argues that the CSR agenda can deal with some of the worst symptoms of maldevelopment, such as poor working conditions, pollution, and poor factory-community relations, but that it does not deal with the key political and economic mechanisms through which transnational companies undermine the development prospects of poor countries. A final section considers how this agenda may evolve on the basis of recent developments in CSR activism and regulation.
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  • This article identifies the need for an appropriate methodology for evaluating Fair Trade, given that most evaluations to date have been in-house or commissioned reviews and hence not followed a consistent approach. Focusing on the development aspects of Fair Trade, the article reviews a range of impact evaluation methods and presents a detailed methodology for analysing Fair Trade that incorporates standard project evaluation criteria and is based on a wide range of proven methods for collecting and analysing data, principally qualitative but also quantitative. This framework is a modular package from which practitioners may select according to their needs and means, while still retaining an overarching logic. The article illustrates its use by reference to evaluations undertaken in Costa Rica, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Tanzania. The approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of Fair Trade programmes and enables these to be compared with conventional development projects.
  • This article discusses the burgeoning field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), with a particular focus on the opportunities for its application as part of the international women and development agenda. We discuss recent theoretical developments in critical GIS and feminist theory which have created this opportunity, as well as the problems inherent in using GIS for gendered research. We focus on the obstacles created by inadequate gendered data sources and the ability of GIS to represent women's issues.

  • The article discusses the methodology and application of the Key Informant Monitoring (KIM) tool as used by the Nepal Safer Motherhood Project (NSMP). NSMP aims to achieve sustained increase in the uptake of midwifery and essential obstetric care services by addressing, among other things, constraints on access to such services. Data collected by community-based Key Informant Researchers (KIRs), are synthesised and used by NSMP and key project partners for monitoring and planning purposes. NSMP has used KIM findings to modify its main interventions at the local level. International and Nepali NGOs have adopted KIM in their safe motherhood and other development programmes. Village Development Committees, with support from NGOs and NSMP, have responded to issues raised by KIM by running maternal health awareness-raising campaigns, working with traditional healers, improving the quality of care, and facilitating local emergency transport and funding schemes. KIRs have proved effective as sources of information and as change agents, spreading safe motherhood messages to promote behaviour change.
  • Andean farmers have traditionally adapted and selected varieties of quinoa and potatoes to reduce their vulnerability to a range of environmental risks. Data suggest that this strategy is being undermined. Market pressures, particularly the requirements for consistency and quantity along with the import of subsidised wheat products, are leading to the displacement of quinoa and indigenous potato varieties. This paper explores the feasibility of maintaining crop diversity while ensuring that farmers benefit from market opportunities. For potato, the most promising approach is one of `conservation through use' whereby development practitioners identify market niches for local rather than cosmopolitan varieties. Meanwhile, quinoa production and consumption has been enhanced by government-sponsored initiatives that use quinoa in food- support programmes. The success of these efforts to enhance livelihood security requires an enabling policy environment that encourages extension approaches, where the emphasis is on farmers' active participation, and supports public and private interventions in remote rural areas.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis With the inability of international economic integration to create opportunities for important segments of society, many Mexicans are searching for ways to forge their own alternatives. These strategies are the concrete manifestations of the realisation that the `mainstream' path of the search for proletarian employment is no longer viable and that a return to traditional forms of cooperation, organised around mechanisms for ecosystem management, might offer greater security and a better quality of life. People are finding ways to strengthen their communities, to ensure that their families can remain in the rural areas as part of dynamic communities searching for a new relationship to their regions, and to the nation of which they wish to continue to be a part. The article illustrates this process with an analysis of a project that focuses on creating a new product -low-fat pork- that can command a premium price in the market and in the process contribute to strengthening a community, providing new opportunities for women, and improving environmental management.

  • HIV/AIDS is having profound impacts on livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. These include the deaths of working-age adults, the diversion of resources to caring, and the rupture of traditional chains of knowledge transmission. NGOs are responding by providing assistance to communities affected by the epidemic in the fields of agriculture, skills training, and microfinance, as well as by offering home care and support. A key feature of such initiatives is the focus on previously neglected groups such as women, school dropouts, and orphans. Factors of success include the use of participatory processes to identify target groups, and the involvement of local political leaders and adults trusted by young people in project activities. Challenges include the improvement of monitoring systems, effective dissemination of lessons learnt, and persuading donors, whose responses to the epidemic are currently focused on preventive and curative health services, to support livelihoods interventions as a matter of urgency.
  • Ever more NGOs are dedicated to the eradication of poverty, while various government bodies are also committed to the moral and material progress of the so-called `human family'. However, the record is bleak. The arms trade constitutes a crime against humanity against which NGOs can make little headway. On the contrary, single-issue campaigns, for example on landmines, may in fact distract them from the wider issues. Similarly, through their involvement in humanitarian missions, often mounted mainly to appease the consciences of citizens in the rich world, NGOs may unwittingly be helping to maintain the deeply unjust world order. We need to reflect upon what NGOs actually do, rather than on ways to increase their efficiency, given that NGO actions alone cannot secure human rights. If NGOs do not engage in self-critical reflection, the poor will be always with us, so will NGOs, and the system will not change for the better.
  • Based on reflections undertaken with members of a partnership between an NGO and Adivasi (original dweller) communities in the Indian state of Orissa, this paper examines various linkages among NGOs (international, state, district, or local), and grassroots organisations in terms of their prospects for advancing Adivasi activism for social change. International NGOs seldom work directly with village- level networks of NGOs and grassroots organisations, but assuming that people's participation, agency, and activism transcend their rhetorical significance for some NGOs, such involvement would bring international NGOs into direct contact with vested interests (often the cause of the Adivasis' impoverishment) and potentially lead to power being handled in a more democratic fashion.
  • The Royal Kingdom of Bhutan has not only a unique national environment but provides researchers with an opportunity to observe effective development in a relatively uncomplicated and controlled system that is government-led rather than donor-driven. This paper reviews recent progress in Bhutan's development and sees two inhibitors to this seemingly `ideal' situation: first, internal tensions between Drukpa and Nepali ethnic groups; and second, the impact of Bhutan's opening itself up to external influence through media and the Internet, supported by a willing donor community. Future developments in Bhutan could act as a useful barometer for global events.
  • Appreciative Inquiry (AI) has long been used as a methodology for understanding organisational learning and change. This paper discusses its applications to interview-based field research within the development context. While AI begins by looking at the best of an organisation or individual's experience, it can help researchers to gain a textured and detailed understanding of both their subjects' greatest successes and their most serious obstacles. Based on research conducted with directors of NGOs across Africa, the paper provides anecdotal evidence that using AI in interviews creates a comfortable and stimulating environment for interviewees that can yield an exceptional quality of information.
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  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. The reconstruction of the health system in Afghanistan is in its early stages, and donors have proposed Performance-based Partnership Agreements (PPA) through which to subcontract the delivery of health services to private organisations, both for-profit and non-profit. Beyond ideological debates, this article sets out to explain the model underlying the PPA initiative and shed light on empirical data concerning the assumed benefits of such an approach. The article studies privatisation and the contracting-out of health services, though there is as yet no information that can demonstrate the superiority of private provision over publicly provided. Similarly, the appropriateness of subcontracting remains unproved and such arrangements raise several ethical issues. Where PPAs are to be attempted, it is important to remain cautious and to ensure that operations are organised in such a way as to permit proper comparison. The paper concludes with recommendations to organisations involved in or considering the merits of PPAs.
  • Legal reforms are increasingly seen as essential in combating various constraints women face in relation to property and inheritance. These efforts are reinforced by commitments countries have made by adopting such treaties as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and by the incorporation into their constitutions of various Bills of Rights that recognise women's rights. It is expected that such commitments will reduce discriminatory practices and promote the upholding of women's rights. Based on findings of a study on women's property and inheritance rights in Malawi, this paper discusses the role of District Assemblies in the administration and adjudication of women's inheritance claims. It shows that the whole system is a fertile ground for opportunism and contributes significantly to undermining such rights. The paper illustrates that while human rights legislation plays an important role in the upholding of women's rights, the realisation of these entitlements requires that critical attention be paid to the institutions and administrative systems that are responsible for implementation. It is through these operations of the state that people experience law as practice.
  • While it is recognised that women play fundamental roles in the socio-economic development of their communities, they are often excluded from local decision-making processes because their views are not solicited and their interests are not taken into consideration in the formulation of local development programmes. Drawing on case studies from Ghana, this article identifies the benefits to the communities of involving women more in decision making, and assesses the constraints upon and opportunities available to women who seek to assume community leadership functions. Strategies for promoting a more `constructive engagement' with women in the decision-making processes of rural communities are discussed.
  • The article shares some ideas about community-based natural resource management programmes (CBNRM), which focus on three areas: rural development, nature conservation, and strengthening of local governance. Arguing that the prerequisites of a successful CBNRM programme are a favourable legislative context, a self-defined community, and the absence of basic felt needs, the article discusses the initial experiences of such a programme in Mozambique. It shows the rather slow response of an inland community that has some forest resources, but which is focusing on economic gains with minimum engagement of its own. By contrast, a fishing community was immediately inspired by the programme, organising itself into co-management committees and starting to use its already over-fished resources sustainably. The two cases show that CBNRM programmes are not universal blueprints but have to be adapted to each specific situation.
  • This paper analyses the trends and major themes in the fields of home economics (HE) and gender and development (GAD) focusing on different regions of the world and on change over the course of recent history. The interface of these two fields of education and practice are encompassed by the work of an NGO, the International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE). IFHE can facilitate the renewal of stagnate relationships, challenge stereotypes, and build new partnerships to empower women and improve the quality of life. The authors suggest implications for education, practice, and research.

  • Since March 2000, in partnership with the Women's Centre of Montreal and other units at Montreal universities, McGill's Centre for Developing-Area Studies has carried out an action-research programme on gender and human security issues in the context of war and reconstruction. Our interdisciplinary team of researchers and activists has been working locally with women refugees, asylum-seekers, and immigrants from various countries experiencing armed conflict, and internationally with women's organisations primarily in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Combining human security - the protection of civilians across borders - and gender - the different ways in which women and men are affected -- allows us to analyse the impact of gender inequality on the continued insecurity in war-torn societies. Our action-research in a community - university alliance addresses the personal needs (especially untreated trauma) and rights of women while also examining the socio-economic and political context of violent conflicts.
  • Civil society is increasingly seen as a necessary element of sustainable human development. Some Northern NGOs hope to contribute to the development of civil society by partnering with Southern NGOs. Recent scholarship, however, shows that partnerships are frequently dominated by the Northern NGO, thus inhibiting the establishment of vibrant, locally owned and managed civil society organisations. This paper explores some of the practical reasons for this failure and suggests strategies for working within what Alan Fowler calls `authentic partnerships'. Such partnerships keep Northern NGOs from dominating and thus help foster a climate more amenable to the growth of civil society. Suggested strategies for promoting authentic partnerships address funding, working relationships, phase-out, advocacy, and evaluation of the partnership itself. The paper draws on a case study of the partnership work of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC), a North American faith-based NGO.
  • This article examines the role of state in the Joint Forest Management (JFM) programme in the northern province of Haryana in India. In the past two decades, significant developments pertaining to institutional reforms in promoting community - state partnerships in protecting and managing forests have been undertaken in the province. By reviewing the experiences in management of water- harvesting structures and lease of forest area to local communities, the article demonstrates that the adoption of `joint management' rhetoric does not guarantee successful partnerships at the field level. The implementation of the programme calls for a radical re-definition of the role of the state in order to establish credible commitments to the local communities in terms of both policy and practice.
  • Pastoralists are marginalised in the Horn of Africa and receive inadequate veterinary services. Under economic structural adjustment programmes, public veterinary services became increasingly ineffective and, in response, community-based NGO programmes were established in some pastoral areas. While these programmes were often considered to be effective, with few exceptions they were small scale, isolated from central government, and based on subsidised systems of drug distribution. Consequently, their sustainability was questionable. Governments now have incentives to improve veterinary services to pastoralists because of new possibilities for increasing livestock exports alongside new concerns about protecting consumers from livestock-related diseases. Current policy and institutional reform is encouraging a greater role for the private sector in service delivery but this is developing slowly, particularly in pastoral areas where future provision is likely to involve public - private partnerships.
  • This article explores the implementation of Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour in the mining sector in Burkina Faso. It highlights key lessons from a project funded by DFID and Save the Children UK and implemented by COBUFADE, a Burkinabe NGO. Children were found to be important and capable actors in the fight against child labour, notably in research and lobbying, and the article explores the role that civil society can play in taking local voices to national policy makers and in linking the different actors implicated in Convention 182.
  • The British government has increasingly assumed the role of international arbiter and peacekeeper, both with and without a UN mandate. The hijacking of the moral high ground and recurrent assertion of global consensus - even in the presence of overwhelming opposition - reveals a disregard for the integrity of cultural diversity and opinion. Often `humanitarian' concerns have been used to justify military intervention, and the promise of aid is used to deflect dissent. Based on her experiences as an aid worker in post-conflict Kosovo, the author makes two central points. First, that the social, cultural, and institutional chaos precipitated by conflict is highly predictable and constitutes a powerful argument against military solutions. Second, that aid is not a universal panacea. It is a last resort and often, even with the best intentions, done badly. It should never be used to mask political imperatives.
  • In order to take up the challenge of responding to the thought-provoking insights found in The Selfish Altruist (Vaux 2001), the author brings together some of the threads in the book and combines them with her own psychological approaches to increasing self-awareness in order to put forward specific suggestions as to how personal development and self-awareness could be enhanced for both aid agency managers and frontline workers.
  • In 2002, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan established a Panel on UN Civil Society Relations, to which were appointed more than a dozen `eminent persons'. The establishment of this Panel was a signal that the UN at its highest levels recognised, rightly, that an opportunity was being lost for it to work more effectively with civil society, and to take more account of the views of civil society in the pursuit of human development.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. This paper examines the excesses of the `audit culture' in relation to North-South development NGO partnerships. It argues that the focus on documentation needs to be reduced, and greater faith placed on personal interaction and judgement between Northern and Southern development NGO partners. In some circumstances, this is a strategy that can encourage more rigorous monitoring and accountability practices, which are able to move beyond a problematic focus on quantifiable targets. The paper draws attention to similar debates over the public sector in the UK, and the problems associated with micro-management in a culture of distrust.
  • In English only
  • In English only
  • In this interview, Rosemary Thorp, an expert on the political economy of Latin America and currently Oxfam GB Chair of Trustees, discusses the impact that decentralisation reforms have had in promoting development and deepening democratic governance in the region. Focusing in particular in the experiences of Chile and Colombia, Thorp argues that, while the process of democratic decentralisation is promising, it needs to overcome multiple challenges if it is to live up to its full potential. Some of the key factors that she identifies for decentralisation to be successful include an engaged political leadership, strong political parties, and capacity at the local level - all of which are often missing in the Latin American context.
  • This paper reviews the lessons of democratic decentralisation in Madhya Pradesh (MP), a poor and semi-feudal Indian state that emerged as a leader and bold experimenter in institutional design in the 1990s. Despite inauspicious beginnings, political leadership in MP set out to use decentralisation as a lever to expand and improve basic service delivery. The architects of the MP strategy were fully aware of the social and economic constraints, but they believed that through careful design, proper support to build social capital, and the achievement of early successes, the initiative could unlock powerful forces for community development. This article focuses on two initiatives, one to improve access to school and another to promote direct democracy at the village level. The authors find that, while the first phase of decentralisation has resulted in some significant improvements, especially in the area of education, the second stage has been far less successful.
  • The promotion of democracy has often been a top-down process characterised by assistance policies targeted toward the macro level. When bottom-up policies have been attempted, they too have tended to address professionalised NGOs, with scarce grassroots membership and contact. Only over the past few years have donors begun to implement programmes aimed at developing what can be called `micro-assistance' to democracy, defined as democracy assistance directed to small, often community-based, organisations in the field. This article describes the EU's micro-assistance to democracy in South Africa after 1994. The data gathered comes from interviews conducted with project officials and semi-structured interviews with all directors of Community-Based Organisations that have received funds from the EU. Some preliminary findings suggest that micro-assistance to democracy in South Africa responds to specific problems affecting local civil society, even though most of these organisations remain scarcely sustainable and their skills to influence local policies are limited.
  • Since Ghana's decentralisation process began in the early 1990s, government officials as well as international aid agencies and NGOs have engaged in efforts to enhance attention to women's concerns and improve gender sensitivity in development processes at the local level. This article looks at three collaborative projects between international development organisations and district assemblies throughout Ghana to promote gender sensitivity and increase the representation of women in local governance. Though, as the author suggests, it is still too early to assess whether such initiatives have succeeded, it is also clear that decentralisation efforts need to be accompanied by adequate resources and appropriate institutional support and capacity building if they are to make a difference.
  • This article analyses a decentralised transformative leadership pilot project launched by the UNDP to combat the growing HIV/AIDS crisis in Nepal. The project aims to strengthen district leadership and participatory multi-sector planning, clarify the district government response, and create regional, nationwide, and international networks to effectively respond to HIV/AIDS. The goal is to create leaders who envisage possibilities and see opportunities previously unimagined, and bring voice to those previously unheard. Tracking the reports and follow-up comments of project participants, the authors find that the project has provided them with valuable tools and skills to act on their commitment to stem the disease, and it has contributed to learning lessons from a global perspective on what has and has not worked in HIV/AIDS responses to date.
  • This overview draws on selected theoretical and empirical works to explore the links between decentralisation and democracy and their impact on participation and empowerment at the local level. Understanding decentralisation as a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, the author argues that its potential benefits can be realised only when complementary policies and specific national or local conditions are in place. In addition, it is also important to strike a balance between the local, regional, and national levels of government so as to protect local autonomy while also promoting a reasonable level of uniformity across regions. The essay draws from the author's fieldwork in Mozambique as well as decentralisation experiences in other developing countries.
  • This review essay analyses three recent works on the relationship between democracy and decentralisation, with a focus on local participation and empowerment: Democracy and Decentralisation in South Asia and West Africa: Participation, Accountability and Performance (Richard Crook and James Manor), Good Government in the Tropics (Judith Tendler), and a thematic issue of the European Journal of Development Research on `Democratic Decentralisation through a Natural Resource Lens: Experiences from Africa, Asia and Latin America', edited by Anne M. Larson and Jesse C. Ribot.
  • The authors examine the role of international faith-based NGOs in foreign aid and development assistance for Africa, with special reference to the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). The MCC is successful in its contribution to development and empowerment in the 20 African countries in which it works because of its philosophical and programmatic focus on accountability, its holistic approach to basic rights, and a `listen and learn' approach which embraces empowerment and social justice. Although a `small is beautiful' philosophy does not necessarily feed the `quick fix' methods associated with the New Policy Agenda, it remains the most effective, efficient, accountable, and grassroots-responsive way of dealing with development issues.
  • The author highlights the contributions of four Latin American thinkers and activists in relation to communication for social change. Arguing that development activities are about communicating on various levels, and are deeply embedded in the cultures of those involved, involving significant inter-cultural issues. The author draws on his own extensive experience in these fields, and distils a set of principles and lessons for wider application.
  • This article focuses on the importance, complexity and ambiguity of the symbolic terrain both in everyday life and in social struggle. Taking Mayan women's traditional dress or traje as a text, the author reflects upon the multiple and contested meanings this evokes, and argues that Mayan women are playing a role which has not received sufficient analysis or recognition within the Mayan movement's struggle for indigenous identity and rights. Opening with a brief theoretical overview, the article goes on to analyse the different meanings in dispute and how these are related to wider issues, and concludes with a reflection concerning the challenges facing inter-ethnic relations and the recognition of indigenous peoples in Guatemala.
  • NGOs and social activists run the risk of following the policy directions favoured by foreign donor agencies to the detriment of their own organisational and moral capacity to act in solidarity with those whose interests they claim to support. With specific reference to Tanzania, the author argues that while NGOs readily take action to protect their own interests, they do not consistently stand up for the basic freedoms of working people. In a unipolar era, which holds that the age of politics and international solidarity is over, it is vital for NGOs and other social activists to keep alive the belief that an alternative to the existing world is both necessary and possible.
  • The measurement of impact is difficult in development work as it entails attributing longterm social, personal, and community change, to relatively small-scale short-term interventions in a community's life. This paper examines the experience of the Australian NGO Oxfam Community Aid Abroad in measuring its impact in two of its operational regions, India and Sri Lanka. The findings highlight the importance both of participation and `downward' accountability mechanisms, and of linking local-level activities within a broad regional, national, and global context.
  • Children under the age of 18 years represent the largest group of the poor in Uganda (62 per cent). Their perspective has not, to date, been incorporated in the many poverty analyses which have been conducted. The survey reported in this paper asked children between the ages of 10-14 years about their perceptions of poverty, and also about the effectiveness of local government in addressing issues of concern to them. The survey found that children have a different perspective on poverty from that of the adult key informants consulted in our sample; they have a positive view of their own potential role in mitigating poverty, and are highly critical of the current performance of local government.
  • The role of Northern-based civil society organisations has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. In particular, their principal role as `redistributive' agencies working in the South has come under criticism, leading them to seek new ways of defining their part in eradicating poverty. One widely adopted strategy has been an increasing emphasis on advocacy for social justice, while another is the creation of partnerships with non-state and state actors, including the private sector. Such partnerships raise some difficult questions relating to the underlying values and civic legitimacy of the action, in particular of Northern-based development NGOs. This paper examines the question of partnership between civil society organisations and business through a case study of the `Economy of Communion', a global project bringing together small businesses and church-based organisations whose shared aim is that of eradicating poverty.
  • Issues related to democratic restructuring and citizenship at the municipal level in Latin America have been the subject of increasing interest and debate among scholars and development practitioners in recent years. This study investigates how international cooperation may facilitate enhanced citizen participation in local-level decision making in the region through examination of a specific Canadian-sponsored linking project involving the cities of Charlesbourg, Quebec (Canada) and Ovalle (Chile). The study presents a relatively optimistic account of the role which innovations transferred as a result of this project have played in enhancing citizen involvement in local government. At the same time, it suggests that any such gains may be limited and must be viewed within the larger politico-administrative context in Latin America and attendant factors restricting the establishment of a broad democratic culture at the local level.
  • There are large potential synergies from collaboration between a research and an operational organisation, such as an NGO, but explicit collaborations between them are not common. This Practical Note examines the institutional partnership between the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and CARE-USA, as a concrete illustration of the difficulties and potential benefits of such a collaboration. It gives examples of the gaps in organisational orientation that can lead to problems, provides ideas about how to bridge those gaps, and highlights what bumps to expect along the way in constructing a productive collaboration.
  • In English only
  • Redressing the inherited inequalities of apartheid has established a complex and challenging context for meeting basic needs in contemporary South Africa. Given the physical and political segregation of apartheid, meeting the demand for housing has been a central development challenge since 1994. But even as local government has been drawn into more responsibility in this area, it must do so while managing complex relationships with private sector actors seeking access to basic service delivery previously associated with the public sector. The result is that not only has the structure of local government been dramatically reformed since 1994, it has also acquired a new responsibility to enable markets to work in the name of poverty alleviation.
  • Project monitoring and evaluation in Africa have traditionally depended on the `expert' knowledge of `professional' evaluators to develop so-called SMART indicators. But this expert knowledge has not permeated the various implementing agencies - which include communities themselves. The result has been sporadic and unreliable data and weak monitoring and evaluation frameworks. In Zimbabwe, these difficulties have inhibited the development and establishment of a social statistical database. One weak area of social statistics is information on children. Since 1995, UNICEF Zimbabwe has worked with communities to produce up-to-date and relevant statistics through projects such as the Sentinel Site Surveillance Survey and more recently the development of a village register that will contain simple but vital programme indicators. This paper seeks to document and highlight the thinking on these exercises and the challenges faced by both UNICEF and the communities thus far.
  • Within Australia, State employment programmes are an essential means of attempting to redress the substantial social and economic disadvantages experienced by indigenous Australians, particularly at the community level. While such programmes expend large sums of money, the social and economic outcomes for indigenous Australians remain far below that of the non-indigenous. This paper argues that an important constraint to indigenous human development arises as a result of institutional racism within a range of responsible public sector agencies at all three levels of government within the Australian federal system. The results of an evaluation of the Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) within a remote indigenous community are presented. This serves to illustrate how the exclusion of indigenous people from the design and delivery stages of key government programmes has the potential to result in substantial misallocation of funding from purposes meant to assist in the alleviation of indigenous social and economic disadvantage.
  • Throughout the world, deeply entrenched barriers exclude women from meaningful participation in socio-economic and political activities. This is not merely an issue of fairness and equality. It has been argued that by expanding women's opportunities, society as a whole would simultaneously be strengthened and this would enhance broader development prospects. Recently, a wide variety of international initiatives have been developed to expand women's opportunities. One such programme is the funding of heifer projects for women. Using data from the Red Cross, this study examines the potential of heifer projects to expand women's opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • From mid-1999 to mid-2001, the authors carried out a qualitative study in rural Vietnam to explore relationships between gender equity and reproductive health. One of the study's objectives was to develop culturally appropriate indicators of women's empowerment, specific to the Vietnamese context. This paper describes the process of developing, testing, and refining the empowerment indicators, presents some of the findings, and discusses the methodological challenges entailed. The paper concludes by recommending a set of Vietnam-specific domains for assessing women's empowerment in social and economic spheres of life and in reproductive health.
  • This paper examines participatory processes in an Asian Development Bank (ADB) technical assistance package in Thailand's water resources sector. The authors analyse various levels of social interaction in the local community, in meso-level stakeholder consultations, and in opposition to ADB's environment programmes expressed by civil society organisations. While participatory approaches are employed to promote more bottom-up management regimes in water resources, the authors find that local power and gender differences have been overlooked. Evolving institutions of resource governance are constituted by gender, reproducing gender inequalities such as regarding water intended for agricultural use as a `male' resource. Finally, it is argued that understandings and practices of participation legitimise particular agendas especially in a politically polarised arena.
  • Since the 11 September 2001 attacks on targets in the USA, debates concerning the situation of women in the Muslim world have tended to focus on the extent to which they are victims of religious dogma. Like any other religion, Islam can be oppressive towards women; however, working women are not affected only by religious factors. This paper reviews women's experiences in Indonesia and Iran, countries in which Islamist movements have taken a leading role in the government. In the former, the Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s precipitated civil unrest and brought an Islamist government to power. Since then, female employment in Indonesia appears to have been affected more by the economic crisis than by the Islamist movement, which was itself a by-product of the crisis. In Iran, it might have been expected that women's formal employment would have declined after two decades of Islamisation, but in fact it has increased. A review of these two cases shows that the impact of the rise of political Islam is complex and cannot be captured by simple stereotypes.
  • The May 2000 coup in Fiji prompted a flight of capital from the country's garment industry. As workers lost their jobs, attention turned away from improving wages and conditions to retaining garment factory jobs in the country. What can feminist researchers contribute in a climate of high capital mobility that prohibits organising for a living wage? This paper applies Amartya Sen's idea of women's `fallback positions' in relation to their husbands to an exploration of women's `marriage' to capital. An exploration of the lives of women garment factory workers beyond the workplace reveals the potential to enhance women's negotiating power in relation to their employers - by boosting women's individual and collective assets, their access to support from state and NGOs, to other income-earning means, and to social support systems upon which to call for assistance.
  • This article focuses on the challenge and effects of adhering to community participation as a principle of community development and the related issue of reflecting diverse representation in prevention and health promotion planning. As a requirement of funding agencies, the consequences of upholding these principles in light of the resources made available are explored. Information is drawn from a case study of an advisory committee with diverse membership. A participatory evaluation of this committee illuminates the difficulties encountered when a community agency initiated a health promotion project to address the needs of women who are non-verbal and at risk of sexual assault. Suggestions are made as to how these difficulties may be overcome. The advisory committee is a common means for community development but also has the potential to be a model for increased communication and understanding.
  • Mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS is not just about adapting NGO programmes, but involves adapting partnerships. Working in a context of high HIV/AIDS prevalence has a considerable organisational impact on implementing NGOs. As staff, or relatives of staff, fall sick there is more time off work, declining work performance, increased medical costs, and extra training and recruitment costs. Simply to maintain capacity, NGOs will have to invest in changes to their staff planning, training and awareness programmes, health policies, and financial management. It will necessarily cost more money to achieve the same work output and these activities will have less impact (as a proportion of beneficiaries may also be sick and dying). Providing effective support for NGO partners affected by HIV/AIDS therefore has major and difficult implications for donors, particularly at a time when their own back-donors are demanding visible `value-for-money'. Mainstreaming into partnerships requires that both partners change - can we rise to this professional and moral challenge?
  • In 1993, the international community acknowledged for the first time that violence against women (VAW) is a human rights issue, while VAW is also increasingly recognised both as a global public health issue and a barrier to sustainable development. However, even where they are committed to reducing VAW through their programmes and advocacy activities, development practitioners are sometimes unsure about where this fits into the poverty reduction agenda. This article tries to situate VAW in the poverty discourse, drawing from a range of documentary sources to outline the conceptual links between VAW, poverty, and human development. It then goes on to look at issues surrounding the impact assessment of programmes aimed at reducing VAW, and offers examples of how specific programmes have been evaluated.
  • In English only
  • In English only.
  • This essay reviews the often heated controversies unleashed by the 2002 publication of Globalization and its Discontents by Joseph E. Stiglitz, former Chief Economist of the World Bank and recipient of the2001 Nobel Prize for Economics. His critique of IMF policies and other economic orthodoxies, particularly in Russia and South Asia, has since come to be accepted more widely among mainstream economists. The author argues, however, that while Stiglitz is sympathetic to some of the arguments made by the so-called `anti-globalisation' movement, his views are far from the radical end of the spectrum.
  • Participatory approaches have become increasingly popular in international development. Although traditionally associated with small non-governmental projects they are increasingly used by governmental and international organisations such as the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Bank. This article - focusing on a small health agent project in Amazonas Brazil - challenges the assumption that participation inexorably empowers and argues that culturally inappropriate participation may be used to legitimise prescriptive intervention.
  • This work presents a product development methodology for use with indigenous rural workers. It is based on the revival of cultural and social values, with a focus on the conservation of natural resources. Illustrated by the case of Mixtec craftswomen in Mexico, this paper shows how poor groups can improve their living conditions through innovation and the diversification of their products. The process combines techniques of product development based on marketing, with a participatory focus and continuous improvement, in order to develop a unique and high-quality product that can be more successfully marketed. The craftswomen are now able to plan their production and can evaluate and commercialise their products.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. Proyecto Tequisquiapan (PT) provides protective microfinance services in a small region of rural Mexico, including, importantly, open access deposit facilities. The authors report on new research which examined PT's record in enabling people with different degrees of vulnerability to build assets and protect themselves from both sudden shocks and more predictable demands for lump sums of cash. PT was found to be relatively more useful for the most vulnerable households. Its successes rely on its small scale and on the commitment of its staff, whose salaries are subsidised, to innovation and experimentation in order to remain relevant to members' changing and differentiated financial lifeworlds. This stands in contrast to the current trend towards large-scale commercialised microfinance. The World Bank, the authors argue, should take note.
  • This paper explores the development issue of democratisation from a gendered perspective, emphasising the need to look for the building blocks of democracy within civil society sectors where women play a key role. Chilean and Argentinean women prove an important example for sustainable political development through their roles as Mothers, particularly in the 1980s in the movements to protest political disappearances. The author seeks to demonstrate how these women's practical endeavours have made them an indispensable ingredient in the achievement of real democratic development at the grassroots level, and how they serve as a model for policy makers in developing countries elsewhere.
  • The evaluation of development NGOs has seldom considered their impact on social capital and local organisational learning. Deeply intertwined, both are key dimensions of the long-term impact of development interventions. Studies have highlighted the relative success of NGOs in poverty reduction, but have been critical of the sustainability of the benefits and of NGOs' failure to strengthen institutions. This paper analyses the experience of a sustainable natural resources management project coordinated by CARE in Villa Serrano, Bolivia, between 1993 and 2000. The article compares the outcome of a traditional evaluation with that of an impact evaluation, which allows us to identify significant flaws. The article concludes by reflecting on the limitations of traditional intervention approaches and on the need to rethink the strategic role of NGOs.
  • Social researchers continue to grasp for critical factors that foster or impede the development of social capital. This article highlights some of these factors based on an investigation of a low-income urban settlement in Guatemala. Community activists and leaders, elected representatives, regional government service providers, local residents, NGO directors and staff, and other key informants living and working within the designated locality indicated a complex and diverse range of social, cultural, political, and economic issues that contributed to low levels of `broad-based' social capital. Long-standing fears related to violence and corruption within a historically top-down, authoritarian state were the most significant factors impeding social capital, social organising, and civic participation. Northern-led service-providing NGOs in the area also curbed `broad-based' social capital by fostering dependency through intervention strategies that were external, top-down, non-participatory, and not community based.
  • Donors face many issues when trying to support development goals in large regions such as Latin America. In their attempts to channel assistance to appropriate end-users, they also have to provide coherence with national strategy, balance supply and demand of technical resources, and ensure accountability to their taxpayers. Resolution of these issues requires considerable focus and a clear understanding of all relevant factors. This is particularly so for, but not exclusive to, small donors. This paper provides agencies with a model to assess regional involvement and create a decision-making framework for future investments. It places the quality of aid above the quantity of donation.
  • Although participatory research methodologies have been widely advocated, most projects do not involve the radical reversal of approach implied. Though defined in theory, participatory research is hard to implement and more precise description is therefore required at the practical level. Here, we describe a participatory research project on agroforestry tree domestication undertaken in the Meru area of Kenya. Continuous interaction between participants allowed the project to evolve from a tree species suitability test, to a species saturation study, and finally to a perception of tree species diversity survey. By allowing evolution through interaction, research results more relevant to the actual needs of farmers were obtained.

  • By the turn of the twenty-first century, UNDP had embraced a new form of funding based on ‘cost-sharing’, with this source accounting for 51 per cent of the organisation’s total expenditure worldwide in 2000. Unlike the traditional donor - recipient relationship so common with development projects, the new cost-sharing modality has created a situation whereby UNDP local offices become ‘subcontractors’ and agencies of the recipient countries become ‘clients’. This paper explores this transition in the context of Brazil, focusing on how the new modality may have compromised UNDP’s ability to promote Sustainable Human Development, as established in its mandate. The great enthusiasm for this modality within the UN system and its potential application to other developing countries increase the importance of a systematic assessment of its impact and developmental consequences.
  • The abrupt closure of the WTO Summit in Cancún in September 2003 without any formal agreement dealt a powerful blow to what had been designated as the ‘development round’ in Doha in 2001—and with it to the promise that the concerns of most interest to developing countries would for the first time take precedence in international trade discussions. In this interview, Adrian Lovett, Campaigns and Communications Director of Oxfam GB, talks about the collapse of the summit and about what the future of international trade negotiations may hold. While in many ways Cancún was a missed opportunity, Lovett also argues that the enhanced assertiveness of developing countries may mean that there is now a better chance that the failed negotiations lead to rules that work for the poor as well as the rich.
  • Women’s development has been and shows every likelihood of continuing to be compromised by unsustainable policies, plans, and programmes regarding human settlements. Gender inequalities harm well-being and hinder development. Women and girls, especially the poor, bear the brunt of these inequalities. To attain the objectives of sustainable development of satisfying needs and meeting development goals, to which the international community has repeatedly committed itself, sustainability itself has to be engendered through gender mainstreaming.
  • The pro-poor agenda sees the dissemination of research findings as fundamental to ensuring that research helps contribute to poverty alleviation. In recent years this has led to a substantial growth in intermediary services, such as ‘infomediaries’ (1), networks and websites. Yet the pathway to, and actual uptake by, the ‘poor’ continues to elude practitioners, researchers and policy-makers alike. This article draws out the key lessons of recent dissemination experience, and sets out a new challenge to maximise research impacts: the support of the poor in exerting their own perspectives (and demand) for knowledge-based services.
  • Since July 1999, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), at the request of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the Kosovo Force (KFOR), has undertaken the implementation of the Information Counselling and Referral Service (ICRS, which aimed to provide support mechanisms for demobilised Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) combatants in their return to post-conflict society. This Practical Note is based on the findings of a research project funded by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to assess the initial impact of this reintegration process.
  • Conceived by nurses in the hospital of a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, and inspired by Norwegian People's Aid, the international aid agency of the Australian trade unions was designed to give a genuine material base to solidarity with national liberation struggles. Bridging the difficult division in Australian labour politics between the Catholic Right and the social democratic and pro-Moscow Lefts, Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad (now Union Aid Abroad, APHEDA) was able to channel funds from unions and the Australian government to agriculture, health, and vocational training projects in southern Africa, Eritrea, Palestine, Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Kanaky. Unlike most counterpart organisations in Europe and the USA, its earlier partners were rarely trade unions. In the last decade, emphasis has turned to work with trade unions: on gender equality, literacy, cooperatives, HIV, and occupational and environmental health. Only recently has APHEDA directly supported trade union training in Cambodia, East Timor, and Indonesia, under pressure from Australian unions, who see workers' rights in neighbouring countries as crucial to their own fate. Yet unions in advanced capitalist countries don't spontaneously understand the humanitarian and development needs of countries, such as Papua New Guinea, where waged workers are a small minority of the population. Unionisation is only one part of the solution. The April 2000 Durban congress of the ICFTU called for trade unions to `organise the unorganised', such as informal-sector workers, and to build alliances with NGOs and civil society around shared values. As a trade union NGO, APHEDA is located in the middle of a challenging intersection. Mandated to educate Australian workers on globalisation issues, APHEDA finds itself often more partisan than other international development NGOs in Australia, sometimes more circumspect. With reactionary national governments since the mid 1990s, attacks on union rights, and the increasing share of the Australian aid budget delivered through/to high-profit companies, APHEDA faces decisions about its independence, alliances, direction, and sustainability.
  • Founded in 1951, War on Want is a UK-based NGO committed to the alleviation of poverty with strong roots in the labour movement. War on Want's programme on The Global Workplace provides trade unionists with a range of practical skills and knowledge about international development issues. Part of the programme involves a `Global Workers' Forum', which takes grassroots trade union activists from the UK to a similar sector or even a plant owned by the same employer in the South. The aim is to enhance participants' understanding of the impact of globalisation on the industries in which they work, establish relationships that can act as starting points for global action, and encourage participants to spread the message within their own unions. There is also a website which raises awareness of the global economy and encourages activists to make links and undertake joint action. It is essential that now, as never before, trade unionists should work together as an international force to challenge globalisation and fight for the recognition of workers' rights. The Global Workplace suggests that showing global solidarity to workers around the world can help trade unionists rise to this challenge.
  • This paper argues that the NGO position on global labour rights is mistaken. NGOs' concerns over race and gender inequalities and their rejection of the primacy of class in today's global, capitalist economy have frustrated the project of incorporating labour rights into the global free trade regime. Trade unions, meanwhile, are one of the few agencies dedicated to dissolving class inequalities, especially between workers in the North and the South. Until NGOs rethink their position on class, trade unions are the only agency capable of pushing the labour rights agenda forward.
  • This article considers the problems of organisational survival, innovation, and inter-organisational partnerships for unions and for immigrant community-based organisations. The analysis focuses on the Citizenship Project, a project for assisting and organising Mexican immigrants, launched in 1995 by Teamsters Local 890 in response to the assault on immigrant rights in California. It concludes that new community-based partner organisations sponsored by existing unions can be one effective response to these problems if the participants establish and sustain an appropriate balance of autonomy and accountability. The article also traces the development of a radical and expansive notion of citizenship by the Citizenship Project, and a related set of methods that integrate organising with service delivery, labelled `citizenship work'. It recommends that non-profit tax-exempt support centres be established at labour centres, labour councils, and international unions in order to lower the costs of such innovation for local unions.
  • In the early 1980s, support for trade unions was a significant component of Oxfam GB's programmes in various parts of the world, most notably Central America and South Africa. In Central America, this was motivated both because organised labour played an important role in popular movements that were pressing for equitable political settlements to the wars ravaging the region, and because unions as such, as well as their members and leaders, were the targets of repression and political violence. This article explores the background to the rise in funding for unions in Honduras, reflects on this experience, and discusses some of the factors that might change a potentially awkward donor-recipient relationship to one of dialogue and solidarity.
  • Between 1991 and 2002, the international anti-sweatshop movement experienced significant growth. A series of interconnecting international networks developed, involving trade unions and NGOs in campaigns to persuade particular transnational corporations (TNCs) to ensure that labour rights are respected in the production of their goods. While the loose, networked form of organisation that characterises the movement has helped it to grow and progress despite its diverse constituency, arguably a lack of coordination has undermined its ability to achieve policy change. There is a need to develop new forms of global cooperation in order to avoid fractures within the movement and the loss of impetus.
  • Reviewed by Luz María de la Mora, Trade Representative of the Mexican Ministry of Economy at the EU, Brussels
  • In English only
  • In English only
  • The challenges posed by economic globalisation make it imperative that civil society organisations break down the barriers that have traditionally divided them, in order to ensure that the rights of those who are marginalised or vulnerable are kept firmly on the international agenda. In particular, globalisation brings fresh impetus to the need to forge alliances between the trade union movement and NGOs concerned with social and economic development. While there is plenty of evidence of successful cooperation, major problems, fears, suspicions, and at times hostilities remain between them. Some of these are substantial and sharp policy differences, but others are the consequence of colliding political or organisational cultures, prejudices, financial competition, and a mutual lack of understanding of respective roles and objectives. Debates surrounding the organisation of workers in the informal economy, including the ILO discussion in June 2002, provide a useful case study.
  • Trade unions in India work mainly with workers in formal employment, particularly in the public sector. However, most people in India work in the informal economy, and their needs are attended mainly by voluntary agencies or NGOs. Economic globalisation and the policies associated with it are resulting in the increasing informalisation of work; as representatives of working people, unions and agencies alike are being further marginalised. Paradoxically, this situation is encouraging these organisations to overcome the mutual mistrust that has characterised relations between them in the past, and to join forces in order to pool their strengths. This article describes the background and current situation in general terms before presenting a case study of the National Centre for Labour (NCL), an apex body of labour organisations of all kinds working in the informal sector in India. Its members include unions and agencies active among workers in the construction industry, as well as in forestry, fishing, and domestic work. Such collaboration has not only enhanced the effectiveness of both the unions and the agencies, but has also increased the unions' representative character.
  • This article describes an action-research project which has the multiple objectives of mapping the range of home-based work in different countries, investigating the ways in which such work is embodied in local or international production chains, and developing a methodology which will facilitate the establishment of sustainable organisations of home-based workers. The article focuses mainly on Latin America and in Eastern Europe, though the project is also active in India and has begun to explore the possibilities of working in China.
  • The garment and textile factories and assembly plants in the Central American free trade zones, known as the maquila industry, have given rise to new actors on the labour scene, as women's organisations and local monitoring groups now work alongside the traditional trade union sector. Furthermore, some of these new organisations are linked to networks based elsewhere, mainly in the USA and Europe, and are actively involved in transnational campaigns to improve working conditions in the maquila. To date, attempts between trade unions and these new labour actors to collaborate have been disappointing and often characterised by conflict. Challenging the idea that trade unions and NGOs are in competition for the same limited `space', by looking at the relations between trade unions and women organisations, this paper asks whether such conflicts are inevitable, and suggests ways in which the two kinds of organisations could work together to improve the conditions of workers in Central America.
  • Concern about working conditions in a global supply chain has brought unions and NGOs in the North around the same table. Collaborative initiatives include campaigns such as the European-wide Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and ethical trade forums, like the UK Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI). Relationships have not always been easy. Unions and NGOs have different ways of working, and there have been insensitivities on both sides. What we see emerging, however, are new forms of labour internationalism which can respond in effective ways to the threat that globalised production poses to workers rights.
  • The author describes the evolution of the garment-manufacturing sector in the district of Totonicapán in the Guatemalan highlands, an area long associated with weaving and related skills. Producers have been shrewd in finding ways to take advantage of changes in the global economy, for instance by importing cheaper fabrics from Asia to reduce the cost of the final products. Producers have thus been able to exploit the domestic and regional market niche for lower-cost garments than are available in the department stores, adapting their output to respond to fashions and trends. This adaptability has in turn generated more local employment and wealth among home-based workers and village workers, as well as among townspeople and traders, and a high level of self-employment. Paradoxically, a factor that has contributed to this situation - as opposed to becoming involved in maquila production - is that the failure of unions to organise the workers in the 1960s eventually brought about more equitable relations between the traditional elite and their former employees and a higher level of mutual dependence than exists in the maquila.
  • This article explores the implementation of Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Honduras. It highlights key lessons learned from a joint Save the Children Fund-UK and Ministry of Labour project. These lessons are of relevance to similar projects addressing the application of child labour legislation and to projects focusing on institutional strengthening and children's participation. The article examines the centrality of partnership and ownership, and the value of child-centred approaches. It also explores the capacity of NGOs to engage in national and regional level government, and the importance of linking national, regional, and local-level initiatives.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. The debate over workplace codes of conduct has created tensions between trade unions and human rights NGOs. These tensions result from the inherent structural differences between interest-driven trade unions and ideals-driven human righst NGOs. The differences play themselves out in how these actors pursue social justice in a globalised economy. Human rights NGOs tend to see codes of conduct as a method to prevent violations, akin to their traditional work on legal reform and human rights monitoring. Trade unions assess codes for their potential to help empower workers, especially to help ensure freedom of association, which will lead to the realisation of participatory rights. In our understanding of human rights as a means of empowerment for vulnerable groups, we argue that the trade union perspective on human rights is a good long-term approach. Short-term successes, such as improving working conditions through outside patronage, seem useful only to the extent they serve this long-term goal.

  • In the context of globalisation, transnational social regulation is increasingly the product of NGOs intervening in the sphere of global trade. Drawing on empirical research in SE Asia, the author contends that what matters as much as codes of conduct are spillover effects whose force extends beyond building walls into the broader society of the host country. The basis for effective labour law lies within states, and activism must focus on improving legal, political, and social conditions for workers in the host countries, rather than on trying to affect corporate behaviour through consumer pressure.
  • The proliferation of corporate codes of conduct generates both alliance and tension between trade unions and NGOs that deal with workers' rights in the global economy. Alliance, because trade unions and NGOs share a common desire to halt abusive behaviour by multinational companies and a broader goal of checking corporate power in the global economy. Tension, because unions and NGOs have differing institutional interests, different analyses of problems and potential solutions, and different ways of thinking and talking about social justice in the global economy. There are fears that codes of conduct may be used to undermine effective labour law enforcement by governmental authorities and undermine workers' power in trade unions. The substance behind the rhetoric on this new generation of corporate codes of conduct is certainly open to question. However, this paper argues that, given unions' weak presence in the global assembly line and the rapid-response capabilities of many NGOs, such codes are a valuable asset. Trade unions and NGOs still have more in common with each other than either has with corporations, governments, or international organisations that see free trade and free-flowing capital as the solution to low labour standards. But both need to be clear-eyed about their differences and their proper roles as they navigate the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
  • Workers face tremendous challenges in their fight to organise, both in terms of personal risk and the sheer number of obstacles. Overcoming such challenges requires multiple strategies and broad-ranging collaboration. In this article we begin by reviewing the repression workers face. We then look at how voluntary workplace codes might help workers organise. Using the SA8000 standard as an example, we look at some of the elements that could be most useful in organising workers. Finally, we look at a collaborative project between the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation and Social Accountability International to develop a training programme that not only helps workers understand how to use codes to their benefit but also builds on their current organising and education strategies.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. Trying to build alliances that span the divide between trade unions and NGOs as well as the divide between the North and the South might seem a utopian task. But this is exactly what an imaginative new generation of organisers from the western hemisphere's labour movements and NGOs are trying to do. This paper analyses two very different efforts working to bridge this `double divide'. The first is a combination of organisations, including unions and NGOs in both North and South, that are focusing on blatant violations of the dignity of workers in apparel export processing zones in the South. This `basic rights complex' has resulted in important victories. A second complex of organisations, also involving unions and NGOs in both North and South, has raised broad macro issues of governance focusing particularly on the anti-democratic character of current proposals for a free trade area of the Americas. Neither of these complexes is without its weaknesses, but each makes it clear that bridging the double divide should be thought of not as a utopian dream but as work in progress.

  • Human rights NGOs were the vanguard of the struggle for democratisation in Nigeria, but they had to forge alliances with labour unions and other groups to galvanise this process effectively. This paper explores the alliances between labour unions and NGOs in the struggle against military dictatorship in Nigeria to analyse how horizontal relationships have fared in exchanges within civil society. It argues that the exigencies of sustained political struggle throw up conflicts over issues of participation, accountability, and egalitarianism that in turn promote social capital within civil society by mitigating hierarchically structured and asymmetrical patterns of exchange among its members.
  • This paper examines the relationship between workers in the health sector and users of health services as seen through two case studies of trade unions and NGOs working together, one in Malaysia and the other in South Africa. In spite of a history of tensions between these two types of organisations, when they work together effectively, the results can be influential. The Malaysia Citizens' Health Initiative has set up a separate organisation and now has the power to mediate differences between trade unions, NGOs, and the government. The partnership between the Treatment Action Campaign and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in South Africa is providing a unified voice demanding government action on HIV/AIDS.
  • With the passage of the 1999 Asylum and Immigration Act in the UK, a system of vouchers for all new asylum seekers was to be introduced from April 2000. These vouchers were widely regarded as iniquitous in that they discriminated against an already vulnerable sector of society. A unique coalition between two NGOs (Oxfam GB and the Refugee Council) and a trade union (the Trade and General Workers' Union - TGWU) led to a concerted campaign against the voucher scheme that included a range of media work, political lobbying, and public awareness raising. The voucher scheme was eventually scrapped. This article draws various practical lessons on how to develop successful collaborative relationships across different social sectors. The author concludes that the principal lesson is not that NGOs must work with trade unions, but that by working with others, united by a common goal, they can challenge injustice effectively and make a difference to people's lives.
  • A comparison of trade unions and NGOs in Iran demonstrates the diverse nature of their activities. Over the last 90 years, trade unions have played important roles in changing the political system in that country. However, unions are largely male- dominated organisations, which explains why some women have begun to organise women's trade unions. This article focuses, however, on the activities of women's NGOs, which are engaged in improving the socio-economic conditions of the most marginalised sectors of society. Their activities are limited and they are not engaged in structural change. However, they are challenging gender-specific access and influence over institutional power, matters that are crucial to the process of democratisation. It is argued that, since many trade unions and NGOs in Iran are strengthening community-based institutions in different ways, their collaboration would have a mutually transformational impact which would turn these organisations into more powerful forces in the process of democratisation.
  • Trade unions are typified as having `two faces'--one of social justice and the other of vested interest. This article examines the tensions and difficulties confronted by trade union movements in the South Pacific seeking to balance the `two faces' of unionism during a period of political and economic instability in the region. It looks at the difficult choices trade union movements in Papua New Guinea, the Fiji Islands, and the Solomon Islands have had to make to preserve their interests in response to sweeping microeconomic reforms and how they have sought to work with civil society organisations to restore political and social stability. The paper draws out some tentative lessons that may enable South Pacific unions to better respond to these difficult challenges.
  • This article describes the legal frameworks governing trade unions and NGOs in Ukraine, with the latter defined very much as organisations working for the benefit of their members and other citizens sharing the same interests rather than as philanthropic organisations whose mission is to assist others. Trade unions and NGOs are encouraged to collaborate in areas where their interests coincide, and the article describes two recent programmes - one to promote more sport and physical activity among the Ukrainian population in order to address declining health statistics, and the other to address the needs of the growing number of people with disabilities in the country - in which such collaboration has been central.
  • In 1987-1988, a national debate erupted in Canada on the desirability of entering into a free trade agreement with the USA and its potential effect on Canadian culture, society, and national sovereignty - as well as its economy. A national coalition of labour unions and civil society groups emerged to oppose such an agreement with the USA, and later its expansion to Mexico as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The coalition was hailed by members as a ground-breaking alliance between labour unions and civil society, as well as a new grassroots challenge to the neo-liberal economic policies of the government at the time. The experience led to a longer-term pattern of collaboration between unions and NGOs in Canada, but the coalition also experienced difficulties in reconciling the different approaches and goals of participants, which were resolved with varying degrees of success. This paper discusses the coalition in relation to gendered attitudes and practices; issues of representation and accountability; different approaches to organisation, hierarchy, leadership, and decision making; resource conflicts; class-based versus new views of challenge and social movements; and views within the Canadian labour movement on coalition work with civil society groups.
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  • The authors analyse the experience of Tostan, a Senegalese NGO, with the abandonment of female genital cutting (FGC) in Senegal, the Sudan, and Mali. Tostan uses nonformal, participatory methodologies to support village-based social change, especially in the areas of human rights and womens health. Following Tostans educational programme, some communities have declared a moratorium on the practice of FGC and have mobilised their families and villages to discontinue its use. This article describes the process used, considers issues that have arisen as the concept is marketed and disseminated beyond Senegal, and reviews implications for grassroots policy initiatives.
  • This paper draws on five case studies to explore potential benefits and barriers to horizontal networking to promote impact monitoring and assessment of microfinance. Its main aim is to stimulate further discussion of this issue, but it also draws tentative conclusions about factors likely to contribute towards success. In particular, experience from Honduras suggests that network organisations can work most effectively when they facilitate wider use of impact assessment (IA) activities already piloted by a lead member of the network.
  • This paper evaluates the pertinence of interventions sponsored by aid agencies that seek to meet the security needs of women in post-reconstruction Rwanda. Personal security, economic security, and socio-political security are used as the main methodological reference marks and indicators. The information and data used in the paper were gathered during several visits to Rwanda in 2001 and 2002. The study reveals that efforts have brought about positive impacts on the lives of women. However, findings also show that specific strategies aimed at increasing womens security would better benefit them if they were more consistently planned so as to take into consideration the ways in which issues of poverty, gender, and security intersect.

    This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • Smallholder farmers in developing economies face a range of marketing and exchange problems. This article concerns the organisation of vegetable markets in Ghana, in which transactions are characterised by uncertainty, mistrust and undeveloped buyer-seller relationships. It recommends adopting written standard form contracts to improve buyer-seller exchange and suggests key contractual features. Contracts furnish major advantages over existing verbal agreements by specifying the terms of an agreement by which performance can be measured and improving business attitudes and enhancing moral obligation.
  • A recent increase of publications, training courses, conferences, and policy statements on rights-based approaches shows the importance being attached to the concept by development professionals. Despite this, there is no universally agreed definition of what constitutes a rights-based approach, nor do the implications of adopting such an approach appear to have been comprehensively questioned. This article seeks to explore some of the key issues associated with the adoption of a rights-based approach that are relevant to NGOs.
  • This paper reports on some of the generic findings arising from research being undertaken in the UK, South Africa, and Uganda into the ways in which the management tools currently promoted by official donors are passed down the aid chain, through UK NGOs, to civil society organisations in the South. The increasing competition for donor funds is both squeezing out the smaller NGOs, and also setting an increasingly standardised approach, with the resulting loss in diversity. More disturbingly, NGOs at all levels are increasingly secretive about their own shortcomings, and reluctant to voice their concerns about what is happening, for fear of losing their funding. This environment, and the attitudes it fosters, are not conducive to learning; allow for donor-defined paradigms and priorities to dominate; and threaten to destroy the values and strengths that NGOs can, at their best, bring to development.
  • Development projects are under pressure to deliver positive gender changes. This paper provides a practical example of how one project in Tanzania attempted to meet this demand. It details how a conventional technical project developed its own understanding of what it is to be gender sensitive, and identified gender concerns that it might address. The main monitoring challenges became those of how to assess the significance of routinely recorded events such as increased cow allocations to women, and how to incorporate monitoring activities that might focus on researching less obvious, less visible, and more subtle processes of change into the project cycle. The paper advocates giving greater attention to meeting these challenges within projects.
  • In this paper, Asset-based Community Development (ABCD) is presented as an alternative to needs-based approaches to development. Following an overview of the principles and practice of ABCD, four major elements of ABCD are examined in light of the current literature on relevant research and practice. This involves exploring the theory and practice of appreciative inquiry; the concept of social capital as an asset for community development; the theory of community economic development; and lessons learned from the links between participatory development, citizenship, and civil society. The paper outlines how ABCD both reflects and integrates trends in these areas, and stands to benefit from the insights generated from this work.
  • Many readers will be familiar with the work of Robert Chambers, including his six biases of the development professional - namely spatial, project, person, seasonal, diplomatic, and professional - and with his suggestions for overcoming them. Many will also be familiar with the challenge of putting his advice into practice, notably on short-term assignments. The question asked here is whether the consultant can do anything constructive about those who are last on the development ladder; and in so doing render the invisible just a bit more visible. This article provides four illustrations taken from the authors experiences in Mozambique, Malawi, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe. All involve attempts to partially apply Chambers ideas. All are modest in ambition, scale, and scope. The main purpose of describing these cases is to stimulate discussion of the possibilities of incorporating the ideas of participatory and inclusive development processes within the unpromising confines of the two- or three-week assignment.
  • This paper documents the lessons drawn from several years of practical work with a range of Programme and Project Cycle Management (PPCM) processes and tools. The need for PPCM training, and not simply Logical Framework training, is emphasised, as is the importance of using an experiential training methodology. Institutional ownership of both PPCM tools and approaches are considered to be vital for success. Since so many donors now use PPCM tools, the need for development professionals to have PPCM skills and knowledge is paramount. The value of logframes as a tool to both increase programme/project ownership and communication is highlighted. The importance of thinking outside the boxes of the logframe at the project/programme review stage is also emphasised.
  • 12 September 2003 was the twenty-fifth anniversary of WHOs Alma Ata Health for All (HfA) by the Year 2000 Strategy. The strategy reflected an optimism that health could improve for poor and disadvantaged peoples around the world through the provision of comprehensive primary health care (PHC). In practice, PHC has been only selectively applied and generally under-resourced. Two progressive health groups, the International Peoples Health Council (IPHC) and the Peoples Health Movement (PHM) challenge the evidence that selective rather than comprehensive PHC is the right approach, and argue that the privatisation of health-related social services has had a devastating effect on public health worldwide. These organisations call on WHO to revive the dream of Alma Ata as a matter of urgency.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. This essay is organised in terms of several propositions for discussion that link advocacy and research dilemmas. Whether researchers can make a difference to the World Bank requires a broader assessment of whether the campaigns they work with are having an impact. While there have been some spectacular successes in terms of halting or redirecting potentially harmful Bank projects, the longer-term significance of these successes is less clear. As the Banks public discourse becomes more enlightened, the challenge for civil society organisations and researchers is increasingly to highlight contradictions among and lack of compliance with its own policies, and the failure of its loans and projects to achieve their declared aims. This calls for vertical integration or systematic coordination between diverse levels of civil society - from local to provincial, national, and international arenas to monitor the parallel partnerships between the World Bank, national, provincial, and local governments. Finally, a call is made for social development professionals who conduct consultancies for the World Bank to adhere to a code of ethics requiring transparency in their relationships with the communities and social organisations who are the target of their research.
  • The failure of the post-colonial state to institutionalise democracy and regulate development for the benefit of the poor has given prominence to private actors, including development NGOs. With case studies from Malawi, this paper shows how NGOs may inadvertently facilitate the enrolment of the poor into development agendas that do not benefit them. Images (as world views) that social actors form of different aspects of the development process may undermine empowerment intentions. It is argued that an analysis of various actors images in managing development assistance should inform the pro-poor agenda of development NGOs.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. Today's rapid changes within and outside Northern and Southern NGOs heighten uncertainty about how to meet new challenges and achieve results. In this volatile environment, risk management is a tool for maximising an NGO's opportunities and minimising the dangers to success. It enables NGO decision makers to think strategically all the time.
  • In English only
  • This article seeks to contribute to the debate on collaboration between national and international NGOs. It argues that it is vital for the development of stable, independent, and viable civil societies that the international NGOs promote a bottom-up approach in their support to and collaboration with local NGOs, especially among those emerging from situations of conflict or other profound social disruptions. From a study carried out in East Timor, the authors conclude that there is a noticeable discrepancy between rhetoric and practice with regard to such support. The multiple challenges to the international NGO community and persist although many years of development work have offered abundant learning opportunities. The authors argue that such challenges are less a question of standards and rules than of basic approach, attitudes, and power relations. They maintain that if international NGOs and the wider international community do not alter their approach, they will suffocate rather than foster the development of a viable and autonomous civil society in the countries in which they operate.
  • Some indigenous peoples are attempting to explore approaches to defining and implementing sustainable development in ways appropriate to them. In 1998, four Maori iwi (tribal) organisations embarked on a research project with a research team from the University of Waikato on planning for their own sustainable development. The aims of the research included enabling the groups to articulate their own values and understanding of development, establishing a comprehensive inventory of resources and taonga (treasures), identifying ways of assessing costs/benefits of investment options, and exploring participatory methods for involving the community in strategic decision-making. Useful lessons have been learned and models tested to assist community-based groups in implementing their own sustainable development.
  • The discourse on social capital continues in the development arena, within which the concept is examined both as a means to an end and as an end in itself. Strengthening social capital begins at the community level. As the linkages become internalised and institutionalised, the networks created offer both state (weak or strong) and citizens a means of encouraging participatory decision making, problem identification, and problem solutions. As the Jamaican example reflects, development in small island states is an iterative process and not top-down. The paper therefore demonstrates the critical use of the concept as a part of the strategising of national development goals.
  • Development in Practice has always been internationalist in outlook. Contributions are encouraged, no matter the language, from across the globe and efforts made for the journal to be accessible, including through translation. Aside from articles being translated into English, this involves the translation of abstracts, initially in the journal now on the website, into French, Spanish, and Portuguese and the publication in Spanish of five of the Development in Practice Readers. The Editor wanted to know whether such activities represented the best use of her meagre translation budget or whether there is potential for achieving more. This is a summary report from one of the Editorial Advisers, Mike Powell, who, by looking at other organisations and talking to subscribers and supporters of Development in Practice, tried to find out.
  • The role of organising and disseminating knowledge as a global public good has become a major preoccupation of international development organisations. One area in which they are particularly active is support for microfinance programmes in developing countries. More recently, the microfinance `best practices' deposited in, and disseminated by, these international organisations have been associated with social capital. This paper examines the ways in which the notion of social capital is employed to explain the success of microfinance programmes. It argues that various types of social interactions that are generated around successful microfinance operations are randomly called social capital. This means that the presence of social capital does not tell us much about what sort of microfinance programmes, in terms of design and implementation, should be regarded as good practice.
  • In Northeast Thailand, women are heavily involved in small-scale aquaculture. However, as aquaculture becomes more intensive, women are in charge of less. Women's decision-making power in aquaculture and in the household is stronger when women have greater material resources and knowledge than do their husbands; and the case studies on which the article draws show that what is important is not how much women have, but how much they have in relation to their husbands. The case studies also illustrate that women's gender roles and responsibilities as well as the social expectations of them limit what women will gain through aquaculture. In intensive aquaculture in particular, women are expected to invest all their resources in this activity in order to sustain the family enterprise.
  • The results of a field study examined in this article show the remarkable success of a reproductive health education and community outreach project in Cambodia that has been implemented by the Ministry of Women's and Veterans' Affairs since 1995, in terms of levels of volunteer activity and impact of the project on increased knowledge and practice in reproductive health issues among the target population. A key to the project's success appears to be its adherence to principles identified, but seldom practised, such as a strong commitment to capacity building at all levels.
  • Parent teacher associations or school management committees (PTAs/SMCs) are an important way of realising participation via collective action to improve schooling. Field visits, a literature search and a small sample survey are the three sources used to explore the status of SMCs/PTAs that have been established by provincial governments and NGOs in Pakistan. The main finding is that public sector reform, to alter the power relation between parents, teachers, and government officials, are needed to make participation effective in schooling. In general, NGO schools performed only marginally better than government schools in engendering participation.
  • The author uses the metaphor of the development practitioner as psychotherapist in order to explore the perverse relationships of dependence and projection that may be fostered between aid agencies and `beneficiaries' unless there is a clear sense on the part of both parties that the ultimate goal is that the latter should take responsibility for analysing their situation and taking appropriate steps to improve it.
  • The author examines the history of grassroots community development (CD) in rural Malawi, with reference to four case studies. The findings illustrate that while the intended beneficiaries of such `self-help' projects need to be persuaded that the costs of participation are justified, in reality the decision to participate or not is more often subject to social and other pressures, and in the past has been backed up with sanctions. The ultimate success of the CD effort may depend more on the level of political backing it can mobilise than on the support shown by poor communities.
  • Zhuhai was designated a special economic zone (SEZ) as an experimentation point of economic liberalisation. This articles traces the development of the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone from a humble village to a significant economic power in southern China, focusing on industry, trade, education, and logistics.
  • The adoption of participatory approaches has become virtually de rigueur in rural development projects, if only to satisfy donor demands for evidence of participation. Often, however, PRA and its derivatives are used in an extractive fashion and do not benefit local people as intended. This Practical Note reports on a project in Ethiopia in which PRA was used. An evaluation conducted with the same communities after the research phase was concluded confirmed that certain aspects of PRA had been appreciated, in particular the opportunities for peer-group learning, the process had been more top-down than most would have liked. It concludes with some simple lessons for how to avoid the obvious pitfalls, and how to ensure that local people get the most out of participating in a development project.
  • In English only
  • For more than a decade, resolutions from the UN and the European Commission have highlighted women's suffering during wars, and the unfairness of their treatment upon the return to peace. Yet the injustices and the hypocrisy continue. Women are reified as the peacemakers while they are excluded from peace processes. Women's suffering during war is held up as evidence of inhumanity by the same organisations that accept, if not promote, the marginalisation of women's needs during peacetime. The author reviews the processes through which these phenomena are perpetuated and outlines some ways forward which could help to break these cycles. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • This paper seeks to explode a number of myths about women's absence from wars and conflict; it considers some problems about their vulnerabilities in these circumstances; and offers some feminist perspectives for addressing these problems. The paper considers the conflicting demands made on women in periods of war and revolution, and argues that differing historical processes result in different post-conflict policies towards women. There is, however, a commonality of experiences that universally marginalise women in the post-conflict and reconstruction phases. Even when women have participated actively in wars and revolutions, they are heavily pressured to go back to the home and reconstruct the private domain to assert the return of peace and `normality'. This paper contends that the insistence on locating women within the domestic sphere in the post-war era may be counter-productive and located in the historical construction of nationhood and nationalism as masculine in terms of its character and demands. With the dawn of the twenty-first century and the long history of women's participation in wars, revolutions, and policy making, it may now be possible to use the symbolic importance given to them in times of conflict to articulate a different perception of nationhood and belonging, and to create a more cooperative and less competitive and hierarchical approach to politics and the reconstruction of nations and their sense of belonging. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • The Gender Audit (GA) and associated reports and reviews drawn upon in this article enable an evaluation of how far the intervention processes at work in Kosova since 1999 have been inclusive of gender analysis and supportive of women's and girls' needs and interests. This assessment considers the strengths and drawbacks of various attempts to use and implement gender-sensitive projects. The GA was designed to support the emerging feminist reconstructive politics in Kosova. Its findings and recommendations tackle aspects of empowerment, equity, and opportunities, outlining some developments from community activism as well as outcomes of the international administration. By considering developments over a two-year period, it is possible to place issues of equity and opportunities in the context of change over time, with change at local and national levels linked with developing international dialogues. The article analyses local work undertaken by the Kosova Women's Network to overcome violence against women in war and domestic peace, and reviews international work engaged in by the Kosovo [sic] Women's Initiative (KWI). Many Kosovar women (of all ethnicities) do fully acknowledge their community membership, and recognise the risks involved in talking across their differences to achieve everyday security and reconciliation. International reports and reviews such as those produced in 2002 by the UN Secretary-General and UNIFEM on women, war, peace, and security, as well as the review of the KWI, allow an assessment of how dialogues are changing and what the potential impact of such change might be on policy development and implementation. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • The growth in the number of 'small wars' has led to a proliferation of post-conflict reconstruction efforts. The experience in the Balkans with post-war reconstruction can provide a significant contribution to further learning, as much learning still needs to be done from the messy, poorly conceived, and chaotic manner in which the outside world stepped in and tried to help in the 1990s. Among the most important lessons that transpired is the need to include women fully in peace building. In the case of Kosovo, as elsewhere, the international effort was dominated by men, with little insight into or concern about addressing gender inequalities. This indifference in turn pervaded assistance programmes, with particularly damaging effects for local women. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • The fact that war changes roles and responsibilities within society, while exposing men and women of all ages and classes to new threats and opportunities, has become increasingly recognised. Civil wars disrupt and destroy civilian life. Men leave, die in combat, are brutalised, lose employment, or resort to despair, violence, or apathy. Women assume enormous burdens of work and all manner of different tasks and responsibilities, lose their security and their protectors, and are victimised and marginalised. Yet few members of peacekeeping missions have any training in dealing with the civilian population, much less the specific issues relating to gender relations. In response to this, a basic training package titled Gender and Peace Support Operations has been designed for use in pre-deployment induction. This article describes the background to its development and outlines how it is expected to be used and evolve in the future. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • Much has been written about the contribution of Palestinian women to their nation's liberation struggle. They have not only survived in an atmosphere of remorseless violence, but have also made remarkable strides in terms of their rights and development as women. A question that has been less explored is the long-term impact of violence against women, whether in terms of their physical and psychological well-being or of their ability to participate in a meaningful way either in the conflict itself or in the post-conflict situation. This paper argues that, although Palestinian women are not simply victims but also agents of violence, such violence--whether random or institutionalised, perpetrated by the enemy or by their own people--places significant constraints on their ability to participate in the national liberation struggle. Consequently, they are inadequately prepared to contribute towards the peace process and, therefore, are prevented from realising their full potential in the new state. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • At first glance it would appear that despite women's vital participation in peace-making processes, they are for the most part marginalised or belittled. However, moving away from the idea of women as outsiders and/or victims, we find evidence of their involvement in projects initiated and driven by them and/or in activities in which they work in equal roles alongside men. Many women in conflict areas are advocating and working effectively with approaches to lasting positive peace that transcend traditional male-dominated structures and ideologies. Large numbers of ordinary women, men, and children are working mostly behind the scenes to achieve justice and equality. Women are very much involved but get far less recognition than men. The scale and diversity of largely unacknowledged but effective grassroots peace efforts worldwide, particularly among women, requires much greater recognition by the international community. This article is based on a research project that uses an oral testimony approach and a multicultural perspective to give voice to women working in the field in a wide range of transformational processes. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • Do gender relations change through conflict? How might conflict itself be fuelled by aspects of gender identity? A recently completed research project that combined oral testimony with more conventional research methods concluded that conflict has undoubtedly given women greater responsibilities, and with them the possibility of exerting greater leverage in decision making and increasing their political participation. The research sheds light on the role of ordinary citizens as 'actors' responding to crisis, and describes how gender identities are woven into a complex web of cause and effect in which war can be seen as a 'conflict of patriarchies'. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • This paper, based on field research in Kabul in February 2002, begins by discussing how women experience war and violent conflict differently from men, in particular by defining different types of violence against women in Afghanistan. Second, by identifying individual Afghan women, as well as women's networks and organisations, I analyse their different coping strategies and the ways in which networking and different forms of group solidarity became mechanisms for women's empowerment. Third, I demonstrate how, throughout Taliban rule, many women risked their lives by turning their homes into underground networks of schools for girls and young women. I argue that, as social actors, they created cohesion and solidarity in their communities. Their secret organisations have already laid the foundation for the building of social capital, which is crucial for the process of reconstruction in Afghanistan. In the final section, I propose that women in Afghanistan, as social actors, are optimistic and willing to participate in the process of reconstruction. As a researcher, I intend to articulate their voice, views, and demands, which I hope will be taken into consideration by policy makers and aid workers. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • This article analyses the industrialisation process in Hazira, situated on the coastal belt of South Gujarat in India. The author sets out to gauge the impact of industrial development on land distribution, on the employment opportunities of local people, as well as on the environment. The views of different stakeholders - villagers and industrialists - are presented. The status of women is examined, in particular the kind of occupations women are involved in, their skills and earnings, the time they spend on economic and domestic activities, and the attitude of male family members towards their work.
  • This paper, based on a survey of benefiting and non-benefiting farm households in Uganda's Mpigi district, analyses the Heifer-in-Trust scheme. Although the scheme is intended to alleviate the nutrition and income deficiencies of the poorest rural farmers through dairy production, the actual beneficiaries tend to be the less poor because of the expenses involved. Such is the fate of many development initiatives in which the benefits often do not reach their intended recipients, with the risk of widening the inequality gap. On the other hand, those who did benefit from the scheme, though better off from the start, were found to be very active and enthusiastic, and it was obvious that the scheme had made a significant contribution to dairy improvement. The challenge, then, remains to devise the means by which the poorest farmers can be reached.
  • This paper summarises part of a research project undertaken in rural Niger. It aims to provide an insight into the development and working of grassroots organisations and the communities in which they operate. Arising from research conducted in five workshops, which involved almost 160 people from 54 community-based organisations, the metaphors of the baobab and eucalyptus trees were found to have strong cultural associations for the participants and helped explain the importance of long-term and deep-rooted interventions rather than short-term and ephemeral projects. This paper also adds to the contemporary debate within development agencies on capacity building of sustainable human development.
  • The research summarised here addresses the ambiguities and discrepancies of the capacity building dialect within the aid and development industry. Three interrelated themes are found to permeate the capacity building literature, despite diverse ideological persuasions. The appropriation of these themes within the capacity building discourse is subject to critical analysis. A meta-theoretical analysis questions the ability of functionalist constructs of capacity building to reduce poverty or achieve sustainable development. From a community development perspective, equitable social transformation will occur only when the focus of `development' involves strengthening the capacities of all people, communities, and nations to create a just and equitable world.
  • In English only
  • Through an analysis of how Bangladeshi NGOs have become institutionalised, the author examines patterns of bureaucratisation and professionalisation to argue that NGOs are part of a process of incorporation that mediates opposition to gender and other structural inequalities. Two important tendencies - the growing partnership between NGOs, the state, and donor agencies, and the discursive shift from social welfare and redistribution to individualism, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance - exemplify these processes. The paper shows how institutionalisation, accompanied by the conflation of civil society and NGOs, masks the loss of member-citizens' voices, channelling opposition through NGOs in ways that often compromise their interests.
  • This article shows how local understandings of development can be researched empirically by reference to experiences presented from three drawing workshops performed with children in the Ayacucho region in the Peruvian Andes. The children were asked to draw pictures from their community, as they would like it to become in the future. Their drawings are analysed by using an adapted form of Grounded Theory, and further interpreted as expressions of local development discourses. Although the three villages are located within the same area, and share a violent history of war and instability, the research shows how each community has its own interpretation of development.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. This paper reflects critically on issues of North-South collaboration and participatory research arising from a project on participatory and sustainable local-level environmental management in the peri-urban area surrounding Kumasi, Ghana. Rapid immigration, uncoordinated conversion of farmland to housing, intensified resource exploitation, and declining water quality and availability are particular problems there. Collaborative research arrangements with local partners as well as sustained participatory relations with selected village communities were central to this project. More generally, the paper reflects on institutional issues relating to the dichotomy between research and development assistance projects, and their implications for project evaluations.
  • The `logical framework' and `logical framework approach' have become widespread planning tools, particularly in donor-assisted projects in developing countries. With its simple format and the clear relationship between variables, the logical framework is helpful for summarising main concerns relating to development schemes. At the same time, the author argues, current conventions limit the framework's usefulness; and he suggests modifications that should substantially enhance its applicability and information-carrying capacity. The logical framework approach seeks to address additional dimensions of planning. However, it is too circumscribed by standardised steps and procedures to be defended as the ubiquitous planning methodology it is commonly held to be. The `logical framework approach' is here juxtaposed with a broader and more flexible concept of `development planning', with which it should not be confused.
  • Decentralisation is a policy feature common to many African countries. Local governance is therefore gaining in relevance, though not yet in clarity. Based on the experience of a development project in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, the article examines the case of local governance in practice, grounding this in a historical analysis and focusing on the relationship between local government and civil society. Through a phased process from experimentation through piloting to lobbying, the PAMOJA project develops interface mechanisms to structure local government - civil society relations at district level. Three actors are identified for the success of the project: the external agent as process facilitator, local champions as change agents, and strategic partners for the lobby component. A successful outcome would ultimately strengthen decentralisation processes.
  • Participatory research with well established, autonomous farmer groups in Uganda and Ghana examined their viewpoints and priorities concerning agricultural information. In particular, it sought to investigate the ways in which farmers identified new ideas of common interest and to explore how these ideas were shared, modified and sometimes implemented within the group or wider community. After a series of visits, it became clear that within every functioning group certain individuals played a key role not just with regard to information exchange but also in their support and encouragement of change and development within the group. These individuals, referred to as animators, exhibited clear characteristics. Though belonging to the local community, they tended to have above-average literacy levels and were usually more widely travelled than their peers. Their role was usually to support and facilitate rather than to act as leaders, and they often acted as a key channel for sharing information. The animators acted as significant catalysts in facilitating the flow of new ideas and information, and they should receive more attention and research with regard to encouraging developmental change.
  • This paper seeks to understand the human development potential of a lift-irrigation scheme introduced by a development NGO in Western India. In particular, it focuses on the ways in which this micro-level intervention has been able to create conditions for enlarging the choices of the poor. The impact of the intervention, captured at the farm and household level through both conventional and PRA data, is shown to have enhanced the productivity of the land, resulting in improved food security, higher employment, and a significant reduction in distress migration, especially among women. The success of the intervention is attributed to its appropriateness to local needs and to the creation of a suitable institutional mechanism. Given its demonstrated potential, the paper emphasises the need for replicating such interventions more widely.
  • The United Nations Intellectual History Project (UNIHP) is an independent activity located at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Originally concentrating on the economic and social arena, it was intended to include peace and security activities, thus covering the entire waterfront of UN activities. UNIHP comprises a series of books on 11 topics that range from international trade and finance to global governance via gender and global resource management (see www.unhistory.org/ for full details). Under each of these topics the history of ideas launched by the UN family will be traced. Did they come from within the Secretariat, or from outside the UN through governments, NGOs, or experts? Were these ideas discarded without discussion or after deliberation? Were they discussed, adapted (or distorted), and then mplemented? What happened afterwards?
  • In English only
  • Acknowledgements 2002
  • This article describes an NGO project intended to empower scheduled caste women working in the silk-reeling industry in India through the provision of microfinance. It documents the impact that the project had on their economic and social status over a period of time and highlights the negative consequences of excluding male relatives from playing any meaningful role. It suggests ways in which the project might have been made more male-inclusive while still empowering women. At the same time, it acknowledges that even if the men's hostility to the project had been overcome, the women's micro enterprises were unlikely to have been viable commercially. This is because the project insisted that the women operate as a group in what was a high-risk area of economic activity, with no clear strategy as to how their work could be sustained.
  • Sucre is a city of micro enterprises. The lines between business and household are often blurred: accounts are mixed, space is shared, and partners from outside the household are rare. On the surface, this kind of business organisation seems most inadequate for economic success. Yet a closer look at the internal workings of Sucre's businesses suggests that the complex `balancing act' between business and household may represent not sloppy management (as micro enterprise development agencies often maintain), but a flexible strategy for household well-being. Sucre's businesses essentially follow `triple bottom line' accounting at the household level, taking into account both financial and non-financial goals.
  • Microfinance--both credit and savings--has potential to improve the well-being of poor women in developing countries. This paper explores practical ways to achieve that potential. Based on lessons from informal savings mechanisms that women already use, the paper proposes two savings services designed to address the development issues that confront women. The proposals call for safe-deposit boxes and for matched savings accounts for health care or education.

  • This paper explores development issues from the perspective of two villages in rural Lebanon. Educated male villagers see themselves as initiators of development and use the same language as NGO officials. Client-patron relationships and wasta (the act of accessing material favours, such as development projects, from the powerful) are means for these men to achieve their political ends. Women and the less powerful men, who are not part of the wasta network, tend to be disregarded in decision making, but nonetheless have strong views about the needs of the villages. The Islamic view emphasises the moral life.
  • NGOs have played an important role worldwide in trying to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS through achieving behaviour change. NGOs have often been at the fore of innovative changes, influencing government and international programming activities. This paper identifies and analyses the evolution of the HIV/AIDS programmes of one NGO in Thailand over a period of ten years. Three generations of programming are identified both through distinct approaches to this area of work, and also by the changing jargon describing the people the programmes are aimed at.
  • This paper discusses the pros and cons of the experience of volunteering abroad and attempts to address a void in the literature on what is required of such volunteers. Following a brief sketch of the volunteer abroad and the motives to for following such a career path, the author provides a first-hand account of the pros and cons of this arcane vocation. While the advantages are commonly known, the author argues the less appealing aspects are often not and are of equal importance whatever an individual's situation.
  • In 1999, with a view to strengthening the JFM arrangement, the Gujarat State Forest Department, in collaboration with the Aga Khan Foundation, initiated a nodal agency called the JFM cell. Its mandate is to assist in strengthening and expanding JFM in Gujarat by providing training, research, and communication support to the Forest Department (FD) and NGOs. The cell commissioned a study to understand the process of instituting JFM at the village level and the impact of training and communication by the FD and NGOs in this context. This Practical Note is based on the findings of the study conducted by the authors.
  • This article deals with some aspects of Development Studies as an evolving discipline in the UK. Specifically, it offers reflections following the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) carried out by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE), in which Development Studies was constituted as a separate panel for the first time, albeit on an experimental basis. The writers, both user representatives on the panel, present these thoughts as individuals.
  • In English only
  • Development and the Learning Organisation: An Introduction In English only
  • This article proposes Bottom-Up Learning as a normative framework for international NGOs. It explores the common but often unacknowledged disparity between organisational values and mission versus actual practice. The first section of the paper raises the question of organisational learning disorders followed by an exploration of learning organisations and bottom-up learning in particular. A section briefly summarising positive developments in the field is followed by discussions of organisational barriers and possible mitigation techniques. The paper closes with a challenge for international NGOs to take a closer look at their learning capabilities with a view to improving service to communities of need. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections
  • Large companies have accelerated their control of the basic commodities markets in the last decade. The author describes what this means for smallholder farmers in the developing world who depend on these markets for some cash income each year. The consequences of the growing power of distributors (the grocery or supermarket chains) and dominant brand-owners are persistent rural poverty and the ideological and economic devaluation of the sustainable and small-scale agricultural production methods that are so essential to the 70 per cent of the worlds poor who live in rural areas. The author traces the story of a successful business partnership started in 1992 linking cocoa farmers in West Africa and fair-minded chocolate lovers in the UK and USA, an initiative launched in the face of direct criticism and harsh competitive pressure from the global chocolate giants but which has mobilised a new kind of coalition and constituency.
  • Learning and knowledge management are crucial capacities for many NGOs. This article attempts to answer such questions as: why is learning seen as so important for NGOs? How do successful NGOs actually learn? And what role do key individuals or leaders play in this process? The article draws heavily on the findings of a study of South Asian NGOs, which suggests that an NGOs ability to learn is dependent on its organisational culture and in particular the development of an internal culture of learning. The case studies from South Asia reveal that the creation of this learning culture derives primarily from the attitude of the leadership towards learning: at the heart of a learning organisation is a learning leader.
  • When implementing a transformational global vision and mission, three problems typically confront international NGOs: aligning different levels of planning and strategy; balancing global analysis and priorities against local realities; and identifying measures that both indicate progress and promote and encourage innovation. This article reports on the efforts of CARE Internationals Latin America Regional Management Unit to address these problems by introducing reversals to common strategic planning principles and processes. It shows middle-managers in NGOs how they can lead from the middle, and considers the region to be the nexus enabling an organisation to change and learn across multiple hierarchical levels.

  • Change is driven not only by good ideas, but also by disagreement and frustration. This article takes, the reader through a selective organisational history of the British NGO, ActionAid from 1998 to 2001, looking at events and changes that had a bearing on the introduction and initial impact of the agencys new accountability system. Systematic change appears very unsystematic. Effective transformation took a long time to arrive, and was preceded by a number of failed experiments. It seems that the frustrations of this time were necessary to develop the creativity needed for significant change. The efforts started to bear fruit once the organisation began to realise alignment of mission, structures, procedures, and relationships.
  • Heifer International (HI) has been applying participatory approaches to rural development for nearly 60 years. Organisationally, HI focuses on building the capacity of its country programmes and NGO partners to work independently toward a unifying mission. An open structure allows HI to validate and incorporate the rich and diverse experience of its project holders and country programme offices into organisational planning and daily operations. This article analyses three recent HI initiatives which incorporate deliberate processes to facilitate organisational learning. It outlines different strategies HI uses to institutionalise learning without imposing limitations on it.
  • The integration of learning into community development processes and how that learning can stimulate positive change pose challenges that development practitioners have met with mixed success. Who are the most effective change agents, how they can be supported, and how their efforts can be diffused in the community and scaled up are key questions in the community development literature. The authors designed and implemented an action-research project in Western Kenya on traditional vegetables, recruiting pupils as co-researchers. The purpose of the research was twofold. One was to explore the feasibility of increasing the intake of traditional vegetables through a school-based horticulture programme. The other was to increase pupils competence as effective change agents by empowering them in culturally compatible ways. The results offer lessons for practitioners regarding creative means to identify and empower change agents within traditional organisations and encourage innovative creation and diffusion of knowledge.
  • The research work of Harvard professor Chris Argyris gave rise to much of what is today called Organisational Learning, an approach subsequently promulgated by Peter Senge and his team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The first section of this paper argues the relevance of Organisational Learning to NGOs, despite its origins in the study of the private sector. The second section describes a particular project intervention based on Organisational Learning theory, which is currently underway in a Brazilian NGO.

  • This paper discusses the implications for organisational learning of recent research on NGO activity in natural disaster mitigation and preparedness. It identifies several institutional and other barriers to NGO learning. However, personal networks in NGOs are often strong, and determined and well-placed individuals can push significant innovations through. Greater emphasis on this human factor may be the key to mainstreaming disaster mitigation and other new or marginal approaches to development.
  • If aid is found to support a war effort, should aid agencies and practitioners continue to give it? The resounding answer given by aid workers all over the world is that the needs of suffering people are too important to ignore and, further, that there can be no justification for not assisting suffering people. But how can one provide aid in the context of conflict without exacerbating the conflict? The Local Capacities for Peace Project (LCPP) was formed in 1994 to learn how aid and conflict interact in order to help aid workers find a way to address human needs without feeding conflict. This paper will discuss how the learning process of the LCPP was designed, the results gained at each step, and how the results were fed back to the participating organisations.
  • Organisational principles or value standards are considered crucial for maintaining quality in humanitarian assistance. Research among staff members of Médecins Sans Frontières-Holland (MSF-H) showed that fieldworkers construct their own interpretations of principles and priorities in response to demands placed on them in the field. Organisational principles are important for the performance and the wellbeing of volunteers: they serve as beacons, identity markers, and interpersonal glue. It also becomes apparent that while in practice, staff members renegotiate the formal principles of their organisation, they also adhere to patterns of organisational culture resulting in a number of ordering principles they deem typical of their organisation.
  • The major development agencies have ex cathedra Official Views (with varying degrees of explicitness) on the complex and controversial questions of development. At the same time, knowledge is now more than ever recognised as key to development in the idea of a knowledge bank or knowledge-based development assistance. The author argues that these two practices are in direct conflict. When an agency attaches its brand name to certain Official Views, then it becomes very difficult for the agency to also be a learning organisation or to foster genuine learning in its clients. A model of a development agency as an open learning organisation, which is in sharp contrast to other organisational models such as the Church or the Party is outlined. That, in turn, allows the agency to take a more autonomy-compatible approach to development assistance with the assisted country in the drivers seat of a learning process rather than as the passive recipient of aid-sweetened policies from the agency. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections
  • This article explores attempts by eight UK-based international NGOs currently engaged in rural development interventions in Ethiopia, to employ monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems as a means of strengthening accountability and institutional learning. Premised on the conviction that such NGOs comprise loose coalitions of interest groups at different organisational levels within them, the study explores how respondents in head offices, Addis Ababa, and field offices perceived and practised M&E. It was found that perceptions of M&E vary considerably between hierarchical levels and can have a significant impact on practice. Such perceptions are also framed by individual interests and thus frequently fail to reflect the reality of M&E practice. The story that unfolds offers valuable insights into the current myths and realities of M&E among INGOs.
  • This paper introduces the major concepts of Outcome Mapping and discusses the International Development Research Centres experience in developing and implementing Outcome Mapping with Northern and Southern research organisations. It explores how the fundamental principles of Outcome Mapping relate to organisational learning principles and the challenges associated with applying theory to practice. It presents cases where planning, monitoring, and evaluation processes have been used to encourage learning and improvement, and discusses the potential of Outcome Mapping as a tool for evaluative thinking to build learning into development programmes.
  • This brief paper describes one attempt to update the programme logic models to incorporate organisational learning. It begins with a brief review of learning concepts, describes the traditional Logical Framework Analysis, and concludes with a sketch of an alternative programme model, entitled the Temporal Logic Model.
  • Full-text sample article
  • In the late 1970s, feminist social scientists began to challenge some of the assumptions underlying the dominant paradigms on organisations, arguing that they reflect and are structured by the values articulated within the larger institutional arenas in which they are embedded, thus reproducing gender-discriminatory outcomes. This paper unpacks the deep structure of one NGO, Utthan, based in Gujarat, India, to understand the extent to which it is an engendering organisation. It suggests that while gender-sensitive leadership, training, and resources play a critical role in addressing gender equity in development practice, organisational transformation is a much harder and longer process requiring sustained commitment from the leadership, staff, and funding partners.
  • Learning organisations and their focus on fundamental change have been seen as having considerable potential for making organisations more gender equitable and improving their capacity to undertake development or human rights work that is not gender-biased. This article, developed by the Gender at Work Collaborative explores the usefulness of ideas related to learning organisations in changing institutions for gender equality. This collection of ideas and practice are seen helpful but a deconstruction of organisational learning points out some difficulties with this body of work and proposes an enhanced toolbox, which would pay attention to such factors as power relations, the spiritual basis of the work and the gendered deep structure of organisations.
  • The Learning Organisation (LO) is both a concept and a particular methodology within the larger domain of Organisational Development (OD). To fully appreciate the premises of LO, it is necessary to fall back on the main premises of OD, beginning with the view of the organisation as an open system. Many of the established concepts of systems science as applied to organisational systems such as system robustness, system intelligence, and system proactivity have a direct bearing on the capacity for continuous learning in the organisation. Moving on from concepts to action, an organisation needs a set of working practices to acquire the characteristics of a Learning Organisation. One particularly useful gateway for the LO process is a comprehensive performance management system that compels the organisations membership to re-examine ideas of performance and the assumptions about organisational processes underlying management practices. The gateway follows the Action-Research paradigm and appears well suited to non-profit development NGOs.
  • The potential for academic-NGO collaboration is enormous, but such collaboration is far more difficult than it appears on the surface, even when collaborators share a commitment to, and values that support, a particular cause or issue. This paper looks at some of the factors that derail academic-practitioner collaborations. It then identifies five different models of collaboration and makes recommendations that, if observed, should eliminate some of the tensions in collaborative efforts, while at the same time providing a foundation for ongoing learning.
  • Many organisations do not learn. There are many reasons for this, and a lack of donor support tends to be cited as the greatest of these. But this is not the primary reason for a lack of learning. We fail to learn because we are unable to see the importance of doing so. We become so embroiled in our busy-ness, our self-inflicted demands for action, that we have ceased to value learning. And we have lost sight of the fact that without learning, our action is doomed to ineffectiveness. If we are about development and cannot measure how we are doing, how can we develop a rigorous and effective practice?
  • In many development projects, individuals from one organisation are assigned and relocated to another organisation. For these guests to be effective in the provision of technical assistance requires them to learn about and adapt to the local milieu. Using a Navajo case study, this paper analyses how practices called acts allow guests to make effective contributions through learning and adaptation. It is shown that two categories of acts, calibrating and progressing, are crucial in this regard. Calibrating allows guests to assess the appropriateness of assumptions, and progressing allows them to elicit information and explanations to help develop an understanding of the context. These sets of acts contribute to cross-cultural communicative competence and, thereby, to the success of the development project.
  • The concept of Learning Organisations is gaining prominence in the non-profit sector. Most organisations see the concept as a means of attaining organisational change for greater impact on development. While the principles of organisational learning (i.e. team learning, shared vision, common goal and strategy) seem to have produced impressive results in the private sector and some non-profit organisations, the question is whether these principles can be adapted with similar results in complex bilateral programmes. This article explores this question in relation to a programme between the Dutch and Kenyan governments in Keiyo Marakwet. It analyses the process of institutionalising participation as both a learning and a conflict-generating process. In the highly politicised context of bilateral programmes, learning is not necessarily carried forward from one phase to the next due to rapid changes in actors, national politics, diplomatic considerations, and the international development agenda.
  • Many development agencies seek to work on behalf of the `poor' and the `poorest of the poor,' often creating external definitions of poverty and of people living in poverty that are based on a complex list of things that the poor do not have. There are others who have spearheaded efforts to define poverty based on criteria derived from members of (largely) rural communities, many of whom would be considered poor. All these definitions ultimately result in some type of grouping of people into different categories of `poor people.' By creating a list of characteristics of poverty, agencies believe that they are better able to target `the poor' as beneficiaries of interventions to eradicate poverty. This article is intended to challenge development organisations (governmental and non-governmental) to look beyond simple definitions of poverty that are based on static characteristics. It is intended to provoke readers to re-evaluate some of their ideas about definitions of poverty; and to critically examine their agency's role in the business of poverty.
  • This paper is based on a small micro-level study carried out to assess the impact of recent socio-economic changes in Tajikistan on the livelihoods and well-being of women in Gorno-Badakhshan. It examines the recent involvement of women in trading and informal economic activity with a focus on the trade-offs that women have faced as a result. It argues that the shift towards a market economy in a depressed economic environment has resulted in increasing socio-economic differentiation, insecure livelihoods, and declining social capital. Women's involvement in trading along with the withdrawal of the state from basic social services have increased women's workload. Women's participation in the political sphere is declining from an already low base. Increasing material poverty and multiple roles and responsibilities have made it difficult for women to take up opportunities for public participation, even at a local level. It concludes that there are structural barriers to reducing poverty in Gorno-Badakhshan and raises questions about the possibilities for disadvantaged groups and regions to benefit from a strongly market-based development paradigm.
  • Microcredit has been introduced to rural communities in Bangladesh as a means of economic and social development, but there are increasing doubts about its effectiveness and suggestions that it causes domestic abuse. A review of various studies indicates that microcredit can result in social disruption through exacerbating gender conflict. It is suggested that micro-level study is required before credit is introduced to local communities.
  • Gender experts who formulate planning frameworks, and strategies for mainstreaming gender issues in organisational policies and programmes usually characterise non-expert policy makers and planners as either active resisters or passive implementers rather than as capable change agents. Because of this, more resistance to gender mainstreaming is encountered than is necessary, and mainstreaming programmes often fail to take into account the needs and contributions of planners as stakeholders. The paper discusses these shortcomings and presents cases from the UN system in which the author was involved, where organisational change and mainstreaming were based on stakeholder participation that began to overcome some commonly identified limitations. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections
  • This article highlights the personal and professional problems of NGO fieldworkers in Bangladesh. The paper draws on field research with the front-line workers of four NGOs, their clients, immediate superiors, and senior management. Fieldworkers face personal problems such as job insecurity, financial hardships, difficulties with accommodation, and family dislocation. These problems differ according to gender, marital status, and age. Professional problems include training, promotion, and transfer. In addition, fieldworkers face problems in their external relationships such as suspicion, resistance or lack of cooperation from religious leaders and local élite, time and resource constraints, competition for clients, and eagerness of the intended beneficiaries simply to get access to financial or material benefits. It will be argued that the strengths of the fieldworkers of Southern NGOs have been largely unexplored and undervalued.
  • This paper is based on the authors' analytical study of the experiences of participatory development interventions in Mozambique, which compared how different projects interpreted and applied the concept and identified the problems encountered and lessons learnt in using such approaches.
  • This article focuses on the personal, social, and psychological hazards that children and the elderly face in Russian state-run institutions. The paper challenges two assumptions: that Russia's problems are purely economic, and that the state is solely responsible for the solutions. We argue that Russia's problems are basically social, and that the community can take the lead in solving them. We introduce low-cost, practical, humane, and community-driven initiatives as an alternative to rigid institutionalisation. The model is applicable elsewhere, and can be customised by the community itself.
  • Two energy development projects were examined as the basis of recommending improvements in how resettlement issues are handled. One of these illustrated the [INS: following :INS] problems: lack of a proper communication channel from the implementing body to the local residents; the failure to address the resettlers' own preferences; the compensation scheme for the resettlers did not allow them to re-build their livelihoods; employment of local people in project-related activities was only marginal; and the development of communities and local industry failed to benefit the resettlers.
  • Ghana has a history of failed rural development projects and Tono seems well on its way to being one more. This paper analyses contrasting accounts of the success of a rural development project given by public officials who run it and the local intended beneficiaries. Official figures claim a great success. The intended beneficiaries, however, perceive minimal material improvement in their lives. They also see considerable disruption in their community. There is evidence of alienation due to lack of local involvement in the project and gradual withdrawal from it. Migration from the project area has not slowed. This paper asks whether the data represent two views of the same facts or a picture of the inevitable disruption caused by social change. Suggestions are made for how material improvement in people's lives can be introduced with minimal structural disruption and pain for the people involved.
  • In English only
  • Reforms and development in the Cameroon Grassfields have raised the costs of building materials, which means that the poor may never be able to afford to build their own homes and so must rent. Locally available materials have been disregarded and their use is not allowed in urban areas. It is true that Western-style medical care costs patients less than they would pay to rely on traditional doctors. By the same token, while Western imported arms have replaced traditional weapons, modern agricultural tools are badly needed in order to reduce the level of poverty in the Cameroon Grassfields.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. International funding of civil society organisations within the framework of support for democratisation processes has increased significantly in recent years. Yet this raises a set of questions quite apart from the effectiveness of the activities of the recipient organisations. Who are these groups? Whom do they represent? What effect does international funding have on their organisational workings and their rootedness in their local societies and political systems? This article presents the results of a survey that examined the sources of financing, level of organisation, domestic constituencies, and relationships to political parties of 16 civil society groups in Latin America that received support from the National Endowment for Democracy in 1999. It finds that while the groups demonstrate a remarkable diversity in their sources of funding, all of them receive the lion's share of financing from international donors. The author argues, however, that given the scant possibilities for domestically generated funding, this dependence is to be expected. The article concludes with a series of questions about the meaning of international support for local groups in developing democracies and the potential effects it may have on de-linking such groups from their broader political and party system.
  • World trade is increasingly conditioned by the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In the case of the garment industry this means the phasing out of the Multifibre Arrangement, which has dominated trade in textiles and garments since 1974. This phase-out is seen as benefiting developing countries and criticism focuses on the manner in which the USA and Europe are holding up the process. However it is important to look at who exactly will gain or lose. Not all poor countries will benefit. Furthermore, the main profits from garment production go to the Northern companies who control the industry. These companies will benefit from more open markets and associated competition between global suppliers. Meanwhile for workers North and South this increased competition brings insecurity and the threat of deteriorating conditions of work.
  • The article investigates the impact of anthropology consultancy activities in the UK university sector and the role of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) as a major provider of consultancy work. DFID and other donors see anthropology consultancy as useful primarily in the delivery of technical assistance to Third World projects with a community or social development dimension. The article points to tensions both between UK-based consultancy and `grassroots' development in the Third World, and between applied anthropology and the relative autonomy of anthropology as an academic discipline. The author suggests that a necessary precondition for understanding the contribution of anthropology to policy is the need to overcome the unwillingness by practitioners to question politically the power relationships within which the social sciences, anthropology, and commissioned activities themselves are located. The primary purpose of the paper is to open up a debate on the relationship between power, knowledge, empowerment, and consultancy work.
  • In May 2000 a group from Ashoka, a US-based charitable foundation that gives grants to 'social entrepreneurs', or innovators for the common good, visited a number of projects for sustainable development on the coast of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. The author accompanied the group and here relates his observations and raises challenging questions about unforeseen contradictions and pitfalls in these visionary ventures.
  • The author asks what'win-win'public policies can substantially reduce the percentage of people who live in absolute poverty and enable the poor to become richer even if the rich also become richer.
  • Gender-specific strategies have become very popular in efforts to achieve the sustainable alleviation of rural poverty in Africa. However, there is growing concern that this strategy is based upon weak conceptual grounds. Based on insights gleaned from years of involvement with women-only development projects in Nigeria, the authors highlight some key conceptual challenges to this strategy and argue that unless these are overcome, these pitfalls will eventually consign Nigeria's gender-specific poverty alleviation strategy to the graveyard of disused development paradigms.
  • Inadequate household income due to degraded resources and limited opportunities has led to migration, malnutrition, and poor quality of life among tribals in India. These problems have been effectively tackled by enabling people to re-build their resource base, and by strengthening local action through Gram Vikas Mandals (village development forums) and developing human resources at village level. The orchard programme described in this paper currently reaches more than 11,000 families and 4000 ha of marginal lands are converted into orchards. It has helped people to plan further development actions, improve their knowledge and risk-taking ability, and build social cohesiveness. Thus, it has ensured that tribals' wellbeing is linked with that of the ecosystem. This time-bound, result-oriented programme is now recognised as a model for development of tribals and rural poor and is run by BAIF Development Research Foundation and sponsored by the Government of Germany through KfW and NABARD, India.
  • The paper argues the case for innovative trail-setting projects and reviews the experience of the North Bengal Terai Development Project (India). It summariss several of its lessons: creating the conditions for 'in-project' cost effectiveness, managing goodwill, promoting innovation through the full cycle of scaling up and consolidation, linking ongoing government programmes and private initiatives with ground-level policy development, and relying on local talent. The case is made for an opportunistic approach in institutional development and policy innovation, focusing on what can be made to work rather than what is preconceived to be the correct way of doing things.
  • In English only
  • This secondary source study was conducted on behalf of UNICEF in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, to establish what information was available about acid violence with a view to informing potential interventions to prevent attacks. The study showed that young women are the main survivors who, having repelled advances by men, have acid thrown at them as revenge. Although it occurs throughout Bangladesh there are limited data from reliable sources about the real number of attacks, the rehabilitation of survivors, and the outcomes for perpetrators. The report suggests that further research is required to fill these gaps and that consideration be given to capacity building data management at the point of service delivery.
  • This article focuses on performance measurement in the democracy and governance (DG) programme of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in its Zimbabwe mission. The article tells the story of one qualitative indicator used for measuring progress, namely the 'Advocacy Index.' It traces the history of this indicator, from rationale and concept through the early stages of implementation. The article discusses the problems of quantitative measurement and observes that there have been a number of suggested 'qualitative' responses. It goes on to describe the introduction of the Advocacy Index by USAID mission and the responses of its Zimbabwean partners, and draws out some tentative lessons and questions raised by the experience.
  • Expatriate volunteers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia work in a country where many of their fellow expatriates are paid considerably more than they are. Such volunteers often find that the financial disparities affect the perceptions that people have of them. This paper explores the self-perceptions of volunteers working with Voluntary Service Overseas in Phnom Penh, and sets these perceptions within current theories of motivation and commitment. Two issues are then raised: whether these volunteers are willing and able to deliver quality assistance; and how perceptions of their status can affect their ability to deliver such assistance.
  • In English only
  • Ethical trade is expanding rapidly in the UK. Following the foundation of the Ethical Trading Initiative many companies are adopting codes of conduct to cover employment conditions in their supply chains, based on a process of multi-stakeholder participation. Addressing gender issues in their implementation remains an important challenge for policy makers. This paper considers how gender sensitivity in the monitoring and verification of codes can be enhanced within a multi-stakeholder framework based on evidence from a case study of export horticulture in South Africa. It makes policy recommendations to address the needs of more marginalised workers, many of whom are women. Investments in process-oriented and farmer-participatory research have led to the emergence of sustainable agroforestry solutions to the problems of land degradation, poverty, and food insecurity in rural areas. Thousands of farmers in diverse ecoregions have taken up innovations that demonstrate the potential of agroforestry. This paper highlights the importance of institutional change through illustrating the approach taken by the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry to scale up adoption and impact of innovations. Eight focal areas of intervention constitute the key elements of a development strategy aimed at providing 80 million poor people in rural areas with better livelihood options by 2010.

  • Never before has the Bolivian state made such a serious effort to promote peasant participation in local development. In 1994, it promulgated the Law of Popular Participation which institutionalised a Participatory Municipal Planning methodology. While fully recognising its progressive nature, it is not too hard to discover authoritarian flaws within this methodology. The authors argue that the concept of participation should be viewed as `negotiation' in order to increase the scope of peasant participation in the planning process. This in turn implies some major methodological changes, but would result in Municipal Development Plans with the flexibility to account for the specific situations of the Bolivian peasantry.
  • This paper discusses the relationship between corruption and economic development. It questions the view that under certain conditions, corruption may enhance efficiency and argues that though corruption may benefit powerful individuals, it will indubitably lead to greater inefficiency and a waste of resources at a macroeconomic level. Following a brief introduction, the author suggests that a possible cause of corruption is the weak productive base, the essential condition for the appearance of shortage which, in turn, spurs corruption. Some possible impacts of corruption are then examined. While no specific policy measure is suggested, a more accountable political system would certainly be a move in the right direction.
  • There is a widely recognised need for innovative institutional arrangements to provide financial services to poor people, and numerous efforts have been made to that end. These have ranged from modifying the services provided by existing banks to the promotion of people-centred systems. Programmes addressing the latter have tended to emphasise a broad development approach, with financial services as one of several interrelated activities. This article discusses the main features of organisation and operation in people-centred systems, explores the meaning of social mobilisation in this context, indicates a range of benefits that such systems may generate, and illustrates their features, activities, and benefits through one case study.
  • The RAAKS (Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Knowledge Systems) methodology, in combination with PRA tools, was successfully used in the CARE-Macina integrated rural development programme in Mali. The methodology enabled the agency team to produce relevant information concerning community-based organisations at village level, and thus highlighted some of the strengths and weaknesses of its efforts to reinforce their organisational capacity. This led to several major changes in the agency's strategies. The details of the methodology used by the Macina team, some results of the exercise, and changes in programme strategies concerning the strengthening of community-based organisations, are discussed.
  • In the absence of a cohesive and controlling government in Afghanistan, NGOs have taken over much of the work in the economic and social arena, becoming, by proxy, the makers of policy and directors of practice. However the unpredictable yet growing power of the Taliban leads NGOs to put off confronting the policies of the government in favour of maintaining their own influence and implementing projects. The time has come for NGOs to abandon this proxy role, and seek to engage constructively with the dynamics of the emerging government. This paper describes seven small ways for microfinance to acquire the virtues of informal finance, which are commonly perceived as slashed transaction costs, supply of not just loans but also savings and implicit insurance, sensitivity to the constraints faced by women, substitution of confidence in character for physical collateral, socially enforced and/or self-enforced contracts, and sequences of repeated transactions.
  • This paper describes seven small ways for microfinance to acquire the virtues of informal finance, which are commonly perceived as slashed transaction costs, supply of not just loans but also savings and implicit insurance, sensitivity to the constraints faced by women, substitution of confidence in character for physical collateral, socially enforced and/or self-enforced contracts, and sequences of repeated transactions.
  • Economies based on solidarity and mutual support, and which are geared to human development and social justice, represent the basis of an alternative to the neo-liberal model that is driving the current globalisation process, and which tends to destroy local initiative and expression. The author draws on long experience in southern Mexico to describe this alternative economic vision.
  • In English only
  • Investments in process-oriented and farmer-participatory research have led to the emergence of sustainable agroforestry solutions to the problems of land degradation, poverty, and food insecurity in rural areas. Thousands of farmers in diverse ecoregions have taken up innovations that demonstrate the potential of agroforestry. This paper highlights the importance of institutional change through illustrating the approach taken by the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry to scale up adoption and impact of innovations. Eight focal areas of intervention constitute the key elements of a development strategy aimed at providing 80 million poor people in rural areas with better livelihood options by 2010.
  • Community-based organisations are increasingly considered a sustainable way to scale up the benefits of agricultural research and development from a few farmers in isolated pilot project areas to spread more widely across geographical and socio-economic gradients, and to do so quickly. This paper describes and highlights lessons learned from several research and development organisations in western Kenya using different community-based approaches to scale up agroforestry and other biological options to improve soil fertility among resource-poor smallholders. The main benefits of such approaches are that the link between farmers, government extension, and other service providers is strengthened; information flow and awareness of the options available is rapid among farmers; and farmers' participation and innovation is enhanced. For effective service delivery, however, some higher level of association is necessary that goes beyond individual farmers or groups such as youth, women, or church-based organisations. Nevertheless, experience from a pilot project involving the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry and some key national research and development institutions shows that village, sublocation or location committees are often inactive without strong follow-up, which is best provided by such local institutions as government extension staff close to farmers or NGOs. Most of these institutions, however, have limited resources and information. To mitigate these problems and to better share experiences among individual organisations and projects in the region, a strategic consortium of the key institutions was formed. There are high hopes concerning the consortium, although it is too early to determine its effectiveness. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Agroforestry: Scaling Up the Impacts of Research
  • The case studies demonstrate the breadth and richness in approaches to and lessons learned from scaling up. A key lesson is that scaling up is far more complex than simply transferring information and planting material; it entails building community-level institutional capacity for promoting and sustaining the innovation process. An overarching problem is that there is a paucity of research on the scaling up process. Careful assessments of the relative costs and benefits and advantages and disadvantages of different strategies are often possible and can greatly strengthen the effectiveness of scaling up. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Agroforestry: Scaling Up the Impacts of Research
  • Participatory research that combines the knowledge of farmers and researchers promotes the development of a variety of agroforestry options that may meet the various needs of different farmers, and thus exploits one of the greatest strengths of agroforestry--its plasticity. The design and evaluation of agroforestry systems with eight farmer research groups in south-east Mexico was conducted through surveys of individual production aims and limitations, and through group identification, testing, and analysis of production alternatives. Farmer trials were used as a basis for agroforestry development projects implemented by community and government organisations, thus disseminating technologies that had been tested and adapted by local farmers. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Agroforestry: Scaling Up the Impacts of Research
  • Valuable tree genetic resources are declining around many farming communities in the Peruvian Amazon, limiting farmers' options for economic development. The International Centre for Research in Agroforestry is working with farming communities to increase productivity and long-term sustainability of their forests, and to empower them to conserve tree genetic resources. This paper describes some principles of participatory tree domestication, and how researchers are working with farmers to select improved planting materials, reduce the risk of poor tree adaptation, produce and deliver high-quality planting material, and scale up participatory tree domestication. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Agroforestry: Scaling Up the Impacts of Research
  • Southern Africa experiences severe degradation of the natural resource base caused by population growth and poverty. Agroforestry technologies are now available that have a large potential to improve the livelihoods of many households. The outcomes of technology development and how the development evolved into a more client-driven process are described. Regional development trends are assessed and six agroforestry options are described that offer better livelihood options to smallholder farming families. Problems and successes experienced in facilitating the wider use of agroforestry are discussed. Lessons learned on partnerships, the time frame of impact, using farmers as change agents, and addressing the special needs of women are highlighted. Emphasis is put on using agroforestry as a learning tool in building local capacity for innovation development. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Agroforestry: Scaling Up the Impacts of Research
  • This paper describes developments in forestry extension in two districts of Kenya conducted under the auspices of the Nakuru and Nyandarua Forestry Extension Project 1990-1995 and the subsequent influence of those developments on extension policy pertaining to agroforestry in Kenya. It provides examples of innovative aspects within a conventional service- delivery programme and describes in some detail the successes, weaknesses, and opportunities of the pilot activities using a participatory extension methodology. These activities, together with others piloted in the country, have contributed to conceptualising the bottom-up planning approaches that underpin the National Agricultural Extension and Livestock Programme, a government programme that, in conjunction with the ongoing government restructuring, has replaced the previously dominant national approach of Training and Visit. The current programme relies on interdisciplinary and participatory planning in focal areas. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Agroforestry: Scaling Up the Impacts of Research

  • Scaling up agroforestry adoption requires technical innovations that are adapted to the environment, demand-driven, require low capital and labour inputs, and provide tangible benefits in a short time. The basic inputs, usually information and germplasm, need to be available. To reach out to millions of rural poor who require the products and services of agroforestry innovations, the scaling-up process has to be cost and time efficient. Often, the common project mode of scaling up is too slow and expensive, and natural resource management issues need addressing on a large scale. Experiences from south-western Uganda suggest that local governments and organisations can be encouraged to initiate cost-effective, large-scale adoption. The recently introduced decentralisation process in Uganda makes it feasible for farmer organisations to do this. Research and development organisations concentrate on their comparative advantages, which lie developing innovations and monitoring. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Agroforestry: Scaling Up the Impacts of Research
  • This paper describes the structure and impacts of a development project in Nagaland, India. The project was a large-scale experiment in participatory development that emphasised local technology based on farmer-led testing of agroforestry, where farmers themselves select agroforestry technologies, implement the field tests and assume responsibility for disseminating the results locally. This assessment suggests that agroforestry has spread rapidly and been primarily adopted on land that otherwise would have been used by traditional farmers for swidden agriculture. Thus, Nagaland appears to be on a path to intensifying its land use, based on agroforestry, which is likely to brake deforestation rates. The high rate of scaling up was due to an effective property rights system, access to a large and growing timber market, a continual process of internal monitoring and evaluation, provision of low-cost seeds and seedlings, and a participatory project strategy with interventions based on flexibility and community empowerment. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Agroforestry: Scaling Up the Impacts of Research
  • Fodder shrubs provide great potential for increasing the income of smallholder dairy farmers. Following successful on-station and on-farm trials and considerable farmer-to-farmer dissemination in Embu District, Kenya, a project was initiated to introduce fodder shrubs to farmers across seven districts. Over a two-year period, a dissemination facilitator working through field-based partners assisted 150 farmer groups comprising 2600 farmers to establish 250 nurseries. Farmers planted an average of about 400 shrubs each. The experience has confirmed that successful scaling up requires much more than transferring seed and knowledge about a new practice; it involves building partnerships with a range of stakeholders, ensuring the appropriateness of the practice and farmers' interest in it, assisting local communities to be effective in mobilising local and external resources, and ensuring the effective participation of farmer groups and other stakeholders in testing, disseminating, monitoring, and evaluating the practice. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Agroforestry: Scaling Up the Impacts of Research
  • Sustainable land use is critical for the development of the Philippines uplands, where about 18 million people live. This paper relates our experiences using a participatory approach to develop agroforestry practices and institutions for conservation farming that ensure food security, alleviate poverty and protect the environment in Claveria, Northern Mindanao, Philippines. We found that natural vegetative strips provide a simple solution to the technical constraints of soil conservation on slopes. These are buffer strips, laid out on the contour, in which natural vegetation is allowed to regrow into a thick, protective cover. The strips also provide a foundation for developing more complex agroforestry systems including fodder, fruit and timber trees. The tremendous surge in adoption of these systems has been enhanced by the Landcare approach. Landcare is a movement of farmer-led organizations that share knowledge about sustainable and profitable agriculture on the sloping lands while conserving the natural resources. The Landcare movement is spreading rapidly to many municipalities in Mindanao and Visayan islands. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Agroforestry: Scaling Up the Impacts of Research
  • In English only
  • In English only
  • As a result of the internal and external reforms introduced in the last two decades in Argentina, as in most Latin American countries, urban-based manufacturing activities have experienced a dramatic process of restructuring, which has prompted new social and environmental conflicts. In a context where macro-economic strategies are resulting in long-term restructuring of production patterns and local conflicts, it is important to assess the sustainability of current urban development trends. Focusing on a case study of the city of Mar del Plata, this paper looks at how the fishing industry has been restructured from a nationally confined to an internationally open system. The paper examines how and why governance frameworks regulating the appropriation and transformation of nature have changed during the restructuring process, and have consequently reshaped the ability of the local state, firms, and citizen-workers to protect the natural resource base on which the local economy depends This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. Sub-standard and insecure housing conditions are recognised as a crucial aspect of urban poverty. In most large cities in the developing world, the formal market serves only a minority of the population. It is estimated that between 30 and 70 per cent live in `irregular' settlements, and that up to 85 per cent of the new housing stock is produced in an extra-legal manner, with severe social and environmental consequences. John Turner's ground-breaking work and the first Habitat conference in 1976 marked a paradigm shift towards an enabling and participatory approach to housing provision. However, little progress has been made in translating the new paradigm into practical and sustainable policies. Relocation schemes, social housing, slum upgrading, and sites and services are beset by two related problems: first, they are far too small-scale to serve the growing demand, and second, products are far too expensive to be affordable for low-income groups. The paper states that the informal sector's strategy of incremental development and improvement of housing and infrastructure can be incorporated into public policies, and introduces cases from the Philippines and Pakistan as best practices in this direction. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • A major proportion of urban housing in developing countries, and also in some European countries, is developed outside officially sanctioned processes. This is less a reflection of a global desire to break the law than of the existence of inappropriate planning regulations, standards, and administrative procedures. Many countries have inherited or imported their regulatory frameworks from outside, and these were designed to meet very different conditions to those currently facing countries in the South. By attempting to impose such approaches on populations which are invariably too poor to be able to conform to them, the danger is that respect for the law and official institutions in general will be undermined. For urban development to be socially, economically, and institutionally sustainable, it is therefore vital to assess the extent to which changes in the regulatory frameworks are required in order to lower the bottom rung of the legal housing ladder so that the urban poor can start climbing it. This paper serves as a `position paper' for an international research project to evaluate the social and economic costs of such frameworks for new urban development. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • Large areas of Zimbabwean cites still reflect colonial planning traditions designed to promote racial segregation, which no longer adequately meet the demands of urban areas which are doubling in size every 10 to 15 years. This paper looks at the political, economic, and social influences on urban space production and use in Harare, and the extent to which the planning and regulatory system accommodates competing demands on public space in a fast-growing city. It argues that urban space is a crucial resource for poor households that cannot be ignored in the context of sustainable development, and that the failure of official policy and regulations to recognise its importance inhibits the ability of the urban poor to help themselves. Policy initiatives to redress this balance are explored. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • Centralised housing provision has co-existed in Cuba with the widespread reliance on self-help approaches to meeting housing needs, though there has been no mechanism to articulate the two with each other. The author discusses ways in which to bring together the technical and financial resources of the state sector with the creativity and vision of people living in Cuba's towns and cities in order to generate approaches that are socially and ecologically sustainable. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • The Casa Propia programme of the Buenos Aires City Government is an innovative case of public-private financing of social housing. It aims to encourage investors to build housing on private land for sale to low-income buyers receiving `soft' credits from the state. The Casa Propia experience suggests that in the South, where states tends to lack consolidated `social contingency networks', the design of housing programmes that are theoretically sustainable for low-income groups tends to give priority to financial variables over social and environmental concerns. This creates contradictions within such programmes that result in negative social and environmental impacts. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • The North-South disparity in access to new information communication technologies is well known, but there is a need now to get beyond simply measuring and documenting that gap, and develop more sensitive indicators on how such technologies might be, and are being, used by popular organisations (such as residents' associations) in order to give more effective voice to the interests of people living in poverty. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • The MOLAND methodology adopts earth observation techniques combined with geo-processing tools and statistical data to monitor environmental and morphological changes in urban areas. The methodology is an aid to understanding urban development processes as well as a tool for planning. The MOLAND methodology provides detailed territorial information at a regional scale, enabling development agencies accurately to derive specific environmental indicators, and to improve existing urban sustainability indicators. This article describes the kinds of information that can be produced with the MOLAND methodology, efforts to develop comparable data series over time in different locations, and applications of these data to planning tasks involving population growth, mobility and security, strategic and environmental impact assessment on a large scale, and urban sprawl. Recent experiences in applying the methodology to Eastern European and Third World cities are discussed. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • Despite improvements in access to urban land and services since the 1980s, in both Brazil and Mexico, the consolidation of peripheral urban settlements has accentuated social segregation. Such trends highlight the continuing existence of poverty on a global scale. How have urban planners and urban managers chosen to frame the challenges facing low-income communities? How far does the language used by the technical experts allow them to engage in a dialogue with the people living in these marginalised communities, who place little faith in the outcomes of negotiations with the state? This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • As part of a human rights education campaign, the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) fixed 700,000 posters throughout Bangladesh. This met with opposition from religious organisations. This paper investigates the nature and cause of the backlash and sets out strategies for how development organisations can achieve their objectives in the face of opposition. The opposition was found to be in response to interpretations of the posters based on the Holy Koran and Islamic practices, and a perceived intrusion into the professional territory of religious organisations, which affected the socio-economic interests of these organisations' representatives. It was therefore concluded that development organisations should pre-empt such opposition by spelling out their objectives to potential critics, and formulating programmes that do not provide scope for opponents to undermine their development activities. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • With reference to Dar es Salaam, this paper examines experience to date with the concept of urban environmental planning and management (EPM), an approach promoted by the UN agencies concerned with human settlements (UNCHS) and environment (UNEP) to enhance the capacity of local governments to manage rapid urban growth and development in partnership with key stakeholders. The paper highlights the opportunities EPM provides to revitalise urban management, particularly in capacity-starved contexts such as those seen in Tanzania. Militating against sustained partnership between local governments and key stakeholders are constraints including weak political will, overemphasis on short-term physical outputs, reluctance to share power, and the protracted nature of the EPM process. Changing entrenched attitudes and habits of the political and administrative élites (e.g. conservatism or inflexibility, mystification of urban planning and management, and the monopolisation of power) is imperative if EPM is to be institutionalised within Tanzania. Other issues include how to sustain consensus among diverse stakeholders, the balancing of long-term strategies with immediate or short-term expectations in poverty-stricken environments, in addition to problems of dialogue with substantive participation by civil society in immature multi-party democracies. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • Democratisation, structural adjustment, state reform (including decentralisation), and liberalisation of the economy (including privatisation) have brought about dramatic changes in the nations, societies, and cities of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). As central governments devolve greater responsibilities to them, local governments are obliged to perform new roles and strengthen their managerial capacity to cope with increasing urban problems and popular demands. In response to the state's inability to address local problems, there has been a flourishing of civil society organisations (CSOs) engaging in self-help initiatives, building social networks and mutual support groups in order to meet their basic needs. To deepen democracy and promote popular participation in resolving urban issues calls for clear guiding principles and methodologies. These should be based on the wealth of experience that Latin American cities have acquired over the years. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • Using Lima as an example, the author analyses the meaning of sustainable development and how grassroots community-based organisations can contribute to its achievement in megacities. Demands are today made of cities and countries of the South to develop in a sustainable way, although Northern nations did not themselves do so. `Sustainability' on a global scale is thus attainable only at the cost of the urban poor in the South. The paper argues that the recent shift towards placing the problems and concerns of Third World megacities back on national and international agendas is founded on environmental preoccupations, rather than being an attempt to address poverty and the lack of basic services. The fragmentation of issues and people in urban environments is seen as a threat to genuine development, while community-based organisations may suggest some ways towards achieving a form of development that integrates social and political concerns and is, therefore, sustainable. The paper asserts that `public spaces' are a way of achieving a decentralised approach to development and democracy in the megacity, provided these are informed by an understanding of the individual and the community, and by a vision of development and politics. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • High rates of urbanisation in the South have led to unsustainable development in its cities and towns. The form of development that is taking place is `parasitic', in that it excludes the poor and follows the development paradigm of the North rather than one more appropriate to the situations faced in the South. Sustainable development is seen as a measure to counterpoise economic growth with environmental concerns, but it remains doubtful whether this can be realised since the impact on countries of the South of their participation in the global market has proved disastrous. This paper highlights the need to be aware of a country's `carrying' and `caring' capacity, and argues that work towards sustainable development needs to go from the poor upwards. The Philippines epitomises these concerns, especially regarding the high rate of urbanisation in Metro Manila, where environmental problems and lack of services have led to a deterioration in the quality of life. This is seen by the author to be the responsibility of five overlapping power groups - the state, business, the church, the media, and international aid agencies. The latter tend to follow the Northern development paradigm, which places the South in a vulnerable position and forces Southern governments to act against their country's best interests. A new development paradigm is desperately needed that will avoid the mistakes of the past and improve future prospects for the poor and the environment. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • The mainstream debate on urban development looks either at urban development or sustainable cities, and tends to miss out on people-centred approaches to development. The former addresses the issues of economic growth, whereas the latter that of environmental problems, to the exclusion of development concerns of the poor. The new perspective of Sustainable Cities in the South is an `inclusive approach', which puts the vision of the poor and marginalised sectors at the centre and includes all the dimensions of development in a holistic and synergetic manner. The paper presents such a vision of sustainable cities in India and describes activities aimed at reaching this vision. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • At 300 million, the urban population of India is still less than one third of its total population. It is projected that by 2045 nearly 800 million Indians will be living in its cities - more than the total population of the whole of present-day Europe. Already, the infrastructures of all the six mega- and 40 million-plus cities of India are under very severe stress. The ground water is depleting rapidly, pollution is reaching crisis levels, the transportation system is in disarray, and sewerage and sanitation are in shambles, all of which is affecting public health and hygiene. This explosive state of affairs has not been adequately appreciated at the national and international level. This paper analyses the programmes and policies adopted so far to correct the situation, identifies their shortcomings, and looks into the new initiatives that have been undertaken to make the cities self-sustainable units of governance and reliable service-providers. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • Past international cooperation in support of urban projects and programmes, while focusing almost entirely on actions through government agencies, has been based upon major misunderstandings of the limited possibilities of government intervention and with a weak link to academic attempts to conceptualise the processes of urbanisation. The main international urban cooperation programmes, such as in transport, sanitation, and water supply, have been fragmented and often politically, socially, and technologically unsustainable, even in the short term. New initiatives have emerged that do recognise the need to work with actors and stakeholders other than government and these are producing very different practical results. As yet, these remain small-scale and little work has been done to develop the implications of `scaling-up' these approaches or of creating a coherent framework within which to pursue effective sustainable urban development initiatives. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development and Cities
  • In English only
  • Until very recently private capital flows to developing countries have been growing rapidly. In the wake of the 1997 East Asian financial crisis, foreign direct investment has been identified as a vital ingredient to restore and invigorate the economies in the Asian region and beyond. In an attempt to attract overseas capital and to stimulate economic development, countries such as the Philippines have stepped up the adoption of policies that allow for greater access by foreign investors. Increasingly, it appears that foreign capital, provided through transnational corporations, is set to replace official aid and to promote economic development first and foremost, with 'trickle-down' social benefits to follow. This study examines the role of one transnational corporation called the Alliance, in the promised development of Bohol in the Philippines, as a by-product of a water treatment and supply proposal linking the island provinces of Bohol and Cebu. The findings suggest that economic objectives tend to take priority over social development. The Alliance seemed to expound its economic and technical ability, with less effort given to involving and consulting with affected communities. This resulted in residents being disenfranchised from the development process, and gave rise to a feeling of mistrust and resentment.
  • In a largely unregulated NGO sector, Living Earth Foundation (LEF) is piloting an externally accredited learning course in Environment and Community Development as part of an overall NGO capacity building strategy. The programme has a needs-led approach with the design and delivery of the course being managed in close consultation with the learners themselves. The advantages of such an approach are beginning to become apparent to individual learners and is informing the way in which LEF promotes community-based learning.
  • Communication among stakeholders within international aid projects has long been recognised as problematic. The authors interviewed five different stakeholders on a Chinese-Australian project to explore whether (a) stakeholders have exclusive worldviews; (b) farmers and donor agencies see farming as a system; and (c) stakeholders can be arranged on a learning spiral, incorporating techno-centric, socio-centric and balanced socio-biological system views. In this sample, the stakeholders had distinct views, with only the donor agency espousing a balanced systemic view. For example, farmers trialling zero tillage were interested in yield advantages but not in the profitability or the possible environmental benefits which motivated other stakeholders. Different perceptions were arranged on a learning spiral which was used as a framework for reflection on the desirability of supplementary steps in the research and development process, particularly involving collective governance, which may create a more inclusive outcome for all stakeholders
  • Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Government of Georgia has been struggling to provide healthcare services to a population experiencing a deterioration in health status, while at the same time restructuring and reforming the delivery, priorities, resource allocation, and overall focus of this healthcare system. International humanitarian and development organisations in Georgia can exploit this historic opportunity by serving as facilitators and mentors in stimulating a process of positive social change within this reform dynamic. But this process will require strategies and tactics that are broadly inclusive of internal actors and stakeholders, and that can be put into practice by using a range of participatory approaches.
  • Fifteen Egyptian firms producing goods and services were classified into two sets by method of finance, i.e., profit-sharing for the seven Islamic versus debt-at-interest for the eight non-Islamic firms. Interviewed in 1993 and 1994, the two groups were found to be similar in customer relations and market behaviour and in paternalism toward employees. However, the non-Islamic firms had a significantly higher average profit rate, while the Islamic firms paid a significantly higher average wage, suggesting that cultural institutions shape economic behaviour even in a well-established market economy.
  • The concept of 'community' became a popular buzzword towards the end of the twentieth century. However, its meaning is increasingly vague because of its rhetorical use in politics, as well as in development, gender, and environmental circles. Based on the experience of a Mohlakeng Township Site and Service Scheme that was undertaken between 1990 and 1994, the paper examines some of the implications of the flexible use of the term 'community' in South Africa.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. Can prospects for improving livelihood security and building sustainable environments in Africa be increased if women have greater influence in decisions about how to manage resources? Anecdotal evidence suggests that this question should be answered in the affirmative, yet few development agencies perform systematic evaluations with gender-disaggregated data despite nearly two decades of development literature describing the pitfalls of failing to do so. This paper explores this question through analysis of cases from Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi, The Gambia, and Rwanda gleaned from a literature search of more than 50 natural resource management projects across Africa. It highlights enabling conditions which facilitate effective involvement of both men and women in natural resource management, and develops indicators to clarify progress in terms of impact, process, and sustainability. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections
  • This article argues that if children were the focus of more deliberate attention on the part of donors, it could result in more effective use of the resources available for poverty reduction. Instead, development assistance neglects some of children's most pressing needs, and fails to take advantage of the long-term benefits to be gained by ensuring their physical and psychosocial welfare. The article focuses especially on the living environments of children in poverty, an area which receives little attention, but which is integral to poverty reduction.
  • The development of civil society depends on a partnership between government, the corporate sector, and representatives of civil society. NGOs are players in development of civil society, but they are weak in relation to the other partners, because they are not independent and are rarely representative. NGOs need to develop the skills to market their causes in order to reduce dependency, increase accountability, and root themselves within the societies in which they operate.
  • Civil society and grassroots campaigns are increasingly affecting foreign policy. Some of these campaigns are driven by solidarity groups in the North, who are in solidarity with a struggle in the South. This paper looks at the role of the martyr as a motivating factor to participation in solidarity groups. It looks at the pitfalls of relying on a martyr image, including the fall-out from a controversy between two books: I, Rigoberta Menchú and Rigoberta Menchú and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Advocacy.
  • Nearly half of the world's population lives in areas which are malarious or in which there is a distinct risk of malaria transmission. Advances against malaria continue to made despite limited resources. Whatever biomedical advances are made against malaria they will become meaningful only when they can be applied in the field on a large scale. The complex of human factors, partially exemplified in this paper, will be crucial in such application being successful. It would be unfortunate if more becomes known of the biomedical aspects of malaria without a fuller complementary understanding of the human contexts in which the disease occurs and in which biomedical advances have to be applied.
  • Many farmers in less developed countries (LDCs) lack comprehensive information detailing the acute and chronic health impacts of pesticide use. Even at low levels, the use of pesticides can have significant chronic health implications. The results of research conducted among sugarcane farmers in Fifi demonstrate significantly higher occurrences of illness and disease among farmers using pesticides compared with a control group. Government agencies, NGOs, and donor groups must provide farmers with information describing the short- and long-term health risks in using pesticides. Improved information will allow farmers to make rational decisions regarding the types of pesticides to use or whether to use pesticides at all. Otherwise, LDCs can expect levels of chronic illness to increase alongside increasing agricultural output.
  • In English only
  • Often the primary barriers to improving women's health are rooted in socio-economic, legal, and cultural factors. Women are generally assigned subordinate status in terms of economic power, decision making, and options regarding education, work, and family. National laws often restrict or prohibit equality and choice within society. Thus, the improvement of reproductive health is not only a matter of effective health interventions, but also a matter of social justice and human rights. This article discusses how the international human rights (IHR) system can be used more effectively for the protection and promotion of reproductive rights. In particular, it focuses how IHR treaties can play an important role in fostering state compliance with rights relating to reproductive and sexual health. It ends with a discussion on how NGO advocacy work can better collaborate with the treaty body monitoring process in order to advance women's reproductive rights.
  • Good governance is currently seen as a means to development with decentralisation acting as one of its main tools.This paper illustrates how development institutions use decentralisation as a technical tool, neglecting its essentially political aspects.
  • This paper is concerned with the requirements of microfinance organisations (MFOs) that seek both to reduce poverty and to become increasingly financially self-reliant. They need information on their impact in order to improve the services they offer. But impact assessment (IA) work has generally been carried out primarily to comply with the accountability requirements of their financial sponsors. This Note advocates re-orienting IA towards the MFO's own strategic decision processes, and integrating it more closely with internal monitoring.
  • This paper reports on an attempt in Zimbabwe to use methods and techniques commonly associated with rural contexts, Rapid Rural Assessment (RRA) and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), to undertake an assessment of the needs and perceptions of private sector enterprises in two urban settings. These participatory methods were well received and also facilitated dialogue among different, and sometimes mutually hostile, stakeholders.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. Participatory methods are increasingly being used in development work at grassroots level in Africa. Western liberal concepts like `one person one vote' underlie these methods. However, such concepts may not be easily compatible with a grassroots reality in which ethnicity (i.e. superior and subordinate ethnic identities) is an important factor shaping the social order. This article provides insights into the socio-political realities of ethnicity at village level in Botswana. The tension between participatory methods and the ethnically-structured village reality are illustrated with examples from a project that tested the relevance of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) in Botswana. The authors identify problems and opportunities of participatory methods in addressing the inequalities in ethnically divided communities. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections and Development and Culture.
  • While gender has become a central factor in development, age and older people are seldom considered, and many organisations assume a top-down, non-participatory model of care - even when these organisations are otherwise engaged in sustainable and partipatory development. This paper looks at how older people have been involved in sustainable community-based care efforts in Southeast Asia, and argues that the key factor for project success is the building of 'social capacity' - the ability of a social group or community to function and care for its older members - which depends on the strategic approach to participation taken by the project.
  • There is considerable focus nowadays on the involvement of communities in planning their own projects. Much of this involvement is in the form of verbal communication whereby villagers inform development workers of their problems and how they propose to solve them. Drawing on experience from two projects in Uganda and Ethiopia, this article argues that the starting point for any project planning in a community context is the current practice of that community. It is argued that if one looks at the community's practice, beliefs, and knowledge, one has a firmer foundation on which to build a project.
  • The 1998 floods, which inundated much of Bangladesh, had a major effect on the lives and work of urban slum children. Lack of work opportunities, and beliefs about appropriate roles for young children, meant that the floods did not lead to great increases in workforce entry and in some cases led to a reduction the opportunities available. Children's domestic work was also affected. Children's paid and domestic work had an important impact on how well households survived during and after the floods. The findings highlight the simultaneously beneficial and harmful nature of much child labour, and are therefore relevant to the dilemmas that face policy makers in this area. The research reported on in this article also has implications for those involved in disaster relief policy making.
  • The ethos of technical assistance in emergency relief work has emphasised the importance of recruiting people with appropriate professional and technical skills to work under the difficult circumstances of disasters. The authors used the Critical Incident Technique to assess job-related skills that were seen to be crucial for the achievement of the objectives towards which emergency relief personnel were working. Fifteen Irish nurses, working predominantly in refugee camps, identified over 60 different work objectives and 54 distinct job-related skills. It is argued that greater account should be taken of the variety of objectives which motivates such field workers. The job-related skills identified were primarily process- rather than outcome-oriented skills, and the authors hold that a greater emphasis should be placed on the development of fluid as opposed to crystallised skills. The possibilities of using the Critical Incident Technique as a mechanism for feeding back authentic field experience and operationalising effective process skills is discussed.
  • The paper presents the major differences between the approaches to project planning known as Logical Framework Approach (LFA) and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and discusses whether these can be used in a complementary fashion. It is suggested that LFA be used to provide the overall structure of the planning process while PRA may be used in discussions and to place decision making at the grassroots. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections
  • Stepping Stones is a training package on HIV/AIDS, gender, communication, and relationship skills designed both for use in existing HIV/AIDS projects and more generally. Narrating her experience of a training of trainers programme in India, the author explores the possibilities and challenges of using this as a means of integrating gender into HIV/AIDS projects.
  • Needs assessments of adults and children in households affected by HIV/AIDS in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa indicate that food provision is a critical support area which has been neglected in mitigation interventions. This paper looks at practical options for targeting food aid within a development framework, using Zambia as a case country.
  • This paper attempts to draw some lessons from the experience of development NGOs throughout the world over the last five decades. It starts by describing the meaning of alternative development paradigm as practised by NGOs. It then examines some of the major socio-political changes that have occurred in recent years, and their impact on development NGOs. Finally, it outlines some key dilemmas facing development NGOs, and their potential implications for their future roles and contributions at the start of the new millennium. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • The forces associated with economic globalisation and the apparent supremacy of market forces have unleashed a range of political and social processes that have served, and were indeed designed, to enrich and empower the few at the expense of the majority. These include phenomena such as the rise in armed conflict, threats to food security, the loss of livelihoods and traditional ways of life of millions of people worldwide, the commodification of social provision, assaults on national sovereignty, and the privatisation of citizenship. However, the author argues, the most significant impact of globalisation is the `localisation' of social and political struggle, and the emergence of new forms of international solidarity. Many NGOs have too readily succumbed to the view that globalisation in its present form is inevitable and irreversible, and have accommodated to it by trading their essential values for technical professionalism, often imported from the private sector. However, if NGOs are to assume their place as part of a transformational movement for social justice, they must re-discover and foster the values of citizen participation and develop a genuine respect for diversity. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • This paper analyses the significance and scope of the globalisation process, focusing on its implications for the autonomy of national actors, on the one hand, and on the new demands that global governance imposes upon multilateral action, on the other. It is argued that the current form of globalisation is in fact compatible with some degree of autonomous coordinated social action outside the realm of the market. This allows us both to differentiate between the realities and mystification (i.e. ideology) that underlie the concept of globalisation and to reject the standard discourse and economic therapy offered by certain international organisations to developing countries. If globalisation does not rule out the possibility of autonomous national-level action, it also establishes the basis for more solid and effective multilateral action. The factors that support the need for such action in the future are analysed, action that responds to demands for greater management of international public assets, and to calls for more effective global governance. The article ends by analysing the necessary characteristics of such a multilateral system if it is to meet the needs arising from a new international reality. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • This article examines why the World Bank adopted neo-liberal economic policies. It argues that neo-liberal discourse favoured the interests of key Northern actors, and, more surprisingly, that it also allowed many Southern state actors to maintain or extend their political power. This is because World Bank discourse offers little or no political analysis of the state, instead focusing on `technical' issues of economic adjustment. While there may now be a certain shift in World Bank discourse towards somewhat greater acceptance of a role for the state, there is still a widespread absence of a political analysis, which means that dominant power relations will still not be fundamentally acknowledged or challenged. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • In recent years, both the corporate sector and civil society organisations, particularly international NGOs, have become more influential in shaping development debates and policies. There is increasing awareness within the corporate sector of the need to demonstrate social responsibility; and growing acceptance among NGOs that business is essential to the economic growth which will fuel social development. This paper shows how the two sectors can engage constructively in order to establish and monitor standards, though it also argues the need for some pressure groups to retain an uncompromising and radical agenda in order to keep the critical debates alive. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • Interest in partnerships between international NGOs and the corporate sector is growing as both sectors see their roles changing in response to increasing consumer awareness about social, environmental, and human rights issues. This article presents the case of the partnership between the sports goods industry, The Save the Children Fund (SCF), and various international and local organisations in the district of Sialkot in Pakistan. The author uses this case in order to discuss the important elements of a cross-sectoral partnership, the considerations for the various parties that enter into such partnerships, and the implications of these partnerships with the corporate sector for the future of NGOs and their vision of development. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • Development NGOs are in crisis. They are losing their capacity to engage in critical analysis and propose global solutions; to react to or seize the political initiative; or to situate themselves on the cutting edge of those social and political processes in which new approaches and potential solutions might be found. While some NGOs have sought to accommodate themselves around donors' policies and projects that focus on reducing the negative effects of structural adjustment, the raison d'être of NGOs is to have the autonomy, initiative, and flexibility that the non-governmental status confers upon them. A growing split between NGOs' capacity to lobby and do research and their grassroots work reflects a deeper division that exists - both practical and theoretical - between the concept and process of development and the concept and process of democratisation. The author argues that human development and participative and representative democracy are both mutually reinforcing and indivisible and that the challenge the NGOs face is to link - theoretically and practically- democracy with development. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • In this overview essay, the co-editors examine the new challenges and opportunities facing development NGOs in relation to their relevance, their mission, relations between Northern and Southern NGOs and with other agents of power, including business, and their effectiveness. There is a balance to be drawn between keeping up with emerging issues and agendas, and retaining the values that underpin their integrity and unique nature. NGOs saw phenomenal growth in the neo-liberal policy environment that flourished in the late twentieth century, but this very prominence means that more questions are being asked about their accountability, and about their mandates. Will the twenty-first century see NGOs still living complacently in the past, or will they genuinely rise to the challenges ahead? This editorial overview is freely available as the opening chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. After 50 years of spectacularly successful work (particularly in raising the equity stakes, improving the quality of ODA, fostering Southern NGO work at the international level, and organising quick and effective humanitarian assistance), Northern development NGOs have come to a crossroads. Van Rooy argues that the history of the NGO `occupational category', coupled with a changing political and economic environment (the end of the cold war, rising international investment, declining ODA, and vastly heightened Southern NGO capacity), means that most Northern NGOs should close up shop. Instead, a kaleidoscopic rebirth is envisaged, where four key functions remain for Northerners (as humanitarian agents, economic policy watchers, North-South brokers, and corporate responsibility advocates). This change of job is heralded as good news: evidence that the project of global social justice has moved dramatically forward.
  • This paper questions whether development agencies and their staff, at whatever level (community-based organisations, national or international NGOs) are sufficiently clear about their own values and roles, and seeks to analyse tensions and dilemmas that arise when roles are confused. Clarity about the roles of the people and agencies involved is essential for the development of a valid global citizens' movement that can inter-connect local and global problems and actors, and work towards sustainable solutions. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • Every organisation has certain core convictions about its endeavours and about the ways to go about its work. When these convictions are translated into relatively enduring practices they can be called organisational values. Managing an organisation's value system is an important strategic task in itself, and the concepts and methods for undertaking this task are examined in this paper. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • While the forces of globalisation have intensified economic polarisation, diverse social movements worldwide are struggling to defend the public interest and to promote a more rights-based and sustainable form of organising human society. In allying themselves with the causes of the dispossessed at the local level, and raising international awareness of such issues, NGOs have a part to play in building a more equitable global order. However, NGOs urgently need to find better ways to link these struggles with their analysis, their action, and their ethical values. This article is freely available as the opening chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • This article reports the results of and conclusions from a survey of Northern NGOs conducted during 1998 and 1999 for the purposes of testing generalised criticisms of Northern NGO advocacy and providing benchmarks further research on the policy impact of the Washington Advocacy office of Oxfam International. Based on the survey findings, the author challenges Northern NGOs more thoroughly to evaluate their advocacy so that they may effectively demonstrate their advocacy achievements and, by so doing, confidently invest a greater proportion of resources into advocacy programmes which effectively contribute to their goals of reducing poverty. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Advocacy and in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • NGO campaigns have become increasingly high profile in recent years. Three contemporary examples are critically examined (Brent Spar, landmines, and international debt), both in terms of the various ingredients behind their success, and in relation to their real significance and long-term impact. The author looks at the trade-offs, challenges, and opportunities for NGO-sponsored campaigns within a changing political order and in the light of the potential offered by New Media. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Advocacy and in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • The growing crisis of external indebtedness in the South has become the focus not only of multilateral policy debate, but also the subject of an increasingly vocal international anti-debt campaign, the influence of which was clear at the abortive World Trade Organisation at Seattle in December 1999. Though effective, however, the anti-debt campaign encompasses a range of different positions, which result in diverse strategies and tactics. This paper examines the reasons for and implications of such differences, particularly in relation to North-South solidarity and action, and makes the case for Northern campaigners and lobbyists to take their principal lead from anti-debt groups that are mobilising public opinion in the South. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Advocacy and in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • NGO advocacy is sometimes portrayed in a heroic light, but efforts to influence World Bank-supported economic policies confront considerable ambiguity. Influence is difficult to demonstrate, but advocacy should be more rigorously assessed in the interest of transparency and effectiveness. Two (partial) solutions to this ambiguity are to focus on the process of NGO campaigns themselves; and to monitor impact on component parts of a model of institutional change at the Bank. This article assesses a recent advocacy campaign by testing it against five criticisms of NGO campaigning, then proposes that NGO advocates develop a practical model of policy change and monitor and evaluate their efforts with reference to the model's component parts. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Advocacy and in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • The conventional (but false) dichotomy between humanitarianism and development, hitherto grounded in the perceived differences between international humanitarian law and international human rights law respectively, is not merely unhelpful in practical terms but also serves to diminish our understanding of the shared issues underlying the two discourses. There are welcome signs, however, of a growing recognition that all development and relief work is essentially rights-based and of efforts to integrate thinking and practice under one common set of principles. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections and in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • Despite a growing emphasis by aid agencies on local participation and consultation, the recipients of aid commonly have mixed, if not hostile, responses to relief assistance. Agencies need to acknowledge the inequalities that are inherent in an aid relationship, and be more judicious in determining their proper role. Finally, the author calls for aid providers and recipients to accept our innate human equality and our circumstantial inequality in order to establish relationships of mutual respect and contemporaneous enjoyment of each other. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives and in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • This paper examines the application of the Local Capacities for Peace framework in field operations in Sudan, and identifies lessons learned about planning and implementation in the World Vision programme over a 20-month period. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • Is it preferable for aid agencies to listen to their prophetic calling and risk their hard-earned credibility by engaging in advocacy that is intended to avert disasters, or should NGOs instead be wary of calling wolf too often? Written from the perspective of an advocacy practitioner, this article looks at the conflicting pressures on NGOs both to scale-up and to limit advocacy during disasters. It is important to evaluate NGOs' motives and also the impact of their preventive advocacy efforts: whenever advocacy is an issue, questions of accountability, veracity, and legitimacy are never far from the surface. The paper ends with a plea to NGOs to take seriously their credibility as a resource which should be risked, where necessary, as part of the overall humanitarian ethic of saving lives. The dangers of appearing self-serving and misleading are genuine, but ultimately the potential to change dire events is too important to be surrendered lightly. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • The concept of capacity building is elusive, and our current approaches are doomed to failure, not because we lack adequate models, but because these approaches are in themselves inadequate. This article attempts to outline some of the fundamental shifts which a new form of approach to capacity building would entail, the first shift being from the tangible to the intangible, and the second being from static model to a developmental reading. Some of the consequences of such shifts are discussed. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections and in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • As the century has just changed for the Western calendar it may be appropriate to bear in mind that for a vast part of the world the centuries are different and rolling at a different time and under different conditions. So, although we live and trade in a global village we are yet divided by time, space, and ideologies. The hope is that the twentieth century will enable us to have a closer look at each other and that the global network, the websites, and the electronic mailing systems will work as a bridge rather than a new means of widening the gaps. This article is a plea for a better understanding of the different priorities and views that Islamist women have of themselves, of their place in history, and what it is that they need to fight for. It is also a call for the universality of sisterhood and a wish that the solidarity that was forged in latter part of the twentieth century will not be fragmented into smithereens in the new millennium. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future and in Development and Culture.
  • While women's movements in Latin America and elsewhere have succeeded in putting many issues that are relevant to women and to gender relations onto the political agenda, and although most international aid agencies have made efforts to incorporate gender analysis into their work, this progress has been neither comprehensive nor unproblematic. This article focuses on ways in which the development co-operation agenda, and the priorities and working methods of development agencies and NGOs, have served to distort the vision and practice of the women's organisations whose work they seek to support. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • This article summarises the results of a joint action-research project undertaken by a number of international and local NGOs, which involved case studies in four countries in Africa, three in South Asia , one in Latin America, and one in the UK. The paper seeks to situate the discussion of impact assessment in the context of a growing critique of international NGOs. Overall, it is suggested that simple models of cause and effect which link project inputs to outputs and impact, although important, are usually inadequate for assessing the impact of what NGOs do. Instead, the author recommends the need to develop models that embrace the wider context of influences and change processes that surrounds projects and programmes, and the broad-ranging impacts that result. A major conclusion to emerge from the case studies is that the ability to select a judicious mix, and sequence, of tools and methods is vital. The paper concludes by looking at the broader policy implications of the studies notably in relation to: dealing with the problems of attribution and aggregation; exploring the issue of poverty reach and gender relations; warning aganist simplistic use of impact assessment to allocate resources; and in suggesting how impact assessment can be part of a 'virtous circle' of change that can help promote greater accountability and learning among international NGOs. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • The question of how development agencies should assess their impact has no simple answers and so is often either unasked, or is framed in terms that privilege time-bound and quantitative findings. Describing a council estate neighbourhood project in the UK, the author probes the understandings and perceptions of different stakeholders concerning what they believe has changed over the life of the project, and to what they would attribute those changes. The findings suggest that the impact of development interventions is always contingent upon many factors and can only be properly viewed over time; and that many of the most critical factors in shaping change are intangible and have to do with a wide range of social relations and with human motivation and drive, both individual and collective. The author does not present a `blueprint' for how to conduct impact assessment, but offers some insights into how to frame the questions and interpret the answers. This article is freely available as a chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • This paper argues that the distinctive values common to many NGOs gives them a particular advantage over other types of organisations. This perspective should be seen in the context of donors' increasing willingness to fund non-traditional development actors, including the military, parastatals, quangos, private service contractors, and consultancy firms. To distinguish themselves from other recipients of aid funding, NGOs need to identify, articulate, and nurture their core values and identity. The paper identifies some of the key indicators that best reflect values and organisational capacities that distinguish NGOs from other agencies. The concern is that if NGOs lose their core values they lose their role. This article is freely available as the opening chapter in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.
  • Literacy programmes conventionally focus solely on non-literates and use a 'learn first, do later' model that is ill-suited to adult learning. Programmes based on existing groups (whether function- or location-based), and which use a 'learn through doing' approach, are more likely to be successful both in achieving literacy and in reinforcing other development goals. This paper reviews the theory and practice of adult literacy programmes.
  • This paper describes the Participatory Change Process (PCP), a model that promotes the formation and action of sustainable grassroots organisations in poor and marginalised communities, using participatory learning and action methods to provide people with the capacities, self-confidence, and organisational structures needed to plan and implement development projects and influence policy formation. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections
  • Conferences are typically organised around specialist presentations and panel discussions in ways that do not foster broad participation or effective knowledge-sharing. The paper describes a computer-based method to facilitate focused dialogue among participants.
  • The author reports on the triennial conference of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), held in Paris in 1999. He found a disturbing lack of historical analysis and awareness, and a surprising dearth of discussion of the value of knowledge, or information sharing, in the North-South relationship of the future.
  • The author reports on this conference held in Tromsö, Norway, in June 1999. Discussion centred on the discourse of `gender' and on the women's movement, and the author considers these themes from the dual viewpoint of the practitioner and the academic.
  • This Conference Report presents the recommendations taken from a Summary Report of the South Asian Agenda Regional Meeting for South Asia, held in New Delhi, India in 1999. The event was convened by the Disaster Mitigation Institute (DMI) and supported by the Department for International Development (DfID) of the British government. Measures to reduce the disaster vulnerability of poor communities, to improve the standard of, and review public expenditure on, relief, for example, are discussed.
  • In English only
  • This article looks at the lessons learned in reviewing two long-running international campaigns, one to promote breastfeeding in Ghana, and the other against the use of child labour in the carpet industry in India. In particular, it focuses on understanding the nature of campaigns and what makes them effective. It asserts that campaigns are not linear or mechanistic, but need to be understood as passing through various stages and requiring different kinds of action at different levels and at different times. The variety of work and skills thus required make it vital that the various organisations involved collaborate with each other. In particular, grassroots mobilisation has a role in bringing about sustained policy change that is often forgotten. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Advocacy.
  • In the 1990s, fair trade, as practised by alternative trading organisations (ATOs), has evolved from a solidarity to a partnership model. This paper explores the nature of fair trade partnership using a case study of Cafédirect and one of its suppliers, the KNCU in Tanzania. For ATOs, fair trade is articulated in terms of a partnership with both producers and consumers. Partnership in this paper is conceived in terms of a fusion of the market and ethics in the links in the supply chain from the producer and consumer, the core partnership being that between the ATO and the producer organisation. The case study is used to highlight the elements of the partnership that are necessary for a fair trade relationship to 'work', highlighting the importance of participation by the producer partner.
  • Agricultural co-operatives have been promoted in India's economic development programme as a means of encouraging large-scale agricultural production while enhancing community Cupertino and equity. Focusing on sugar co-operatives in Gujarat state of western India, the author shows that these co-operatives have been successful in promoting large-scale agricultural production and in improving the economic and social standing of their members. This success, however, has been built upon the exploitation and pauperisation of local landless communities and migrant labourers. As a result, there has been an increased differentiation of the peasantry in south Gujarat.
  • By exploring two approaches to organisational change, gender and organisational development (OD), the author argues that OD is flawed since it perpetuates existing gender inequalities by failing to address them. By contrast, the gender approach brings change both for women and for men and is contextualised in a broader agenda of social transformation. Analysis of how power is gendered is the critical starting point. While gender is not disconnected from other forms of oppression - such as race and class - special attention needs to be given to gender because experience has shown it gets 'lost'. The article seeks to contribute to breaking new ground in theory and practice in order to promote organisations that are both equitable and effective. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections
  • The paper considers the effectiveness of different strategies used in urban areas by development agencies to reduce poverty, including the relative merits of income generation and housing and neighbourhood improvement. Drawing on the findings of recent case studies, it suggests that the advantages of housing and neighbourhood improvements may have been under-estimated, and that too little attention has been given to integrating housing and neighbourhood improvement with income-generation.
  • Educational and societal development programmes in the Third World have paid too little attention to the facilitative and motivational merits of using indigenous languages. From primary education through to development activities among adults, the use of a non-indigenous language may in itself hinder the development process. In academic institutions, more interaction between the two fields of language planning and development studies is needed.
  • The author examines the contemporary liwac or barter system in Addis Ababa, a thriving part of the informal economy which involves the exchange of household goods for second-hand clothes and shoes. He concludes that this form of transaction positively co-exists with and is not superseded by the monetised economy.
  • This paper describes the relative advantages and disadvantages of formal Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (RoSCAs), in contrast with informal RoSCAs, as seen in Argentina. NGOs, it is argued, are not in a good position to use the formal RoSCA structure to developmental advantage, since they could not manage the risk assessment or legal framework necessary with formal RoSCAs, which do not rely on social censure and capital for their operation.
  • Based on primary research, this paper describes the negative human, occupational, and environmental impacts of the Kiraz Dere dam project in Turkey, concluding that financial compensation for people who are displaced by such projects is unlikely in itself to lead to the resettlement recommended by agencies such as the World Bank.
  • In English only
  • Full-text sample article
  • MOPAWI is an NGO in La Mosquitia, Honduras, working with indigenous communities in the region to create ecological sustainability and to strengthen technical knowledge and resource management. This paper presents the findings of research into how MOPAWI has `created linkages among the grassroots, the state, and ultimately the international level of politics in practice.' The strategic role of NGOs, and their ability to work across these levels, is discussed.
  • The author discusses the importance of rural family poultry (RFP) in Africa as an income generating and/or subsistence asset for families, particularly highlighting the gender dimension of RFP, since women are often the main owners of, and carers for, chickens. RFP development programmes must take account of other demands on women's time, but should aim to keep profits in the hands of women, increase production (for nutritional and financial gains), facilitate setting up co-operatives and, through these, the provision of training and supplies (making use of economies of scale).
  • This paper examines a Community Banking Scheme set up in Nigeria in 1991, in terms of its financial capabilities - `deposit mobilisation capability, and the value and ratio of its loan portfolio' - and considers four examples of its non-banking development functions. The author believes community banks have much development potential, and, while stating that the Scheme `has had mixed achievements', argues that the growth of non-banking facilities, and increased collaboration with self-help groups or NGOs, should lead to greater success.
  • The author summarises the results of research into the health of older adults in Malawi, India, and Tanzania, which found high levels of malnutrition and anaemia among them, as well as, and linked to, poor functional ability. The data suggests the need for development agencies to specifically consider older adults - who form an increasing proportion of the population - in their programme work, since the problems highlighted arise from poverty-related factors.
  • The author reports on this conference, held in Tokyo in 1999, which brought together leading development thinkers and practitioners, and finance experts. The main discussions are summarised, often with reference to the recent Asian financial crisis, and the author states that the IMF's apparent neglect of the link between finance and development was worrying, and evidence of the need for its reform.
  • As part of a human rights education campaign, the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) fixed 700,000 posters throughout Bangladesh. This met with opposition from religious organisations. This paper investigates the nature and cause of the backlash and sets out strategies for how development organisations can achieve their objectives in the face of opposition. The opposition was found to be in response to interpretations of the posters based on the Holy Koran and Islamic practices, and a perceived intrusion into the professional territory of religious organisations, which affected the socio-economic interests of these organisations' representatives. It was therefore concluded that development organisations should pre-empt such opposition by spelling out their objectives to potential critics, and formulating programmes that do not provide scope for opponents to undermine their development activities. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Advocacy.
  • Spirituality is central to many of the daily decisions people in the 'South' make about their own and their community' s development, including that of whether or not to participate in risky but potentially beneficial social action. Despite its importance, development literature and development practices have systematically avoided the topic of spirituality. This avoidance results in inferior research and less effective programmes and ultimately fails to provide participants with opportunities to reflect on how their development and their spirituality will and should shape each other. The author offers some possible explanations for the avoidance and suggests ways in which to address spirituality in development theory and practice. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Culture.
  • In 1997, 30 women and men of different ages and from a range of cultural, religious, social, and geographical backgrounds, participated in an Encounter to seek a deeper understanding of the implications of 'femininity' and 'masculinity' in their lives and their societies. Each had responded in writing to questions like: how did I become aware of 'womanhood' and 'manhood' ? how are these differences expressed in my society? how far do I see social changes that are taking place as a result of 50 years of women' s movements? The process provided a challenge to move beyond the feminine/masculine divide towards fundamental issues of human dignity. This article draws on the written and oral contributions of the participants.
  • ABANTU for Development embarked on a regional programme to strengthen civil society capacities for engaging with policy from a gender perspective. An early activity involved an in-depth study of NGO capacities for policy engagement which ABANTU carried out in Nigeria during the recent period of military rule. In keeping with ABANTU's commitments as a regional human resources network dedicated to promoting development and gender equality from an African perspective, the local research team used a participatory action methodology to gather and interpret the findings in a way that privileged local NGO perspectives and understandings of gender and policy. The exercise generated hitherto unavailable information and experiential case study material, and simultaneously identified and involved a core group of NGOs in the development and planning of the subsequent training programme. More importantly, it also furnished the regional training network with an understanding of indigenous cultures and local gender politics. These were found to be infused with diverse local cultural dynamics, as well as with the contradictory legacies of the military's state-driven programmes for women, both of which constrain the extent of gender activism, especially when this is monitored through instances of direct policy engagement. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development NGOs and Civil Society.
  • The author describes the movement of the Tobas indians from their nomadic, rural lifestyle in northern Argentina (due mainly to industrial deforestation) to Rosario, a city of around 1 million inhabitants. He highlights the difficulties the Tobas face in Rosario; their economic destitution, and the lack of education in their own language. He advocates economic support for co-operatives and training in traditional crafts, and changing the education system - or failing that, supporting non-formal workshops - to reflect the Tobas' own cultural values.
  • The author analyses the concept of social exclusion, arguing that the term has become a label for `another `vulnerable group' with no differentiation, complexity, agency, or resistance'. She instead suggests that we look to broader ideas of justice, participation, and citizenship, to bring the `social' aspect back into the concept, which should be more synonymous with discrimination and marginalisation than with the failure of formal (education, employment, legal etc.) systems.
  • Women's groups in Papua New Guinea, often under the influence of colonial and church governance in the past, still have an ambiguous function which serves to isolate women and `women's issues' rather than spread gender sensitivity. The author concludes that the existence of these forums for women actually encourages the continued marginalisation of women from governing and decision-making structures, since women's groups `tend to operate from separate and unequal spheres of influence'.
  • The author provides a matrix examining gender-based financial, economic, social/cultural, and political/legal obstacles to women benefiting from microfinance and enterprise. She goes on to discuss how impact assessment work can be approached in the light of this matrix, highlighting the importance of establishing the nature of gender relations prior to projects, considering the potential outcomes that assessors should look out for, and carrying out gender-sensitive assessment.
  • In English only
  • The authors explore the deleterious effects of economic globalisation on people in the USA, and explain the rise of poor people's organisations as a response to these conditions. They look at the impact of economic changes in terms of public policy and argue that the global economy is preventing a growing number of people from being able to meet their basic needs, by limiting or eliminating living-wage jobs as well as welfare programmes. However, poor people in the USA are organising to end poverty, and the Kensington Welfare Rights Union is given as a case study. Finally, the authors discuss the challenges faced by social workers and how they can be most effective in the face of a dying welfare state alongside growing exploitation and exclusion of the poor.
  • The author describes incentives used by governments to attract foreign investment and create export processing zones (EPZs), also known as special economic or free trade zones. The low cost of labour, mostly provided by women, is one of these incentives. Making special reference to Jamaica, Belize, and Barbados, the author discusses the impact of EPZs on the Caribbean, and the challenges facing small countries in the face of monopoly agreements.
  • The author argues, using the example of microfinance institutions, that it is essential to build genuinely solid and alternative institutions if development is to take its direction from the poor and vulnerable. He sets out his view of the characteristics such institutions would have, and the vulnerabilities currently seen in microfinance institutions.
  • In this personal Viewpoint, the author argues that globalisation has led to increased inequity in health and healthcare provision, just as it aggravates social inequity in general. He highlights the growing sacrifice of equity to efficiency, and the complicity of `elite' countries and companies in the deterioration of social conditions. Medical knowledge is being traded as a for-profit commodity, and the benefits of globalisation and liberalisation are bypassing poorer countries because of the concern for profit.
  • With reference to a recent visit to Dhaka, Bangladesh, the author gives his personal view on the spread of IT technology that accompanies globalisation. He comments particularly on the communication potential of the Internet and email, and the tendency of the technology to aggravate existing inequalities.
  • Cyberfeminists share the belief that women should `take control of and appropriate the use of cybertechnologies in an attempt to empower ourselves.' The author argues that the demystification of technology is necessary, but not sufficient, for empowerment (or re-empowerment, a term she prefers) since mainstream cyberfeminism fails to `address the complexities of the lived contexts of women in the South.'
  • The author argues that Northern NGOs are increasingly moulding themselves in the image of, and accepting the impetus of governments to become, a delivery service for global welfare. Commins believes that NGOs can, and should, avoid this by reassessing themselves on a variety of levels, including where they fit in complex emergency situations and how the new vocal presence of Southern NGOs presents a challenge for their role. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development NGOs and Civil Society.
  • This international NGO conference was held in Birmingham, England, in January 1999, to explore `the opportunities for civic action that global trends are creating for NGOs.' Discussions around NGOs and aid, capacity building, civil society, social capital, complex political emergencies, community development, advocacy, gender and microfinance took place, and the author highlights the most interesting points from each of these sessions.
  • There has been growing concern in Bangladesh that access to higher education is restricted to high-income families. Here, the author reports on the early findings of research into the socio-economic backgrounds of students at Bangladesh's major universities. These findings indicate that the average student is from an affluent, probably land-owning, family. The results are worrying since they suggest that doing well in the education system prior to university is not enough to ensure one has access to higher education.
  • In the context of inequity which makes achieving `health for all' extremely difficult, Where Women Have No Doctor attempts to give access to health information to those who lack it. The authors applaud the book, and stress that there is great need for this information, despite criticism from the book's reviewer in Development in Practice 8(3).
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. Recent initiatives from the OECD, the World Bank, and others on the subject of corruption have received widespread attention. However, the author argues that the incidence of corruption is closely connected with contracting-out, concessions, and privatisation, where multinationals based in OECD countries stand to gain profitable business. The encouragement of privatisation by the World Bank, and the economic benefit to OECD multinationals from this business, mean that action against corruption needs to involve effective sanctions by developing countries against multinationals which engage in corrupt practices; greater political transparency to remove the secrecy under which corruption flourishes; and resistance to the uncritical extension of privatisation. This article looks at empirical evidence on this subject.
  • This paper looks at the nature and extent of privatisation around the world, including an analysis of the bodies or interests which promote this `panacea' policy. It identifies a number of responses which public sector trade unions have made to such policies, especially where these have been ideologically driven. It offers some examples of ways in which trade unions have developed their own models/proposals for modernisation of public services and shows how these have been both challenges and benefits to unions and service recipients. It looks at how agencies such as the World Bank have responded to these initiatives.
  • As the agonising over `what next' for Kosovo and Serbia continues, Eastern Slavonia offers a transition experience and timescale from which we may learn. Each case is specific in historical and political terms, and in the nature of international intervention. But questions of transition and minority rights are inherent across the region. Though Eastern Slavonia was one of the areas of former Yugoslavia that saw some of the fiercest fighting in the 1991 Serb-Croat war, few international aid agencies now remain. The 1995 Dayton Agreement provided for a one-year transition period for its re-incorporation into Croatia, under the auspices of a special UN mission (UNTAES). Based on extensive fieldwork, this article details the constraints on the UN's input into integrated social and civil structures, and describes the Kafkaesque welter of legal and bureaucratic obstacles as well as economic and other forms of discrimination that now face minority groups living in, or returning to, Croatia. Without a firm government commitment to full equality and fair treatment of all citizens, the pattern of violent `ethnic cleansing' may yet repeat itself.
  • The author differentiates between globalism, an ideology, and globalisation, a process that affects us all. He compares globalism and nationalism, considering the positive, negative, and similar, aspects of each, using examples from Eastern Europe where a struggle is taking place between the two, interdependent, ideologies. He advocates 'the constant presence of both to avoid the hegemony of either'. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Culture.
  • The author, the former president of Tanzania, answers this question resoundingly in the negative, arguing that while universal social principles may be possible, the inequity of wealth alone between countries means that social standards cannot currently be universally applied and adhered to. He goes on to argue that the equality of sovereign nations should be the basis for international economic, social, and political relations.
  • Describing the way globalisation has affected India over the last decade, the author considers the impact of these changes on women, in the main areas of `development' due to globalisation: commercialisation, capitalisation, foreign trade orientation, and financialisation and industrial restructuring. She develops the point that the `skewed income and wealth' structure in India, and the gender discrimination suffered by women, has not altered in the face of the changes brought by globalisation: women continue to lose out, and are losing out more severely than before.
  • A fundamental question to be decided at the November/December 1999 World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting is whether to support or resist a new round of trade negotiations. The author argues that while many developing countries, and development NGOs, are right to feel that the earlier Uruguay round produced results skewed in favour of developed countries, there is nothing to be gained from resisting a new round: rather, developing countries should signal their willingness to get involved, but only if certain conditions are met. `[C]onstructive, but critical, support' is the only way to realise benefits and avoid further marginalisation.
  • Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was agreed, thousands of maquiladoras (assembly plants) have sprung up along the Mexican side of the Mexico/US border. Around a million workers are subject to violations of their human, labour, and health rights, the author argues, and this is a by-product of `free trade'. Abell advocates worker organising, appropriate training and access to information, and international solidarity, in order to avoid such abuses here and in the growing number of export processing zones (EPZs) around the world.
  • In English only
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. While global problems of poverty, inequality, and social upheaval are on the increase, the language used by development agencies and development experts sounds increasingly radical and idealistic. New socio-political conditions have been borrowed from real contexts in the South, only to be re-imposed on Southern `partners'. Notions like empowerment, participation, and governance are paradoxically enforced through top-down, external intervention. Hans Christian Andersen's parable of the Emperor's new clothes highlights the illusory nature of this re-packaging of development policies in the 1990s. One major difficulty is that micro- and meso-level socio-political conditionalities remain subordinated to macro-level economic liberalisation.
  • KwaZulu-Natal has the highest HIV infection rate in South Africa. The authors here report on a workshop using a participatory approach to train doctors, nurses and Environmental Health Officers from the region. The methodology, an adaptation of SARAR techniques, successfully provided an open forum for discussion, and, the authors feel, could help in developing household coping strategies and highlighting ways health care professionals can provide support at a community level.

  • The author, founder and Chairman of WorldSpace Corporation, describes the creation of the WorldSpace Foundation to promulgate access to information in the developing world. WorldSpace has launched a digital radio service, and has gained licences to broadcast in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, with the aim of closing the gap between rich and poor countries' access to information. He argues that such access is a sufficient condition for development.
  • Many NGO financial institutions and co-operatives are, arguably, incorporating the rules and norms of banking which, as `alternative' institutions, they sought to avoid. Here, the author uses CARUNA (the National Savings and Credit Co-operative `Caja Rural', in Nicaragua) as a case study through which to discuss what makes a truly alternative financial institution, with a gender focus. These institutions should recognise the value of promoting `innovative services that support social reproduction and food security activities, and promote participation by and accountability to communities.'
  • The author gives personal feedback on the Practical Note `How to pre-evaluate credit projects in ten minutes' (Hank Moll, Development in Practice 7(3)). She argues that it is difficult to give yes or no answers to the three checklist questions Hank Moll proposed, and that it might be disadvantageous to do so without fully understanding the underlying issues.
  • The author gives personal feedback on a review of this publication (Development in Practice 8(3)). She argues that the reviewers' criticisms in respect to the book's treatment of abortion and intra-uterine contraceptive devices, and it's failure to consider cultural and religious sensitivities, were unsubstantiated or incorrect.
  • The authors respond to some of the criticisms of Where Women Have No Doctor (Development in Practice 8(3)). They argue that, far from it being dangerous to give medical information to low-literacy, untrained people, the reverse, i.e. no information at all, can lead to more damaging attempts at health care.
  • By the 1990s, innovative ideas such as Sustainable Human Development (SHD) and People-Centred Development (PCD) had begun to shift the development discourse beyond economistic perspectives and the ideological (market versus state) debates of earlier days. This article describes how, despite their promise and the genuine efforts of international development agencies such as UNDP and ActionAid to put SHD/PCD ideas into practice, the conceptual deficiencies of the SHD/PCD paradigm, and internal organisational interests within the two agencies, have gradually displaced the agenda's core components. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development NGOs and Civil Society.
  • This paper examines the role of ideology in underpinning the operations of major development movements. As a confessional NGO, World Vision presents a useful case study; and this article examines the influence on this NGO of the interaction between ideology and wider development trends. It is argued that from roots in a specific cultural expression of Christianity - which enabled a highly focused and homogeneous ethos - World Vision's ideology has been transformed by growth and diversification into a fusion of mainstream Christianity and the pursuit of the concept of partnership; a process which underlines the role of development and geo-political forces constantly to challenge NGOs' self-image and strategic directions.
  • Full-text sample article FREE from Taylor & Francis. Microfinance programmes are increasingly popular in Bangladesh, and are especially renowned for the excellent repayment performance of women borrowers. This article examines the loan use pattern of women involved in wage employment and the benefits they gain from such loans. It also explores the effects of wage employment on gender relations. Women wage earners are found to value paid work more than they value credit. It is thus argued that more employment opportunities should be created for women as these would help to promote economic and social empowerment.
  • A historical study of migratory patterns in central Mexico shows that rural communities have seen shifts in population ratios as well as in the type of activities and responsibilities undertaken by men and women. This has also affected women's use of livestock, particularly the donkey. In this case study from the State of Mexico, the use of donkeys is analysed using PRA methodology. The donkey was found to be appropriate to needs of women and men, but is unlikely to be locally accepted for productive activities such as cultivation or breeding, as it is viewed as an animal reserved for household (reproductive) activities.
  • In 1997, the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), which was formed in 1962, came close to being dissolved. The author provides a personal viewpoint on the way that the ICVA moved towards this point: highlighting organisational, managerial, financial, and structural errors of judgement. The ICVA remains in existence, but the author argues that while it continues to act as a promotional network encompassing NGOs with differing agendas and resource bases, it will lack `a genuine basis for a common agenda', concerning itself more with individual members' institutional security than with its emancipatory remit.
  • Using their personal experiences of the East Africa office of a small international NGO, the authors discuss the difficulties faced by NGOs attempting to work in partnership with governments and the private sector. NGOs' comparative lack of resources constitutes an immediate barrier to mutually beneficial partnerships, as does their inability and/or unwillingness to shoulder inherent risks. The authors argue that NGOs can learn from and contribute to these partnerships - for example in their supposed grassroots orientation and representation of the marginalised in society - but should be aware that unless they have input into the design of projects NGOs become no more than contracted service providers.
  • Based on her own experience as part of a Primary Health Care (PHC) community development project in Angola, the author assesses the way the project was set up, identifying problems and potential solutions. Greatly concerned with ensuring local participation in and ownership of new health clinics, the author dwells on the dynamics of relations between local clinic nurses, their trainers, and the community using the new services.
  • The author describes AEAZ's role in sensitising rural voters, so often marginalised and voiceless, with a series of civic awareness campaigns organised throughout Zambia in the run-up to elections in November 1996. The campaigns made clear the roles of MPs and their accountability to the electorate, as well as the notions of participation, self-determination, and democracy in a newly pluralist political system, for example. Difficulties with language and funding were encountered, but the campaigns were successful, as the Elections saw a rise in the number of voters, and subsequent questioning and holding to account of elected representatives.
  • In English only
  • The author offers a definition of what a civil society should be, drawing on the vast outpouring both of democratic activities within the Third World, as well as the emergence of those forces that inhibit or thwart the full realisation of civil society. He argues that the diversity of such activities are indicative not just of the potential of civil society but also, and more importantly, of the lessons that they teach us on the limits of representative democracy, on the adverse implications of the current patterns of development, and on the responsibility of citizens in contemporary society - lessons that are fundamental to the building of a democratic and just polity and a humane society. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Social Action.
  • Describing two models for the development of informal women's groups in Orissa and Kerala, India, the author discusses how it is possible to avoid the `top-down management' and bureaucracy that often contribute to the failure of other schemes. Informal self-help groups in rural areas serve to empower women, and provide a basis for the provision of credit and other support for various production and income-generation activities.
  • Civil violence affects people as individuals, small groups (for example families), communities and society as a whole. Attempts to help the victims of violence, displacement, and trauma, then, must address each of these strata. The author draws on his experience as former Director of the KwaZulu-Natal Programme for Survivors of Violence, in South Africa, to illustrate this.
  • The author gives an account of a partnership between a UK-based NGO and the Zambian government, designed to encourage `smallholder farmers to form `cattle clubs' [to] operate and manage community cattle-spraying points on a full cost-recovery basis'. The project's success has been tempered by changes in the external environment and the perceptions of the farmers, and the inability of the government to continue to allocate enough resources to it. The author offers practical lessons to be learned from these difficulties.
  • The authors report on this workshop, held at the Flood Hazard Research Centre at Middlesex University, which brought together participants experienced in each of these three fields to share their knowledge and enrich each other's understanding. There was debate on the social factors which make communities vulnerable to hazards, including consideration of human rights, environmental sustainability, and the extent of our definition of vulnerability, as well as how `globalisation' can either enhance or threaten the ability of groups to cope with hazards.
  • This paper examines the potential for participatory rural appraisal techniques to contribute positively to community development and empowerment in a deprived rural community in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. A series of participatory workshops was undertaken in which a number of innovative techniques were used to identify people--environment relationships and, in particular, the community perception of the value and problems relating to the river and riparian zone. The workshops led to the community taking positive action to address problems identified. The study indicates the value and role of participatory research among disempowered communities in rural Africa.
  • Major conceptual advances in thinking about gender relations suggest the need to reassess conventional gender analyses within the context of development interventions. Evidence from development practice supports the conviction that targeting can be undermined by processes of gendered bargaining around project interventions. Academic research points to key problems and potential methods for looking at how gender relations change, that might be adapted to project contexts. Existing gender planning frameworks focus on shifts in gender relations but need also to address the process whereby gender relations are renegotiated if they are to inform better planning, monitoring, and evaluation.
  • This paper questions the appropriateness of some of the 'help' that has been given in mental health in 'developing' countries, particularly Africa, and examines some of the complex ideological issues underlying different cultural understandings of the aetiology and treatment of mental illness. Some personal experiences, illustrating examples of the imposition of culturally inappropriate ideology in the teaching of psychiatry, are described. In conclusion, some principles of good practice are suggested which could form the basis of a synthesis between cultures, and maximise the possibility of Western aid in the field of mental distress being more culturally appropriate. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Culture.
  • The paper argues that the increase in official development assistance to South Africa following its transition to majority rule was largely at the expense of other countries in the region. While this refocusing of aid has been aimed at disadvantaged black groups, it will also reinforce the regional dominance of the South African economy. Aid to Botswana, Lesotho, and Namibia has also become far more concentrated on human resource investment than on, for example, assistance for industrial development. It is argued that this too will create a skill base which will benefit South African business expansion and which, when placed in the context of liberalised trade regimes, will tend favour those already well placed in market terms who will often be white, male, and South African. Only a properly coordinated gender- and poverty-sensitive regional aid programme will help to counterbalance the polarisation in favour of established South African business interests that seems the likely consequence of present policies.
  • Developing countries with large nomadic populations have found it difficult to cater for itinerant people in their healthcare strategies. Some have tried to settle nomads, others to bring in health workers from outside the nomadic community, both costly and ineffective intervention measures. The author advocates a strategy which seeks to build on the traditional healers' and birth attendants' skills present in nomadic communities, to encourage self-care as far as sensibly possible, and to take account of `community ecology, the definition of an epidemiological profile...and group identity' when planning health services.
  • With specific reference to the case of granite mining in the Mutoko District in Zimbabwe, the author argues that while the state continues to hold rights to communal land, and freehold tenure is prohibited, Zimbabweans are being denied rights: in this case, a say in, and compensation for, damage to `their' land caused by mining. The author compares the current injustice to the `inequitable bias' with which tenure was distributed in the 1950s.
  • When Hurricane Mitch hit South America in November 1998, it most harshly affected Honduras and Nicaragua, and most of those affected were already living in extreme poverty. The author highlights the connection between the extent of the damage from this `natural disaster' and deforestation and bad land management practices, which greatly increased the impact of Mitch in these countries. He advocates a rebuilding strategy for the countries, which reconstructs the economies more equitably rather than reinforcing the socio-economic and political orders that perpetuate the violation of human rights. He makes specific reference to the need to cancel debt repayments.
  • The author wrote this open letter to her friends in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, from the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. She describes the devastation, how nearby countries have sent assistance, and her fears for the future.
  • In English only
  • In a previous paper the author gave two views of development management. One was management in the context of development as historical change. The other was the management of deliberate efforts at progress, of development tasks. This paper adds a third: a style of management with a development orientation, that is, an orientation towards progressive change. It is argued that this third view allows for a normative definition of development management. Thus a distinctive notion of what is good development management is that it should consistently promote the values of development at all levels, even if this is not the most straightforward way of getting particular development tasks done successfully.
  • This paper, based on a review of SIDA's funding of NGOs in Bangladesh, explores the changing relationships between bilateral donors, Northern NGOs (NNGOs), and Southern NGOs (SNGOs). It compares direct and indirect funding routes between donors and SNGOs. Most SIDA funding of SNGOs was previously undertaken through Swedish NGOs. As SNGO competence and capacity has increased through their own efforts at professionalisation, through wider recognition and support from government, and by the provision of `capacity building' partnerships with NNGOs, these Southern organisations have taken up positions within the burgeoning `third sectors' of aid-recipient countries alongside the governmental and business sectors. SIDA has increasingly funded SNGOs directly through its Dhaka office. The paper sets out to address two main themes in the context of Swedish aid to NGOs in Bangladesh. Firstly, as bilateral donors provide an increasing proportion of their resources to NGOs, how can sound and responsible funding relationships based on mutual trust be built between bilateral donors and NGOs? Secondly, how can NNGOs work usefully in contexts where the number and capacity of local SNGOs has expanded significantly?
  • The paper presents a potentially effective empowerment strategy for women, using Nigeria as a case study. The strategy evolves from an evaluation of recent empowerment strategies in Nigeria, empowerment concepts, and Karl's (1995) scheme of empowerment. The author argues that the empowerment of women (understood as enhancing their capacity to influence and participate in making decisions which directly or indirectly influence their lives) is the key issue in protecting women's interests. She argues that (a) the concept of empowerment implicit in an empowerment strategy predetermines its effectiveness; (b) endogenous empowerment is likely to be more effective than exogenous empowerment because it locks into real needs, as revealed by a prior assessment; and (c) a dynamic conception of empowerment is more appropriate than a static one because it leads to endogenous empowerment strategies. The author recommends a three-pronged strategy consisting of awareness-building, skills and capacity development, and political action within a framework of endogenous empowerment.
  • What does organisational decentralisation mean? What types of decentralisation can NGDOs choose from and what appears to be occurring? The author sets out answers to these questions and proceeds to analyse the pressures and forces involved in choosing, pointing towards devolution as the preferred option. The author argues that globalisation calls for a truly international response from NGOs, namely the formation of global associations. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Management.
  • The authors describe the phenomena of `perverse inertias' - effects and tendencies which are the opposite of what was intended - in the context of Southern responses to Northern NGOs. Two specific impacts on recipient populations are discussed. `The project culture', where `beneficiaries' feel compelled to invent as many projects as they can, in line with areas of perceived funding possibilities, which may not reflect real or most sorely felt needs. And `living by the wound', whereby communities recount their sufferings in order to receive assistance. The authors offer a critique of the way `lives and...expectations are taken over by others in the name of international solidarity'. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Advocacy.
  • Using the example of a project in Sheffield intended to promote user-involvement and participation in planning healthcare services, the author criticises the failure of the project to actually provide any forum for user-participation. The structures used to set up these partnerships are often too prescriptive, he argues, setting out a framework in which consultation may take place, and leaving no room for legitimate local interests which may not fit this framework. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Management.
  • The Assuit Burns Project (ABP) is a small Egyptian NGO working to help burns victims. The author describes the work of the Project, setting out its various capacities, and criticises funders' and donors' over-emphasis on preventative medicine at the expense of this type of curative work. Burns victims can become economic and social outcasts, and this impacts on development, and equity (particularly gender equity). This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Management.
  • Six development managers working for Health Projects Abroad in Tanzania provide an account of a typical working day, outlining their work, their frustrations, and the way they are perceived by local communities, for example. This Practical Note provides an insight into the pressures on managers, who must cope with day-to-day tasks while maintaining perspective on the bigger picture. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Management.
  • This paper looks at a Gender Review conducted for Oxfam GB of their programme in Uganda. The Review found that the programme lacked a coherent strategy and gender work was invariably considered an add-on rather than an integrated part of development planning. They advocate developing a strategy for social change, including monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, and provision for capacity-building among staff and with local women's organisations. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Management.
  • This Practical note describes the work of the Southall Black Sisters, a group, based in London, England, which provides a variety of assistance to, mainly Asian, women who have been victims of domestic violence and abuse. The author discusses how the UK legal system fails to help some of these women, as well as how patriarchal Asian social structures enable this abuse to go unchecked and unreported. The SBS consciously try to challenge on many fronts at once, working 'against gender and racial oppression (including religious fundamentalism and communalism) and...[operating] at the level of the family, the community, and the state.' This article is freely available as a chapter in Development with Women.
  • The author examines the perception that information technology (IT) can be used to stamp out corruption in organisations. Using examples of corrupt practices, he argues that, invariably, development managers should consider the underlying organisational and environmental causes of corruption rather than seeing the introduction of IT systems as a solution in itself. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Management.
  • Thailand is experiencing the unfamiliar phenomenon of aid and multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank lending money for internal development programmes. In the economic boom years, aid was neither sought nor required since structural development was funded from the growth which South East Asian countries had begun to take for granted. Today, falling growth and rising unemployment linked to a depreciating currency and weak export markets have meant that Thailand has had to look elsewhere for development capital and to become proficient in managing educational projects. This article describes a rapid training needs analysis of the Thai educational sector commissioned by the British Council, the purpose of which was to discover the capacity of the education sector to undertake and deliver externally-funded projects. Using the Kolb learning cycle as a paradigm of good practice, and an adapted version of the soft systems approach to planning, the paper describes a learning process for developing an action plan to produce a training package for enhancing project management skills. Finally, the paper reflects on the experience of the project and sets out some learning objectives for future exercises of this type.
  • Using the findings of the 1996 Presidential Commission on Corruption in Tanzania, the author emphasises the impact petty corruption, especially bribery, has on poor populations. He proposes that international organisations recognise that controlling corruption should be part of poverty-reduction strategies, and needs to be tackled by increasing the political literacy of the affected populations - empowering citizens to complain about corruption. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Management.
  • Urban and industrial growth in developing countries makes the provision of adequate waste management services vital. Public sector-private sector partnerships (the authors describe potential structures for these partnerships) offer one way to manage this provision. The authors discuss how responsibility for public services should ultimately remain with the public sector, investigate different types of public-private partnership, and present five guiding principles for effective partnerships, as identified by the Cairo Workshop on Micro and Small Enterprise in Municipal Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Management.
  • The author highlights a community participation scheme in Hyderabad, India, which allowed informal sector workers, organised by the Municipality, to take steps towards a more cost-effective and ecocentric method of waste management. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Management.
  • This paper focuses on the contradictory relationship between tools, always open to criticism as technocratic and mechanistic, and processes of development. It focuses on the tools often known as Logical Framework Approach (LFA) which are increasingly used as process tools by many different agencies, including those who espouse values of participation and empowerment. We assess the tools from the perspective of their use in public action-based approaches, as a means to improve clarity and focus in multi-actor interventions. No one tool can fulfil the range of tasks required in complex situations and LFA is useful as one of various options. We consider two of its limitations. First, it can be used in many different styles, including as a means to analyse public interest as contested terrain, or as a technocratic tool. Second, the focus on viewing assumptions as immutable can limit the effectiveness of interventions.
  • How organisations and associations can work together over time to develop new norms and practices which enhance the sustainability of development initiatives is an ongoing problem. This article looks at how processes of negotiating shared agendas over the meanings of sustainability, exploring assumptions behind proposed actions, establishing means of accountability and setting up mechanisms for investigating cause and effect in the processes and outcome of development programmes can be a source of action-learning. It is argued that such processes of action-learning can help lead to institutional sustainability.
  • The authors draw on experience from Uganda's commitment to decentralisation. This commitment is transforming the way services are planned and financed; new associations between local governments, NGOs, and private sector agencies are being created. Much attention has focused on the adoption of various techniques - such as participatory rural appraisal - through which direct and intensive forms of participation can be encouraged in decentralised planning. This trend is critically examined and potential unintended consequences are highlighted. A broader concept of accountability is outlined to illustrate a more inclusive approach to planning and allocation for more equity and sustainability in rural services.
  • In India, the pressing concern in education is with bringing in at least 32 million children estimated to be out of school, to meet the goal of Universal Elementary Education. Support for decentralisation of public services is widespread because of the equity and efficiency benefits associated with it. In particular, decentralisation is seen to facilitate the matching of services with local preferences, thus increasing the chances for policy goals to be met. This proposition is examined in the context of research carried out in a village of Raichur district in India, where poor households `preferences' with reference to school timings are analysed with a view to reflecting on their implications for education policy and management. The paper attempts to address the following concerns: how homogeneous are local preferences? What if these run counter to policy interests? Can aspects of services be selectively decentralised, or does the `production' of the sector as a whole require to be re-thought? The paper concludes with some thoughts on the importance of processes of `preference' articulation, and the need to recognise preferences implicit within policy intentions.
  • With its emphasis on target-setting and performance measures, the New Public Management appears to offer a coherent and `no-nonsense' approach to public sector reform and the public management task. This article suggests that three questions require further thought: `Management of what?', `Management by whom?', and `How to manage?' It considers these questions using the case of Community Based Health Care and its promotion by NGOs in Tanzania. The article argues that the task of public management is one of managing an arena of public action which includes (and excludes) a range of actors and agendas. Once this is taken into account, it becomes clear that the challenge to all development managers is how to manage more effective interdependence.
  • This paper is a comparative study of institutional change and efforts to create networks and linkages in the science and technology (S&T) systems of Poland and Tanzania at a time of market-led economic reform. It argues that in both countries, S&T has been hampered by linear approaches to technology transfer and that future efforts should focus on non-linear approaches involving multiple actors. Discussion focuses on a consideration of organisational goals and agendas, the resource base of different organisations, and fostering organisational capacities to learn, adapt, and change.
  • This paper looks at the opportunities for civil society organisations (CSOs) in Brazil to increase and diversify income. It demonstrates the range of potential new sources of funds, including the Brazilian public, commercial activities, and government institutions. The role of volunteers is also addressed. The institutional and cultural changes that CSOs must make in order to mobilise these resources are highlighted, along with associated risks, such as diversion away from their representational and advocacy roles, loss of political independence, and bureaucratisation. The paper then suggests how aid agencies might fulfil their responsibilities to help counterparts bolster income, and raises the possibility of more inter-institutional collaboration in what is increasingly a global rather than national activity. Finally, some comments are offered regarding the funding priorities of the international NGOs, given the new income opportunities facing CSOs. The main recommendation is that these concentrate on supporting advocacy work rather than service provision.
  • In English only
  • Since the late 1980s, democratic institutions and an active civil society are being prescribed as important ingredients and preconditions to reduce poverty, social exclusion, and violent civil strife. Multi-party systems and elections are seen as the most important expressions of formal democracy. This paper argues that more attention is needed to substantive democracy, which requires a greater understanding of the various lega-political variants within a democratic framework. The paper discusses in some depth the crisis of governance in Belgium. The analysis raises questions about the relationship between 'political' and `civil society', and between social movements and political parties. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Social Action.
  • This article sets itself to answer the question: why theatre in development? It examines the reasons why development agencies have been reluctant to put Theatre for Development high on their agendas. It demonstrates the importance of critical pedagogy in the history of the form, which is linked directly to the emphasis placed on learner-centred participation in the Theatre in Education movement and in the techniques of Theatre of the Oppressed. It advocates a central role for the cultural component in any development process which claims to represent the needs of specific communities as articulated in their own voices, while exploring the particular dynamics of theatre as a non-literary form of dialogic communication that creates a `safe space' of fiction in which those who are habitually marginalised can not only find, but also use, a voice to effect change.
  • This paper offers an insight into the creative ways in which a major social institution in one of the most progressive States in India has attempted to take gender issues on board. The Maharashtra Police Force has taken a major step towards empowering women by opening all mainstream duties to them as from 1994. The paper records the process through which the Force has taken this up as part of a larger agenda to tackle the issues of violence against women, and may serve as an example for similar organisations and students of gender issues.
  • Worldwide concern for the environment has spawned a new field of interest and expertise within the development assistance industry. Environmental projects have become the new `darling' of the foreign aid community with donors and practitioners vying for suitable `eco' projects to support. While this support for the environment mimics the attention the development industry has paid to women (and later, gender), concern for these equally fashionable issues has not always been synchronised. Many development practitioners promote environmental projects which accord nominal concern to gender issues. Drawing on a case study of eco-timber production in the Solomon Islands, this article demonstrates how environmental sustainability and gender equity should be seen as complimentary project goals.
  • The concept of sustainability has evolved and expanded to include more than just environmental issues. Development practitioners now address questions linking sustainability to population and, in particular, to poverty alleviation. Environmentally sustainable development cannot be achieved, let alone maintained, unless poverty is reduced. Thus, the connection between sustainability and poverty reduction must be properly understood if economic assistance for the poor is to be successful. These questions can be confusing and difficult to address satisfactorily in practice. How can poverty reduction programmes and projects be designed for sustainability? How can the elements of sustainable poverty reduction be built into all stages of the project cycle? These issues are examined and a set of guidelines and minimum standards proposed. Relevant examples are cited to illustrate how the inclusion of poverty alleviation concerns into the project cycle can be achieved.
  • The author puts forward the personal view that participatory methodologies (such as Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA)) are often used by NGOs in such a way that they create a negative impact on the community they were intended to empower. Arguing that these methodologies incite the poor to feel the need to seem poor - a potentially disastrous starting point for any collaborative community/NGO initiative - the author advocates an approach by which communities identify their resources, and their capacity to improve their quality of life. An earlier version of this article was presented by the author at a PAMFORK Partticipatory Methodologies Workshop held on 24-27 September 1996 at Resurrection Gardens, Karen-Nairobi, and was published in Baobab, Issue 22 (1997). This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections
  • In 1996 the Peruvian NGOs ALTERNATIVA, FOVIDA and INCAFAM spoke to many soup kitchen members, all women, to establish how they felt about the work and the future of the kitchens. The author reports on the connected activities sometimes run by these organisations, and on the benefits members have received from their membership, including discussions of capacity and skills built, changes in gender relations in households, and the sense of social and personal recognition for work. The women interviewed also identified difficulties, including reconciling work with the demands of motherhood. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development with Women.
  • While larger non-governmental development organisations are implementing gender policies and practices, smaller NGDOs - while generally aware of the relevance and importance of gender-awareness - are yet to put this concern into practice. One reason for this is the lack of focussed gender specialists in these smaller organisations, but also, in the 5 Cameroonian and 8 UK-based organisations surveyed, there emerged little understanding of gender in the wider development context. Gender issues are marginalised and the NGDOs, while recognising that women's participation in the economic growth of a community is vital, fail to identify the fundamental inequalities regarding power, division of labour, and access to and control over resources.
  • The author reports on this conference arranged by the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, England, in April 1998, ostensibly to agree on ways forward for socially responsible enterprise and corporate accountability. Participants were overwhelmingly business leaders and academics, and the author found challenging views were not particularly in evidence; it became clear that the issues under discussion were too complex for a consensus to be reached at this time, and by these representatives. The author argues that NGOs should take part in the ongoing debate and build mass support from the consuming public, as well as from states: `the final arbiters of conflicts of interest between social and economic goals.'
  • In English only
  • The authors begin to outline the epic now unfolding at the grassroots, arguing that pioneering social movements are groping for their liberation from the `Global Project' being imposed upon them. Going beyond the premises and promises of modernity, people at the grassroots are re-inventing or creating a fresh new intellectual and institutional frameworks. As is clear from the recent rebellion in southern Mexico, ordinary men and women are learning from each other how to challenge the very nature and foundations of modern power, both its intellectual underpinnings and its apparatus. Explicitly liberating themselves from the dominant ideologies, fully immersed in their local struggles, these movements and initiatives reveal the diverse content and scope of grassroots endeavours.

  • Teams at their optimum efficiency during the normal course of work are more likely to be able to respond appropriately and handle pressure in emergency situations. This Practical Note goes on to describe various work procedures to ensure efficiency, communication and learning in a team. The author suggests ways of offering feedback to team members, skills supervisors should cultivate, and highlights the importance of `continuous learning'.
  • It is argued that community development can contribute to national development, in conjunction with other phenomena. Village-level development efforts depend on the dynamism of community groups. The populations of the Cameroon grassfields possess the creative capacity to adapt new techniques and knowledge to their local realities. The paper identifies the critical factors that influence the effectiveness of their self-help development efforts. Issues discussed are: the socio-political setting; the concept of mutual help; rural leadership and authority; socioeconomic factors; socio-cultural and institutional factors; and self-help development initiatives and gender. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • The author reports on the proceedings of this conference, opened by Clare Short (UK Secretary of State for International Development), who suggested that the event had come about due to a desire to `tackle the underlying causes of conflict and strife'. The participants, though, made it clear that humanitarians are divided over the principles governing their work. Many key questions, while discussed, remained unanswered; such as how to prioritise principles, whether political will or humanitarian principles (or both!) are lacking, and how to handle humanitarian intervention into just wars. The author concludes by discussing the under-representation of women at the conference.
  • This Research Round-Up provides a brief literature review of the use of pre-departure briefings (PDBs) for NGO staff delivering overseas aid programmes, especially from the point of view of Australian NGOs. The professionalism, productivity and effectiveness of aid workers can be enhanced using improved human resource management. The author reports the results of a questionnaire sent to aid workers in 22 countries; the vast majority reporting that they had received no effective PDB, although job satisfaction was high. Respondents identified areas in which they would have liked more assistance, particularly cultural information and language training.
  • There is a widespread perception that Southern NGOs best represent the authentic voices of the Southern poor. This article challenges this perception, arguing that poor people in general, and children and women in particular, continue to be disenfranchised, while NGOs - both Northern and Southern - offer a poor imitation of their voices. It argues that what is needed, given the current global economic paradigm, is an authentic `joint venture' between NGOs in the North and the South and the authentic voices of poor people themselves, that would bring the poor into the mainstream; and a new approach to capacity-building that would seek to empower them better to advocate for themselves. It concludes that, to achieve this, economic advocacy should perhaps take greater precedence over political advocacy. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Advocacy and in Development and Social Action.
  • Non-governmental organisations now play prominent role in UN peace-keeping operations, mainly in the areas of humanitarian relief, demobilisation and resettlement, support for elections, and mine-clearance. This reflects the preference of major donors to use NGO channels for their own aid. This article examines the challenges this expansion poses both to the agencies involved and to the government of the country in question, with particular reference to the 1992-95 peace-keeping process in Mozambique. The author describes the many practical difficulties facing NGOs in a politically charged post-war environment, and concludes that there is a need for a sharper definition of appropriate roles and minimum operational standards if NGOs are to implement such programmes in ways that neither compromise their integrity nor jeopardise the longer-term reconstruction process.
  • 'Multilateral debt is not a widespread problem for Severely Indebted Low Income Countries' wrote the World Bank in September 1994. Two years later, the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) - the Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -agreed to a proposal to bring the debt of Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) to sustainable levels. While imperfect, the proposal went some way to meeting the demands of NGOs which, with progressive forces both within the World Bank and among creditor countries, have played a crucial role in this process. While the multilateral debt problem is now too great to ignore, the authors maintain that it has been the persistent pressure of these players that has been responsible for the enormous progress made by the IFIs. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Social Action.

  • Official aid funding for the development NGO sector grew fast in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These halcyon days are over. Thinkers within the NGO community are concerned with how to adapt to the end of the funding boom, and to correct its adverse effects. However, in spite of many calls to reorganise, re-think, and professionalise, one major set of issues has been largely ignored: the scope for introducing collective self-regulation of the organisational structure and procedures of NGOs in developing countries. The authors argue that this could make a major contribution to solving several problems currently faced by NGOs. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development NGOs and Civil Society.
  • The standard models of the state and civil society balancing each other, as propounded by de Tocqueville, Hegel and Gramsci, are no longer useful in all cases when thinking about the relationship between the state, civil society and NGOs. The emergence in many countries of a weak state and relatively strong civil society organisations has led to NGOs filling the gaps in the provision of services which should nominally be provided by the state. The dangers of this are well-documented, and the author argues that NGOs should be seeking to strengthen the capacity of the state to perform these functions, as well as nurturing civil society.
  • An examination is presented on a type of NGO, known as a network NGO that, it is argued, is currently exploiting the personal links across the government-NGO divide, and acknowledging their interdependence. Characteristics of such NGOs are that they have a broad membership, consisting of professionals from the same ethnic background. Two examples of such network NGOs are Dupoto e Maa, which is based in Kajiado, Kenya, and is an organization mainly lobbying for Maasai pastoralists; and SADEA, based in Same, Tanzania, focusing on conventional) fundraising activities for social projects. Case studies of these two organizations are reviewed in a discussion on their relevance in the government-NGO debate. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • The paper presents a case for all organizations that work on development, environmental, social justice, and human rights issues to work more closely together, arguing that many of the issues these organizations are addressing are one and the same. It is a call to reflection, debate, and action concerning the protection and guarantee of all human rights, and the holding accountable of all actors for actions that contribute to their violation. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • Using the example of reforms in Bolivia, the author discusses `second generation' structural and institutional reforms taking place in Latin America, in the aftermath of Structural Adjustment Programmes' (SAPs) failure to reduce poverty and inequality. Providing a new context for social policy and participation, the most radical reform in Bolivia is the Popular Participation Law, intended to decentralise the allocation and administration of resources and encourage participation in democracy from all sectors of Bolivian society. According to the author, the Law has been only partially successful in achieving these aims, and he discusses its limitations.
  • In English only
  • Victimising women as witches is prevalent in the tribal regions of South Bihar. As a result, between 1991 and 1994, over 60 women are known to have been killed in West Singhbhum district alone. The main reasons behind this persecution are to maintain women in economic and social subjugation, to exploit them sexually, and to wrest property from their families. This article examines the issues behind this form of socially sanctioned violence, analyses their implications on development work, and suggests appropriate methods of intervention. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development with Women.
  • The author reports on a visit to Lagos State, Nigeria, to research aspects of primary healthcare, and highlights how communities knew what they needed to improve their quality of life, and how they felt health education was not necessary. Their self-determination forced the researchers to adopt a participatory approach, and provide assistance in getting the locally identified schemes underway before attempting, collaboratively, to set up an education programme.
  • It is noted that identifying with protection and enhancement of natural resources as central to EC development support, articles 33-41 (of the Lome IV Convention) focuses on three principles: a preventive approach aimed at avoiding negative impacts on the environment as a result of any programme or operation; a systematic approach for ecological feasibility studies at all stages, from identification to implementation of a programme or operation; and a multi-disciplinary and trans-sectoral approach, taking direct and indirect consequences of EC-supported initiatives into account. The paper addresses these needs, with the goal being to develop a systematic procedure for the Belgian Agency of Development Cooperation (BADC) to test the potential environmental impacts of development projects before these are implemented. The BADC aims to avoid sponsoring projects that have a negative impact on the environment in the broadest sense. A comparative study is presented of guidelines and procedures, drawing mainly on the EC environment manual, the OECD guidelines on environment and aid, and the various environmental guidelines of the OECF, the Asian Development Bank, and the World Bank. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • The Small Enterprise Development Fund of the Department for International Development (DFID) of the British Government commissioned a literature review and held workshops, both co-ordinated by ActionAid UK, to assess the impact of micro-finance schemes on women's empowerment. Three broad approaches to micro-finance for women are identified as well as the constraints affecting impact in each case: approaches emphasising financial sustainability, integrated community development or feminist empowerment. The author provides a framework for assessing degrees of empowerment and presents a `minimal gender strategy' for micro-finance.
  • In 1996 UNRISD sponsored a survey, using questionnaires, interviews and participant research, into the parallel pharmaceutical market in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire). The author describes `typical' purchasers and vendors, the quality of products sold and bought, and the levels of regulation possible/needed in such a market, and challenges policy makers to develop a system of partial regulation combining the relevant merits of government and private sector control.
  • Using data from a recent ethnographic study in rural Bangladesh to explore relationships between men's violence against women in the home, women's economic and social dependence on men, and microcredit programmes, this paper suggests that microcredit programmes have an varied effect on men's violence against women. They can reduce women's vulnerability to men's violence by strengthening their economic roles and making their lives more public. When women challenge gender norms, however, they sometimes provoke violence in their husbands. Male violence against women is a serious, widespread, and often ignored problem worldwide. By putting resources into women's hands, credit programmes may indirectly exacerbate such violence; but they may also provide a context for intervention.
  • Drawing on recent research, the author explores how far and in what ways UK NGOs have tried to incorporate gender into the policies and procedures of their international development work, and how far a formal recognition of gender issues is shaping the way each organisation functions. The author assesses the strengths and weaknesses of different strategies (such as specialist staff or units, formal gender policies, gender training, equal opportunity recruitment policies, and mainstreaming) for transforming organisational practice.
  • This article describes and analyses the Gender Quality Action-Learning (GQAL) Programme of BRAC, a large rural development NGO in Bangladesh. This works with men and women field-staff and managers in a process of issue-analysis, action planning, and implementation (the GQAL cycle) to address organisational change and programme quality concerns that is informed by an understanding of gender. Gender, meaning women or the relations between men and women, is sometimes lost as deeper issues of power and instrumentality surface. The greatest challenge for the Programme now is to explore the gendered nature of both, and find ways to change gender bias along with other organisational, structural, and process features that promote gender inequity both within BRAC and in the delivery and impact of its social change objectives.
  • This paper focuses on the role of women in the Barmanan rural production system in the Manghadié area of Mali. The suggested methodology aims to identify areas of women's autonomy in production activities and factors determining their degree of control. For women, control over work depends both upon their involvement in the decision-making process and on their ability to negotiate access to the various components of their activities. The paper highlights gender-related and other social factors such as inter-ethnic relations and relationships between women that determine women's autonomy in production activities. Some economic and environmental factors are also identified.
  • NGOs, like other organisations, are gendered; that is, they reflect society's power relations between men and women. The author argues that NGOs must begin a process of gender-sensitive institutional change, building equitable practices and attitudes in the long-term, benefiting and empowering NGO staff as well as impacting on their programme work, and strategic objectives. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development with Women.
  • Coffee production was the main source of family income in the North West Province of Cameroon until there was a fall in coffee prices. The author recounts a positive side effect of this potential economic crisis for the province: the empowerment of women. Previously denied land-ownership, due to men's traditional hold on land and women's legal status, women bought now-unused land and successfully made money from their produce. The resulting shift in financial power saw the beginning of a shift in status for these women: with economic control came decision-making power.
  • The author identifies three key weaknesses in the debate leading up to establishing the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) for the European Union (EU). The process started in 1996 and a generally useful and relevant discussion has taken place between various governmental and non-governmental actors concerning conflict-prevention and structural stability. The author believes there must be further consideration of inconsistencies in international policy, the incoherence of the view that conflict and structural instability are essentially problems of the `South', and the tendency to analyse only countries where conflict has broken out, ignoring those where the potential for violence existed, but was avoided.
  • An examination in presented of a pilot project to strengthen Primary Health Care (PHC) in Sheikhupura District, which was initiated by the Department of Health, Punjab, Pakistan. The project seeks to create a viable PHC model, providing accessible and sustainable services. Community Development Workshops for Village Health Committees (VHCs) to promote local participation are being held, and several experiences have been gained, from conceptual shifts to implementation issues. Issues discussed are: sowing the seeds through dialogue; organization of the workshop; duration and timing; introductions; discussions on health; the health system; the role of community; individuals and groups; community organization; an examination of what is development; threats to the village; the road to development; and empowering people. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • In English only
  • The author recounts his experience in developing Community Listening Theatre with RISE, a Namibian NGO that works in shanty-town districts and with dispossessed farming communities. In depicting their concerns through dramatic expression, previously diffident people began to address pressing political issues, and to challenge their own 'self-oppression', before proceeding to organise around specific issues, and take sometimes audacious collective action towards their own (re)empowerment. Reflecting on the role of the outsider, the author warns that it often proves disempowering to assume that such experience can be distilled into a replicable formula. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Social Action.
  • SatelLife was set up by the organisation International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in 1985, with the aim of providing a forum for the involvement of medical colleagues in the South in discussion of health and peace issues. SatelLife set up and run a satellite linking service (HealthNet) providing email and a medical information network for organisations and communities world-wide, integrating people working in countries with limited communications infrastructure into the debate. The author provides an overview of the system and the ethos behind it.
  • The authors offer some initial thoughts on the potential of using video to record Participatory Rural Research (PRR) sessions, highlighting the medium's apparent strengths and weaknesses compared to taking written notes and/or still photographs. They conclude that the use of video should be considered afresh in different contexts so as to determine whether its use is appropriate and desirable.
  • Global Knowledge '97: Knowledge for Development in the Information Age was organised by the World Bank and the Canadian government and held in Toronto. The Benton Foundation put together a group of US experts from the NGO sector, and the author reports on the conference and how various NGO representatives viewed the discussions. The consensus at the conference was that technological improvements and updating infrastructure were of the greatest importance for development. The NGO representatives quoted here, however, felt that an emphasis on meaningful content would also have been appropriate, as would the recognition that market forces alone should not drive policy in this area.
  • Drawing on a case study from Central Argentina, this article suggests that researchers can be too cautious about introducing technologies of which farmers have no previous experience. In particular, it challenges the notion that the only technology appropriate to peasant conditions is that which is rooted in traditional ideas and culture. Under certain circumstances, externally supplied technologies may also be appropriate. Rather than focusing solely on the technology, it is necessary to look at the socio-economic and historical context in which the technology will be used.
  • The vision shared by most development scholars and practitioners today is for beneficiary-driven development, the impediment and the means to which both lie with communication. The debate concerns the communication approach that would best realise this vision. This paper examines and critically comments on two major approaches, Development Communication (DC) and Development Support Communication (DSC), though it argues for neither of these. Rather, it draws on the `Another Development - Another Communication' paradigm and proposes a Participatory Communication (PC) approach, which both resonates in people's own moral values, conforms to the reality of many communities in Africa, and offers better prospects of achieving beneficiary-driven development.
  • This paper elaborates on two themes. Firstly, it presents the historical evolution of Northern Non-governmental Development Organisations (NNGDOs), proposing an enlarged and transformed proposal based on Korten's Generations. Secondly, it puts forward several recommendations in order to develop a hypothetical Fifth Generation of NGO - Northern and Southern alike - whose activities may contribute to a very broad, diverse, and unpredictable social movement for structural change on both the political and social levels. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Social Action.
  • Organisational capacity-building may be so focused on the hope for an improved future that it unwittingly fails to draw upon key learning from past experience. Reflection upon and public affirmation of those moments in organisational life when members felt high commitment can ignite imagination and build momentum for a better future. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methods of organisational transformation suggest that a positive future image of one's organisation can be a compelling, if not irresistible, force, the creation of which needs to embrace the already-lived and shared satisfying moments of members. Organisational capacity is best understood, and most enjoyably and authentically pursued, when the process and desired product is co-generated from within the lived realities of all its stakeholders. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections
  • The author gives a personal account of the importance of the late Paolo Freire's work and thinking. Freire's influence can be seen in many of the ideals and practices of educationalists, community workers, and specifically adult-literacy workers across the globe.
  • Many governments and international organisations have offered utopian visions of a Global Information Infrastructure (GII), a successor to the Internet, which will enable global sharing and communication. The development of the GII rests on the capacity of all nations to have access to the requisite technology, and the currently widening gap between access to PCs and telephone lines does not bode well for the prospects of the envisioned network. The People's Communication Charter may provide a framework for critically assessing and influencing the quality and distribution of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and their products. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Advocacy and in Development and Social Action.
  • The author considers how Northern NGOs present the South, in order to recruit volunteers and fundraise. Negative and positive images have been used to illicit feelings of pity and self-satisfaction respectively. Here, the author describes the effects of using different images, and argues that NGOs should be educating and building long-term supporters by substantiating the use of images with information about the causes of poverty, famine etc. The concept of mutual dependence between South and North should also be emphasised: a more pragmatic reason to help.
  • The author, formerly Director of the Clearinghouse Project, describes the aims, achievements and underlying philosophy of the Project, which was set up in 1979 by the American Public Health Association (funded by USAID) to improve access to information for health-practitioners in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Clearinghouse is a capacity-building resource, providing information on women and children's nutrition, as well as training for staff in the field, and works from the principle that services can match users needs more accurately if the users and service-providers are involved in communication and networking promoting information-sharing and dialogue.
  • In English only
  • The article explores the moral difficulties for international humanitarian workers operating as third parties in the midst of war. The main part examines current usage of the terms `humanity', `neutrality', `impartiality', and `solidarity' as they are used in the discourse of humanitarian operations. The article then considers the psychological implications for relief workers of operating as non-combatant third parties in war. Finally, the article recognises that a range of different positions is both inevitable and desirable in a given conflict, but concludes by emphasising the responsibility of any third-party relief organisation to be transparent in its position and to preserve rather than distort traditional humanitarian principles and language. It ends by recommending concerted support for international humanitarian law and its possible reform as the best way to focus the current debate about the place of humanitarianism in war. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • Focusing on the land-use issues pertaining to the 'cultivable' and 'non-cultivable' categories of land contrast to the third category of 'cultivated') in developing countries, an examination is presented of the technological criteria that have been used to determine land types and qualities. It is argued that deciding how much land should be used for what specific purpose, and by whom, is not a simple prerogative of land-use professionals, but is a political decision. Issues discussed are: land classification and availability; current land-use policies and related consequences; and prospects for integrated land-use planning. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • The author presents the views of Thailand's Population and Community Development Association (PDA - Thailand's largest NGO) about how to provide women attracted to the commercial sex industry (CSI) with economically viable alternatives to this accepted (in Thailand) type of `manual labour'. Research has shown that poverty is the major factor cited by voluntary commercial sex workers (CSWs) as influencing their move into the industry, and that economic development is their way out.
  • The author describes the sub-sector analysis method and applies it to tailors working in the informal sector in Kenya. The results of the analysis allow the author to discuss the factors which influence the success, or otherwise, of micro-enterprise in this sector; he also advocates the research method itself as a useful tool for identifying `system blockages' (by tracking the movement of a product from input to output) and possible intervention strategies.
  • The Summit, held in February 1997 in Washington DC, involved participation from governments, UN agencies, corporations, NGOs and credit practitioners. The author reviews the discussion, much of it concerning the importance of distinguishing between development reasons for advocating and initiating micro-enterprise, finance and credit schemes and more general economic reasons for doing so. Other debates include whether income generation is a key strategy to combat poverty, whether microcredit really helps the poorest populations, how gender should be integrated into programme structures, and the value of credit for micro-enterprise compared to micro-finance.
  • This issue of Development in Practice contains twelve papers from the symposium, held in Johannesburg, South Africa 20-23 June 1996. The symposium, co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and the South Africa Office of Oxfam, drew together individuals and organisations working in the areas of violence, conflict and peace-building. In this preface to the series of papers, the authors briefly highlight the major topics discussed and conclusions reached. Symposium participants contribute the remaining papers.
  • While some recent conflicts have attracted international attention, other long-term conflicts with high accumulative death tolls have been relatively ignored. A decontextualised and partial view of conflict and violence is further encouraged by the separation between the emergency and development sections in many Northern aid agencies. Drawing on detailed case-studies of post-conflict experience in El Salvador, Peru, and Nicaragua, the author argues that conflict analysis, emergency intervention, and peace-building must be rooted within specific socio-historical contexts. The article ends with a critical reflection on the extent to which local-level capacities have in fact been able to influence the post-war situation and prospects for long-term and sustainable peace-building in these three countries. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • This paper reflects on the obstacles facing Salvadorean NGOs in the transition from war to peace. Firstly, on the difficulties inherent in the peace process itself: insufficient structural change; the trap of electoral politics; a transition process that was too narrowly defined; and the impossibility of reconciliation without addressing the need for collective memory, public responsibility, or justice. Secondly, on the difficulties peculiar to NGOs and popular organisations in El Salvador: the difference between the skills and resources they had developed in war and those needed in peace; the problems in establishing their role in the national reconstruction plan; and the fact that they were themselves made up of people who were still suffering the psychological wounds of war.
  • This paper explores some of the reasons for the failure of the international community to act decisively in preempting the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. These are rooted both in long-distant history and in the dynamics of post-Cold War international politics. Drawing on a decade of experience in Central Africa, the author looks critically at the widely accepted explanations of the genocide and its aftermath as `simply tribal fighting', and considers the role of external agents - journalists and aid agencies alike - in fostering this view. The paper ends with a reflection on the complex challenges posed by `reconciliation' in the wake of genocide.
  • In this paper, the author addresses some of the myths about solutions to social conflict, and reflects on problems he experienced with aid efforts organised by the international community, through the UN, focusing on Bosnia rather than Africa. Bosnia, as part of Europe, did not suffer the apathy that characterised international responses to events in Rwanda and Burundi before 1994. He then addresses what he sees as the flawed assumptions underlying the emphasis on economic reconstruction in the wake of war and conflict.
  • This symposium, co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and the South Africa Office of Oxfam, drew together individuals and organisations working in the areas of violence, conflict and peace-building. Here, the author considers `alternative' ways of creating collective memories, used by countries and communities without access to the formal state frameworks of truth commissions or war-crimes tribunals. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Patronage.
  • The United Nations Charter confers on the Security Council prime responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. Yet these very concepts are undergoing radical change. More than the absence of war, peace has come to mean harmony both within and among nations. It has acquired a dimension far larger than the original State-centred notion of the Charter. Security connotes inclusion, cohesion and integration - a sense of belonging to a society and a prevailing international order that is predicated on fairness and respect for differences and human dignity. Today, especially given the rise in conflicts of a non-international character, the Council must urgently review the appropriateness of existing instruments and traditional diplomacy. The author calls for better links between the UN, the Security Council, NGOs, and civil-society organisations; and proposes legal and practical mechanisms both to afford better protection to aid workers, and to ensure that, when they are applied, sanctions regimes are effective means of placing pressure on those responsible for the abuse of power.
  • This paper discusses the issues of reconciliation, truth commissions, and alternative ways of healing, focusing on what reconciliation means to different people and cultures, how reconciliation works in practice, what role truth commissions play in the process, and what alternative ways of healing have been used, specifically in Mozambique. The author bases his thinking, not on established theories, but on how people become reconciled with each other in practice.
  • This symposium, co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and the South Africa Office of Oxfam, drew together individuals and organisations working in the areas of violence, conflict and peace-building. Ingham-Thorpe describes how Mugabe's policy of reconciliation in Zimbabwe left intact many oppressive and inequitable structures, for example the land-reform issue remained unresolved. She also considers the displaced violence, massive youth unemployment, and the trauma of unmet expectations since demobilisation.
  • This symposium, co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and the South Africa Office of Oxfam, drew together individuals and organisations working in the areas of violence, conflict and peace-building. Here, the author discusses the impact of displacement (because of war) on families in Angola and Mozambique, and is specifically concerned with its effects on women and young people, who are believed to suffer the most profound psycho-social damage in these circumstances.
  • This symposium, co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and the South Africa Office of Oxfam, drew together individuals and organisations working in the areas of violence, conflict and peace-building. Castelo-Branco reports briefly on the use of child soldiers in the conflict in Mozambique, making them both the victims and perpetrators of violence. The trauma of such brutalisation is discussed, as well as children's coping strategies and the community-oriented psychological and economic assistance offered by AMOSAPU.
  • This symposium, co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and the South Africa Office of Oxfam, drew together individuals and organisations working in the areas of violence, conflict and peace-building. The author here recounts her work with the Independent Projects Trust (IPT) in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, providing training in conflict-resolution skills. She describes the history of political violence and deprivation in rural areas, and discusses training for, and the essential qualities of, successful community-based peace-workers. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development, Women and War: Feminist Perspectives
  • This symposium, co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and the South Africa Office of Oxfam, drew together individuals and organisations working in the areas of violence, conflict and peace-building. In this paper, the author draws on her experiences in Central America and discusses the phenomenon of NGO staff leaving the region when armed conflict ceased. She considers the need for consistent representation from NGOs during the transition from conflict to peace, and the value of long-standing, trusting relationships, which are not easily or quickly built-up by new staff. NGOs' preference for fixed-term contracts is challenged, as is the strength of their commitment to appointing local staff.
  • This symposium, co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and the South Africa Office of Oxfam, drew together individuals and organisations working in the areas of violence, conflict and peace-building. Here, Thompson presents a comparative study of reconciliation and reconstruction processes in post-conflict Central America and Southern Africa. She identifies successes and failures, suggesting alternatives, and particularly criticises the tendency of multilateral agencies, especially the UNDP and USAID, to apply reconstruction packages irrespective of context, and, in Central America, to neglect the parallel need for reconciliatory initiatives. The demobilisation and re-integration of ex-combatants is specifically considered.
  • Humanitarian aid should be judged against international humanitarian law (IHL) which gives civilians certain rights, including protection in armed conflicts. Aid agencies should consider the various side-effects of their interventions in order to assess the net impact, and decide whether to work in any given situation. They have no responsibility to provide aid where the net impact is negative, or to those who violate international law. If governments fail in their responsibilities to protect civilians, this does not give aid agencies the responsibility of filling the vacuum, but does mean that they should campaign for governments to act. Current Northern debate on support for the citizens of countries that are in conflict is usually expressed in terms of charity, rather than a response to what people are doing for themselves. Aid agencies should help to change this.
  • Recent conflicts in the Balkans have been portrayed largely in terms of ethnic and religious divisions, with Western military and diplomatic intervention seen as essential to securing a positive outcome. However, these divisions are the consequence of a deeper process of economic and political fracturing. The re-structuring of the former Yugoslav economy, and the policies of the international financial institutions, have not been sufficiently emphasised. However, the author contends that, far from being the basis for social and economic reconstruction, the application of free-market policies in former Yugoslavia favoured the dismantling of social-welfare structures and contributed to the rapid decline in national economic capacity. The terms of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords suggest that a similar future is in store for the successor states of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia.
  • NGOs play an increasingly important role in humanitarian work, and the impact of their activities is often non-neutral in relation to the conflicts which underlie crises. This was the case in the Rwanda crisis, during which some NGOs lent support to the forces of the genocidal Rwandan regime through their choice of where to work; the type and organisation of support offered; and some of the public statements made by NGO representatives. This article documents how this process occurred, and concludes with recommendations for avoiding such problems in the future.
  • The author gives a personal view of her experiences in Guatemala in 1995, when she met with human-rights workers coping with the aftermath, and ongoing trauma, of the 36-year war. She describes the fear and disruption brought about by so many years of military violence and repression, and the processes which it is hoped can help rehabilitate affected communities, particularly focussing on the psychosocial implications of giving people the chance to talk about, and learn the truth about, their experiences. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Patronage.
  • Fundamental conceptual tensions underlie current debates regarding the implementation of psychosocial interventions with war-affected populations. Three particular tensions structuring current discourse concern the generalisability versus uniqueness of relevant knowledge, the valuing of technical versus indigenous understandings, and the planning of targeted versus community-based intervention. The implications of working out these tensions in the implementation of programmes are explored, leading to the proposal of a model of phased response to psychosocial needs.
  • The author describes and assesses the use of matrix-scoring as a participatory evaluation tool. Often used as part of the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) arsenal of tools, here the author applies it specifically to evaluating the performance of the European Community/European Union (EC/EU) in the provision of aid to Ethiopia between 1976 and 1994. He describes the mapping technique, scoring/ranking system, and assesses the strengths and weaknesses of its use in this case (including tables of responses/results).
  • Citing the case of the Self Employed Women's Association's (SEWA) experience in nine districts of Gujarat, India, an argument is presented for returning almost the entire forestry sector to the women through their cooperatives of groups. Such an argument is based on the fact that almost one third of poor women are directly or indirectly involved in forestry or forestry-related work in the unorganized sector of the India economy, yet forestry remains a mainly male domain. A specific case study is presented, from Banaskantha, and three of their sub-programmes are described: the Eco-Regeneration Programme; fodder security systems; and Minor Forest Produce Collection (gum collection). Some related issues on forestry and women are then presented in conclusion. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • In English only
  • Major efforts have been made by development organisations to make their systems of project and programme management more participatory, in order to be accountable to local participants (or beneficiaries), while also creating opportunities for them to shape their own processes. These measures may look participatory, but have in effect become new (and often costly) forms of management and control, which do not result in great benefits for project participants. The authors argue that the dominance of three components - projects, professionals, and organisations -has been taken for granted; and that they involve practices and processes which are primarily instruments of control, rather than of participation. Attempts to generate participation will thus require a fundamental change in the way in which these components operate. In the meantime, the authors call for attention to be paid to the ways in which the current tools of participatory development, including PRA, can be used to promote either participation, or control, depending on how they are used.
  • The paper addresses the question of the purpose of Rapid Rural Appraisal and Participatory Rural Appraisal (RRA/PRA). It outlines three broad contexts in which these are undertaken in practice. It then considers some of the challenges facing PRA. These include introducing and spreading PRA within communities; institutionalizing PRA into development organizations and their projects or programmes; assuring and maintaining quality, both of the PRA process and its facilitation; and, finally, the lack of a methodological critique of PRA. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections
  • The author provides a summary of important lessons learned from adult educational activities and research in Latin America. Basic learning skills are defined as the skills needed in order to provide for ones basic needs, in turn based on the current understanding of human rights, and while literacy training is often regarded as the primary developmental tool in this respect, illiteracy is only one symptom of inequality and poverty. Schmelkes makes values the central element in her notion of competence.
  • The UNEP's Dryland Ecosystems and Desertification Control Programme Activity Centre (DEDC/PAC) is coordinating a programme through the Environmental Liaison Centre International (ELCI) to devise methods for the participatory evaluation and monitoring of projects, forming a useful corollary to Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). Community-integrated projects should allow for the community evaluation, as well as implementation, of programmes, and the author recommends a number of steps to incorporate successful participatory evaluation.
  • The author describes a quick method for evaluating the first stages of a credit project. He lists three questions, designed to illicit unambiguous yes/no answers, which assess the project's governance (external control structure), its financial viability (internal organisation), and its attitude towards potential borrowers. Answers are scored and provide an easy indicator of the project's likelihood of success. See also Evaluation of microfinance projects, Feedback, Susan Johnson ([13]Volume 9, Number 4)
  • The first in a series of papers, this paper describes the rationale behind the Manicaland Business Linkages Project in Eastern Zimbabwe. The economic and development perspectives of buyers, suppliers, and the nation are considered, including the relevance of gender in small enterprise. Potential risks and problems are highlighted: imbalances of power between buyer and seller, government regulations and union demands, and access to linkage opportunities.
  • The author evaluates the progress made since the 1996 World Food Summit on the commitments adopted there. He identifies current areas of concern, and promises made at various meetings since the Summit, and argues that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have more capacity than NGOs to compel government policy changes and must take the initiative.
  • This paper takes an actor-oriented approach to understanding the significance for policy and practice of fieldworker experience at the interface between project and people. It is set in the context of an Indian project which aims to reduce poverty through sustainable, participatory agricultural change, based on low-cost inputs, catalysed by village-based project staff. Diaries kept by such staff are analysed to reveal how the social position of fieldworkers enables and constrains their interactions within and without the project, and the ways in which `street level bureaucrats' shape projects through their discretionary actions. They show the Village Motivators struggling to communicate project objectives, to establish their roles and distinguish themselves from other village-level bureaucrats, to negotiate participation, to overcome hostility to Participatory Rural Appraisal, to arbitrate access to consultants and seniors, to interpret project objectives and lobby for changes in these without admission of failure, and finally to develop a shared vocabulary of participation and belief in success. Some of the implications for participatory approaches are that there may be significant contradictions between sustainability and participatory development.
  • This article takes an experience from Irian Jaya to clarify the centrality of popular participation to development. It explores the ways in which a focus on class and gender takes participatory development to a new level; and considers how development agents can support transformational development. Integrating the strengths of political economy and gender planning into a participatory methodology yields an approach that puts people first; that does not isolate or privilege particular sectors; that places subjugation alongside poverty as social evils to be overcome, not simply alleviated. An emancipatory concept and practice of development, in which inequalities and inequities are addressed together in order to reconfigure society to the benefit of the majority, will empower people to develop themselves as they see fit. This demands a delicate and evolving balance between guidance and support, facilitation and response, on the part of the development agent. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development with Women.
  • There has recently been unprecedented enthusiasm in Bangladesh for Social Forestry (SF). SF projects have been launched with the goal of involving local communities in managing forest resources. Proponents claim that SF has opened new scope for people's participation in forestry. Against such promises and claims, this paper attempts to evaluate the nature and extent of participation in an SF project in Bangladesh, which is currently receiving attention from government and donors. The paper uses a systematic theoretical framework to evaluate participation in the decision-making, implementation, benefit-sharing, and evaluation of the project. It concludes that people's participation has been insignificant, and marginal. People have virtually no major involvement in project-related decisions and evaluation, but perform within strict bureaucratic limits.
  • This paper analyses the legacy of the `green revolution' in rural India, going beyond the economic to take into account the comprehensive impact of State-guided development strategies on the lives of ordinary people. Based on information collected during fieldwork in North India, it aims to provide a more finely differentiated picture of the nature and ramifications of the `green revolution' in the countryside, as well as making suggestions for future policy reform. The first section situates the `green revolution' strategy in the broader political-economic context. The second (and more detailed) part addresses some of the contradictions - the gap between increases in production and growing landlessness and rural poverty - with illustrations from a village case study.
  • The author discusses the value of speech/talking as a communication tool, and the distortions that occur depending on the way speech is recorded and presented. During travels in India, de Caires asked one question of people he met along the way, recording their responses on paper and noting the influences on people's responses and his own impact on their choice of words. In relation to development, the point is made that face-to-face talk should be valued above other reported or mediated methods of communication, which can `amplify misunderstandings, and...alienate people from the fundamental process of sharing information.'
  • The authors examine the use of development jargon as commands, or `order words'. `Participation' and `appropriate technology' are discussed as examples of development jargon which, through unquestioning usage, becomes `so entrenched that no NGO could dare contest' them. The result of continuing to use these words without allowing their meanings and implications to be contested will be the deterioration of these terms until they are no longer of analytical use.
  • Since the 1960s, `partnership' has been a stated aim of NGOs, and the authors discuss how the concept of partnership has developed over the last 30 years. The type of relationship partners should have and the type of institution, government or group that Northern NGOs should seek to foster as partners, the authors argue, may be different in each specific instance. Both partners should agree on what they wish to gain from and can contribute to the relationship, building the mutual trust essential if partnerships are to flourish, be useful, and last.
  • The paper addresses two issues: what are the type of organization needed in order to face the challenge posed by the complexity and uncertainty of development problems; and how can such organizations be designed. A flat organizational structure is proposed allowing the organization to be flexible and to respond to the needs of those who it aims to serve. Instead of a hierarchy of positions, a hierarchy of programmes should form the basis of organization for development agencies. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • Sixty per cent of Peru's urban workforce is employed within the small and micro enterprises (SMEs) which account for 95 per cent of all business in the country's manufacturing, commercial, and service sectors. But in spite of credit needs of some US$ 1,250 million, in 1994 the combined input from the formal financial sector, international development agencies, and NGOs met only five per cent of this demand. The author examines the six principal mechanisms through which credit is available to SMEs, and describes the work of a Peruvian NGO network - IDESI - which specialises in providing credit and related services to small businesses, and in making strategic linkages between the popular sector and the conventional banking system.
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has promoted the so-called `Tobin Tax' as a major mechanism for generating a substantial increase in global resources for tackling human-development priorities. Such a levy, on largely speculative and unproductive international transactions, may be capable of generating over US$300 billion per year: several times higher than existing levels of bilateral aid. However, given the muted dialogue at the 1995 World Summit for Social Development, and in order to secure the necessary support of key developed countries and global financial institutions, it may be inevitable that the Tobin Tax, if adopted, would ultimately serve the interests of the wealthier economies. There is, therefore, an urgent need for the development sector to engage in debate on how, and how much of, such funds would be directed to priority human-development purposes.
  • This article suggests that gender-oriented policies tend to evaporate within the bureaucracy of the typical international development agency. An agency is here interpreted as a `patriarchal cooking pot', in which gender policies are likely to evaporate because they threaten the internal patriarchal tradition of the agency, and also because such policies would upset the cosy and `brotherly' relationship with recipient governments of developing countries. The article aims to illuminate this process of policy evaporation. The reader is invited to peer into the patriarchal cooking pot. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development with Women.
  • The post-election period in South Africa has been marked by trials for the NGO sector, in spite of its pivotal role in the anti-apartheid struggle. The article explores certain developments within the NGO sector, and between the NGOs and the government, to present tentative interpretations of these processes. A schematic background to the NGO sector firstly contextualises the problems now confronting these organisations. The second part provides an overview of the internal difficulties which confront NGOs. A description of how relations between the NGO sector and the government are unfolding is complemented by a discussion of NGOs and the prevailing `funding crises'. The final part is more speculative, postulating the challenges which will confront NGOs in the coming years.
  • In English only
  • With specific reference to the BCCI, the author argues that equating sustainability with financial self-sufficiency can lead development organisations to sacrifice or compromise their development work in order to generate revenue. The BCCI was funded by USAID for seven years and, to compensate for the loss of that funding and ostensibly in order to continue their development activities, set up and ran a national Lotto which consumed resources and ultimately became the sole raison d'être for the organisation. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Patronage.
  • The paper discusses some of the innovative ways in which the Zimbabwe Women's Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN) has generated space for alternative critical feminist knowledge and analysis, which it sees as an essential basis for equitable development. The objectives of ZWRCN are briefly: to promote and strengthen inter-organizational networking activities for the exchange of information; to promote greater gender-awareness through information; to promote the adoption of gender-sensitive information systems; to repackage information in forms appropriate to relevant users; and to fill information gaps in both formal and non-formal ways. Strategies used by the ZWRCN include: documentation centre, thematic debates, talks on Gender and Development (GAD), gender training, a linkage programme, lobbying and advocacy, the GAD database, and book fairs. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development with Women. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • Increasing numbers of local development organisations are approaching banks seeking credit. Their success has often been limited, due in part to the organisations' unfamiliarity with banking concepts and lack of investment resources, and also to banks' attitudes towards lending to `self-help' groups, and small returns on small loans. In 1985, a group of development practitioners set up RAFAD (Research and Applications of Alternative Financing for Development), a Swiss-based organisation, which provides guarantees, underwriting loans to finance local economic activities in the South. The author discusses the difficulties faced, successes achieved and ways to expand the service.
  • The author reports on this conference, held in Bradford, England in May 1996. Consultants, planners, activists, geographers, ecologists, and economists attended, presenting papers on diverse topics but with the intention of understanding different methodological approaches to choosing development options. Focussing on environmental impact-assessment, the report highlights the participants' fruitful discussion of the interaction between various methodologies, but the author argues that `progress towards more environment-friendly development paths remains problematic.'
  • Regenerated Freirean Literacy through Empowering Community Techniques (REFLECT) is an approach to adult literacy programmes which borrows from Paolo Freire's `active dialogue' method and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) techniques. Developed by ACTIONAID, the authors describe and assess the use of REFLECT in pilot studies in Uganda and in Bangladesh, providing very positive feedback on this learning methodology; they argue that it allows for a synthesis of empowerment and literacy, although its flexibility - whether it will work in urban areas, with refugees etc - needs to be tested.

  • The authors assess the 1995 CAS for Mexico, arguing that it fails to provide any coherent poverty-reduction strategies and maintains, incorrectly, that increased economic growth can alleviate poverty in and of itself. Also attacked is the way the CAS is developed without any consultation with civil society organisations in Mexico. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Patronage.
  • The British Overseas Development Administration (ODA) commissioned studies to look at the increasingly common practice of the British government directly funding Southern NGOs, rather than going through Northern NGOs. British development NGOs' (BINGOs') attitudes to this practice were assessed, and the author discusses the hypocrisy revealed. BINGOs believed that Southern NGOs were not capable of managing and evaluating projects, would become `donor-driven', would become more concerned with the availability of money than meeting needs, and would be susceptible to manipulation by donors and governments. The author argues that Northern NGOs need to re-examine the nature of their relationship with Southern counterparts. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Readers [13]Development and Patronage and [14]Development, NGOs, and Civil Society.
  • The Habitat International Coalition conducted research in 22 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia, investigating public policy in housing and services since the 1950s. The findings are summarised here. Rural and urban development policies are considered, including housing shortages and types of housing, the consequences of relying on aid, and discussion of the different actors designing social policy. Finally, the author lists ingredients that seem to contribute to the success of housing and service provision.
  • This article reviews trends in poverty, hunger and food security in the Americas; examines some of the principal processes, institutions and policies which generate unsustainable development; and speculates on reforms required at all levels in order to improve food security. While food aid offers opportunities for alleviating poverty and hunger, it may contribute to intensifying rather than resolving livelihood crises. Since the World Food Programme is a major player in the context of food aid, some issues crucial for WFP policies in the Americas are considered.
  • It is noted that while multilateral development banks (MDBs) have significantly increased their lending for 'targeted' anti-poverty projects since the early 1990s, there are few systematic, independent, field-based assessments of their effectiveness; as such monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is necessary to provide feedback to development decision-makers and stakeholders regarding what kinds of anti-poverty programme work and why. Pro-accountability actors in civil society in both donor countries and developing countries share a common interest in greater transparency as a path towards greater accountability and more effective MDB anti-poverty investments. Issues discussed are: bringing in civil society; learning from below; building networks; producing reliable generalizations; building credibility both above and below; making findings public; institution building; and cost effectiveness. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Social Action.
  • In English only
  • The problem of inadequate housing and living conditions facing one quarter of the world's population is situated in this article within the framework of human rights, and of international recognition of the basic rights to a place to live, and to gain and sustain an adequate standard of living. The nature and scale of the housing crisis points to a failure of governance that leads to exclusion, dispossession, and violence becoming endemic to societies: the institutionalisation of insecure and inadequate housing and living conditions. The author draws on the experience of Habitat International Coalition (HIC) in developing and supporting a comprehensive range of actions at local, national, regional, and international levels; and suggests some of the elements required if changes are not only to be promoted and campaigned for, but also sustained.
  • The results and discussions are presented of a participatory rural appraisal workshop held at the Sothuparai Reservoir Project, Tamil Nadu, India. The workshop was held at the heart of the dam site in the dense mango groves with farmers from two different categories. The first group was of those who would benefit from the irrigation, the second of those who would have to give up their land. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.

  • Financial accountability is as important in development agencies as in other organisations, although providing expenses statements, keeping accurate accounts, and setting and monitoring budgets are often seen by development workers as excessively bureaucratic tasks. The author argues that a small amount of training in simple, workable accounting procedures can enable people to obtain useful data from their accounts, and help with planning future expenditure.
  • Drawing from the experiences of BRAC in Bangladesh, the author highlights some of the major areas of controversy around micro-credit organisations, specifically criticising points made by Ben Rogaly (in Development in Practice 6(2)). Arguing that further research is needed to determine cost-benefit ratios when providing specialised credit systems for use by specific sub-sections of society, he maintains that trade-offs occur between accountability and flexibility, and that to ignore such complexities leads to too narrow a view of micro-credit and its potential.
  • The author replies to Hasan Zaman's comments (in the same issue of the journal) about micro-credit organisations.
  • The author reports on the `International Conference on Scientific Research Partnership for Sustainable Development - North-South and South-South Dimensions', held in Berne in March 1996. Over 400 people from a wide range of fields attended, and while the author concerns herself with points of relevance to NGOs, NGOs were not widely represented nor specifically considered at the conference. Subjects discussed include the propensity for inequality in partnerships and the need to draw up guidelines for co-operation to ensure fruitful (fair and trusting) relationships, and, for a rejected partner, an amicable divorce.
  • In 1994, the authors conducted research in the Iasi district of Romania, and present here findings about institutionalised children's aspirations, education, level of family contact and their assessment of the problems they face. The research provides some interesting pointers for those involved in programme planning, suggesting that better education and encouraging familial contact, where possible, throughout institutionalisation are more effective than strategies which seek to help the children when they leave. The article also questions the validity of the use of the term `orphans', when 80 percent of those questioned appeared to know the whereabouts of a family member.
  • It is increasingly being recognised that many survivors of trauma are not best helped by psychological intervention based on the common Western patient/analyst relationship. Radda Barnen commissioned research into a variety of approaches to working with children who have been victims of conflict and/or displacement. The principal findings highlight the need for treatment which bases its rationale and methods on the specific circumstances of communities, including their cultural norms, coping mechanisms, and the wider social circumstances of those affected, as well as the central role of families, schools and teachers in assisting recovery.
  • This article describes the activities of an indigenous NGO in Ahmedabad, India in attempting to prevent communal violence. It attempts to explain why the use of religious symbols seems to be particularly potent in causing slum riots. Finally, it discusses various lessons learned for international and indigenous NGOs which are attempting to counteract communal violence. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Culture.
  • In the context of economic and technological change in the late twentieth century, the World Bank's World Development Report 1995 combines the themes of labour and the global market, celebrating the triumph of the market in efficient labour allocation worldwide. The World Bank's emphasis on boosting Africa's agricultural export capacity ignores the prevailing hostile conditions which African products encounter on the world market, and the current tendency towards agricultural labour displacement. `Labour flight', particularly of youth, signals African farmers' own disenchantment with farming under present liberalised market conditions. The narrowness of the World Bank's policy vision for Africa avoids the social and political implications of rural labour displacement as well as the need for human-capital investment in rural areas. This article argues that the alternative to human-capital investment now may be war and expensive disaster relief for decades to come.
  • A notable absentee from the ten-point action plan set out by the 1990 World Summit for Children was the issue of street children. Yet such children are a common sight in cities of the developing world, and live in some of the most extreme conditions of poverty. The article looks at the experience of street children in the Mexican city of Puebla. It argues that current research neglects the moral and geographic dimension of work with street children. This has led to practice that regards street children as a welfare concern (as children), and pays less attention to their geographic context (the street). By contrast, the work of an NGO, JUCONI, indicates that a sensitivity to this distinction can offer critical insights. The article outlines JUCONI's approach and evaluates the implications for `best practice'.
  • This two-part article explores the experience of living and working for poverty-focused NGOs in a civil war whose roots lay in the chronically inequitable distribution of power and access to resources. Drawing on 12 years' work in Central America, the author reflects on the demands and constraints placed on international aid workers in the context of civil conflict; and on the ways in which relationships with local counterpart organisations and NGOs are affected. Empowerment and participation are examined from the perspective of those who refuse to play the role of war victims. Part Two explores the immediate and longer-term impacts of war and political violence both on those who survive, and on local and international workers who are concerned to address its causes and consequences.
  • A review is presented of the different principles and characteristics embodied in the two development philosophies (as briefly differentiated in the phrases 'top-down approach', and the 'bottom-up', or people-centered approach). Evaluation is discussed in terms of the two approaches: the subjective and the objective. Each one is examined, and whether they are mutually exclusive or compatible is discussed, and indeed whether evaluating project outcomes is worthwhile. It is concluded that the evaluation of each type f project can learn from each other, and that an amalgamation of objective and subjective approaches can lead to a more informed evaluation outcome, and an enhanced development project or process. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections
  • It is argued that the central role of rural grassroots organizations (RGOs) in Haitian rural development is of considerable importance. The Haitian Emergency Economic Recovery Programme has excluded the involvement of RGOs, and it is suggested that this will render the EERP largely impotent in confronting the extreme poverty and environmental degradation of the country. The paper describes some of the ways in which Haitian RGOs ought to be involved in the development process. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • The authors describe how late rainfall, and the subsequent drought-recovery Food-For-Work (FFW) programme, undermined a long-term environment-protection project in Lesotho, South Africa. They argue emergency relief should be coordinated to complement disaster-prevention and capacity-building programmes - the FFW programme set a precedent for `payment' for essential conservation work - and the authors discuss how food distribution can be done as `developmentally as possible'.
  • When the civil war in El Salvador ended in 1992, the Spanish government put forward money for a resettlement project (the ASPA project) which was designed and implemented by a Northern NGO for which the author worked as a construction adviser. The project, constructing a settlement for and with refugees returning from Honduras, faced difficulties due to a lack of local participation and the adoption of a discordant `professional' mindset in the planning and early stages of building work. The author discusses how the reconstruction process was altered to enable more effective participation and community ownership of the settlement.
  • In English only
  • The article examines the problems facing African scholars and publishers, in the context of rapid developments in information technology and a deepening economic gulf between industrialised and Third World countries. Many of these problems, and conventional responses to them from libraries, publishers, and donors, are themselves a legacy of colonial relations; the most significant of which is the deepening dependence on western forms of knowledge and systems for its validation. Questioning the terms `information-rich' and `information-poor', the author stresses the need for Africans to develop the means to generate, value, and disseminate their own forms of knowledge.
  • The need for a comprehensive information service based at the rural level in Bangladesh is discussed, noting the demands of NGO activists who require reading materials, particularly in their own language, for updating their knowledge, developing skills, analysing social issues, and motivating communities. The establishment of the Community Development Library (CDL) in 1980 whose role is to cater to the information needs of development agencies and social workers, through an institution which would provide development workers with resource materials and up-to-date information on a variety of issues is discussed. The organization of the CDL is described, and additional services are noted: press clippings; current-awareness services; a reading circle; action research and publication; audio-visual programme; and development resource promotion. The CDL also maintains 30 regional, district, and local Rural Information Resource Centres (RIRCS). The impact and some restraints of the RIRCS are noted. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • The author reports on the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo), working actively in Argentina to discover the whereabouts of the desaparacidos, the children who were abducted by the military regime of the 1970s to early `80s. Their achievements include tracing over 50 children, successfully lobbying for the creation of a genetic databank on the families of the disappeared, and campaigning for action from the government.
  • The author researched women's experiences of domestic violence and abuse in Calcutta, India. She reports on their strategies for coping with and resisting this violence, noting that the majority of the women developed resistance strategies, and that in many cases these worked. A pragmatic approach is taken, since, the author argues, it is unhelpful to assume that the best course of action for these women would be to leave their partners. The women who were most successful in resisting violence were those who were least isolated; who had access to other family members, or other women through a variety of organisations.
  • An unnecessary polarisation has arisen between `relief' and `development' work and agencies are looking to bridge the gap, moving towards an integrated response to disasters which promotes sustainable development. Effective rehabilitation may provide a way forward, and the author discusses this concept, arguing that development agencies will need to foster relevant capacities in recipients as well as shift their planning, programming, implementation and evaluation approaches, in order to enable rehabilitation to work as a strategy in its own right, rather than as a stop-gap between continuing relief and development work.
  • Kishore Saint, one of Development in Practice's founding Editorial Advisers, shares his thoughts on the way forward for the journal as he prepares to stand down from his position.
  • The European Commission (EC) and other OECD countries would like a foreign investment treaty (or `multilateral investment agreement') within the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This would allow foreign companies to establish themselves with 100 per cent equity in all sectors (except security) in any WTO country; and receive `national treatment' on a par with local firms. National policies favouring local enterprises or facilities would be deemed discriminatory, and thus illegal under WTO rules. The penalties for non-compliance with WTO agreements are extensive. This article explores the grave implications of such a treaty for developing countries, and suggests alternatives that are available to them.
  • Agrarian reform or land reform has virtually disappeared from the international development agenda since the 1980s. However, many people's organisations (POs) and NGOs in Third World countries are attempting to restore it as a development priority and policy imperative. The Philippines provides an example of agrarian reform that is currently being implemented within a democratic political framework which, while not without problems, presents an opportunity for a meaningful change for small farmers and landless peasants. In 1989, PhilDhrra, a network of NGOs in the Philippines, initiated a tripartite mechanism and programme among POs, NGOs, and government to facilitate the land reform process, which is showing encouraging results in several provinces.
  • This two-part article explores the experience of living and working for a poverty-focused NGO in a civil war whose roots lay in the chronically inequitable distribution of power and access to resources. Based on 12 years' work in Central America, principally with refugees from El Salvador, the article reflects on the demands and constraints placed on international aid workers in the context of counter-insurgency; and on the ways in which relationships with local organisations and NGOs are affected. Empowerment and participation are examined from the perspective of those who reject their role as war victims.
  • The author discusses her involvement, as a member of the Indian Women's Movement (IWM), in campaigning for increased protection under Indian law for women, and children, from sexual assault of any kind. The law at present has large gaps in it, and is formulated with the joint aims of protecting `virginal' women and protecting men at risk from the false allegations of low caste, impoverished, sexually-aware women. The evolution of the current law is presented, with examples of injustices, suggested areas for future lobbying, and pleas to ensure that victims are not revictimised by lobbyists themselves. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development and Rights.
  • The author examines the effect of forced evictions and homelessness on children, in the long and short-term, psychologically and physically. Housing, land, and legal rights fail to protect children, she argues, and poor people need greater access to legal advice on how evictions can be resisted. There is rarely coherent policy about the status of street children, resulting in their further marginalisation and criminalisation. Slums and squatter camps are symptomatic of urban development and acknowledging this is the first step towards providing the infrastructure necessary to prevent damaging millions of children and their families in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The insecurity of land tenure in Uganda has been a critical issue in the economic development of the country. The development of an equitable land distribution policy is discussed. Information is presented on: the historical background of land tenure systems (noting the difference in land tenure systems: Mailo, freehold, leasehold, the Busulu (ground rent) and Envujo (commodity rents) law, and the 1975 Land Decree); the work of the Technical Committee; and issues raised by the proposed reform (land as a technical question, over-riding economic considerations, avoidance of social issues, the sale of land, compensation, the plight of rural pastoralists, a ceiling on land acquisition, a uniform land tenure system, and the timing of implementation). It is concluded that the proposed land reform in Uganda does not promise to balance technical, economic, social, and political criteria. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • The authors describe the extent of the trade in mainly rural Nepalese women, sold into prostitution and bonded labour in Asia and the Middle East, often by their families, because of poverty. The organisation Women Acting Together for Change (WATCH) works for and with these women, aiming to empower victims and to change the way women are perceived in Nepalese society and law. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development with Women.
  • The development of an unionized work force in the north-east of Brazil is described. The area has seen considerable growth in the export markets for grapes and mangoes which provides significant employment; other areas of employment are in labour-intensive crops, for example tomatoes and onions. The paper discusses: some new union strategies, improvements for wage labourers, and some of the limited victories that have been achieved with the work of the NGO, Oxfam. It is argued that there are limits to this kind of development model given the low value of the wages earned by the workers. The conclusion proposes considerable networking amongst unions and NGOs with the aim of providing information that may allow them to define and implement new directions for development. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Social Action.
  • In English only
  • Afghan NGOs have been a major provider of humanitarian aid throughout the Afghan conflict. They remained operational during this period by `dancing' with and between the various parties to the conflict, their survival contingent on their ability to build ad hoc patterns of alliance and Cupertino. This article explores the nature of `the dance' between NGOs, the warring parties, and the NGOs' constituencies. It asks whether `dancing with the prince' represents an accommodation with violence or is a necessary compromise which will ultimately contribute to resolving the conflict. It concludes by drawing out key lessons for donors who support indigenous NGOs operating in complex political emergencies. An updated version of this article is freely available as a chapter in Development NGOs and Civil Society.
  • An analysis is presented of research carried out in 1995, focusing on programmes funded by an NGO, Oxfam, as the basis of a case study of the Ugandan health sector. The involvement of NGOs in service provision for the state in Uganda is discussed together with the changing trends in aid distribution and what they mean for NGOs, the state and for their relationship with each other. Sections consider whose responsibility it is to provide a viable health service, and the importance of NGO support for the health service in Uganda. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development NGOs and Civil Society.
  • In 1994, the UN Volunteers programme (UNV) and UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) collaborated on a research project, Volunteer Contributions to Social Integration at the Grassroots: the Urban or `Pavement Dimension'. The author describes how the researchers hope to contribute to understanding of how global forces erode community structures, including the way governments increasingly privatise public services, and highlights the challenges and potential rewards for communities which voluntarily pull together to change their circumstances.
  • 40 participants from 24 countries took part in this workshop, organised by the International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC) in Oxford, UK. Much of the workshop was spent trying to reach agreement on what civil society means, and the degree to which it can be conceptually separated from the State, and reinforced by NGOs. Another concern was that Northern and Southern NGOs' understandings of civil society were often different; the Northern interpretation was accused of being donor-driven and neo-imperialist, and there were general concerns that less powerful groups could be assimilated by stronger organisations attempting to impose `togetherness' and `co-operation'.
  • The Kebkabiya project was the first of Oxfam's operational development projects instigated during the 1980s to initiate a handover to community management. It therefore offers a possible model to other operational projects considering their eventual future. This article analyses the processes of handover into those affecting operational control of service delivery, management control, and the project's financial base. It argues that a handover, if it is to be successful and sustainable, must be treated as a complex set of activities requiring a long time framework, much like any other developmental process.
  • There is growing interest in organisational and institutional development, or capacity-building, but little understanding of what these involve in practice. This article provides a case-study of a successful long-term programme of institutional development, which built the capacities of the Tibetan refugee community in development planning. The primary focus is on key features for adaptation by development practitioners. The authors also clarify some of the confusions in the debate on organisational and institutional development.
  • New communication technologies may be a mixed blessing for tropical African states. They could foster development, by promoting health, education, agriculture, entertainment, business and tourism; and also enhance international trade and regional Cupertino. However, these technologies might accentuate the gap between the rich and poor, creating a society characterised by an information-rich elite and an information-poor underclass. In an age when information is power, this could devastate countries that are facing the problems of poverty, disease, hunger, and political instability. Ultimately, these technologies might also jeopardise the sovereignty, security, human rights and, consequently, the development of countries in tropical Africa.
  • NGOs are using `civil society' to mean different things: the author argues that the wide definition means that any potential partner organisation becomes a civil-society organisation, and that consideration of the conditions that are central to a community organisation becoming a civil organisation may be useful in helping NGOs focus on the quality of the associations they choose. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development NGOs and Civil Society.
  • An examination is presented of an NGO project in Zambia, focusing on its approach, its specific consequences for local participation, potential for sustainability and its ability to hold the government accountable for how its uses public resources. Sections focus on: channeling food aid; and food for work programmes. It is concluded that unless aid projects make it a priority to establish or reinforce mechanisms by which existing, locally available resources are mobilized and used effectively in resolving the problems of the poor, they cannot contribute to laying a basis for further development. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader [13]Development, NGOs, and Civil Society. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development NGOs and Civil Society.
  • A description is presented of the development of NGOs in Brazil from small grassroots movements into over a 1000 specialized and consolidated organizations in 1996. NGOs generally operate through one or more of six inter-related activities: applied research; grassroots organizations; training and technical assistance; information sharing; public policy advocacy; and networking. The important role they play in promoting debate on public policy at the grassroots level is highlighted. The growth of the Anti-Poverty Campaign started in 1993 through the efforts of several leading NGOs is an illustration of the influential role NGOs now hold in Brazilian society. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • An analysis is presented of the expansion of the NGO, the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) in Gujarat, India following the approval of a #10 million grant for rural development from the European Union. The challenge facing the NGO is to scale up the kind of community based development which it has been successful at to a size that has an impact on a larger number of people. The grassroots approach adopted by the AKRSP is examined and the need to maintain this approach despite the increase in programme size highlighted and the problems this creates are outlined. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • The authors report on a neighbourhood-based sanitation service set up in Dar es Salaam using appropriate technology for emptying pit latrines; the Manual Pit Latrine Emptying Technology (MAPET) project. The participatory development process and use of technology fitting the localised scale of the project contributed to its success, while notable lessons learned include the need for the cooperation of a local agency (whether an NGO or local government) in purchasing and replacing equipment.
  • The author briefly discusses the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, negotiated and adopted by 189 countries at the Fourth World Conference on Women in September 1995, and how it promises that governments will take responsibility for its implementation, while recognising the roles NGOs have to play.
  • In English only
  • This article challenges the recent uncritical enthusiasm for the potential of micro-finance institutions to reduce poverty. It is argued that, although understanding about how to design anti-poverty financial intermediation has improved, the current campaign to increase resource allocation in this sector may undermine the very sustainability that is being sought. Further, studies of the impact of micro-enterprise credit suggest that it is not necessarily beneficial to very poor people. Interventions in the provision of financial services should not be made without locally specific analysis of the functions of existing savings and credit facilities. An emphasis on scale acts as a disincentive to such analysis, and increases the risk of the re-emergence of a `blueprint' approach to anti-poverty action.
  • Mala milk is a cultured dairy beverage of consistent quality that can keep for four days without refrigeration, and up to three weeks with refrigeration. It offers important nutritional benefits for rural consumers, can be produced in simple facilities with a capacity of 500 litres per day or more, and is less complicated than cheesemaking. The production of mala milk in Kenya is discussed, and the equity trust approach is described. An innovative approach to the provision of financing, technical and managerial assistance proved successful for the establishment of small, community-owned mala milk plants in Kenya. Implemented by Techno-Serve-Kenya, this activity received core financial and technical assistance from Appropriate Technology International and enterprise finance from several other donors. The benefits of operating mala milk production in this way are noted. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.
  • The author comments on research into poor urban women's survival strategies done in Zambia in 1994, funded by the Natural Resources Department of the British government's Overseas Development Administration. Chilimba is an informal savings and credit system, one variation of the ROSCAs (Rotating Savings and Credit Associations) successfully in use throughout Africa and elsewhere. The author discusses the potential for intervention designed to enable those with no capital or regular income to participate, and to increase and widen the benefits gained from participation.
  • As markets are increasingly deregulated and government control over public service provision loosens, so the importance of effective urban management is growing. No longer directly providing urban services, governments should now, the author argues, perform an `enabling' role, planning and co-ordinating provision. Werna reports on case studies from Bangladesh, Kenya and Brazil, and discusses the common problems faced in these very different urban environments and how local government authorities can work to close the growing gulf between service management and provision.
  • In Bangladesh, government organisations and non-governmental organisations are implementing programmes and energy-saving projects in an effort to save the environment. This article examines such programmes in the specific area of improved stove technology. It shows that inadequate assessment of the environment by environmentalists and development practitioners has led them to select inappropriate technology that has resulted in the failure to incorporate women in the energy-saving movement. It identifies the reasons behind women's rejection of a technology that was imposed rather than based on an appreciation of their distinct problems, culture, and ecology.