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For more than thirty-five years, Thomas W. Dichter has worked in the field of international development, managing and evaluating projects for nongovernmental organizations, directing a Peace Corps country program, and serving as a consultant for such agencies as USAID, UNDP, and the World Bank. On the basis of this extensive and varied experience, he has become an outspoken critic of what he terms the "international poverty alleviation industry." He believes that efforts to reduce world poverty have been well-intentioned but largely ineffective. On the whole, the development industry has failed to serve the needs of the people it has sought to help. To make his case, Dichter reviews the major trends in development assistance from the 1960s through the 1990s, illustrating his analysis with eighteen short stories based on his own experiences in the field. The analytic chapters are thus grounded in the daily life of development workers as described in the stories. Dichter shows how development organizations have often become caught up in their own self-perpetuation and in public relations efforts designed to create an illusion of effectiveness. Tracing the evolution of the role of money (as opposed to ideas) in development assistance, he suggests how financial imperatives have reinforced the tendency to sponsor time-bound projects, creating a dependency among aid recipients. He also examines the rise of careerism and increased bureaucratization in the industry, arguing that assistance efforts have become disconnected from important lessons learned on the ground, and often lessons of world history. In the end, Dichter calls for a more light-handed and artful approach to development assistance, with fewer agencies and experts involved. His stance is pragmatic, rather than ideological or political. What matters, he says, is what works, and the current practices of the development industry are simply not effective.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
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  1. Copyright Page
  2. p. iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xiii
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. p. xiv
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  1. INTRODUCTION: The Great Paradox of Development Assistance
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. Story One: Romance
  2. pp. 11-18
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  1. Story Two: Illusion
  2. pp. 19-22
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  1. CHAPTER ONE: The Developing World and Its Condition
  2. pp. 23-30
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  1. Story Three: A Straw in the Wind
  2. pp. 31-36
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  1. Story Four: Being Useful or Being Used
  2. pp. 37-47
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  1. CHAPTER TWO: The Evolution of the Idea of Development
  2. pp. 48-74
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  1. Story Five: Warm Bodies
  2. pp. 75-89
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  1. Story Six: Sliding toward Dependency
  2. pp. 90-97
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  1. CHAPTER THREE: Development Assistance as an Industry (the “Dev Biz”)
  2. pp. 98-110
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  1. Story Seven: Dedication
  2. pp. 111-123
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  1. Story Eight: Trying Simply to Help
  2. pp. 124-127
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  1. CHAPTER FOUR: Avoiding History
  2. pp. 128-134
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  1. Story Nine: The Helper and the Helped
  2. pp. 135-142
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  1. Story Ten: Confusing Stakes
  2. pp. 143-151
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  1. CHAPTER FIVE: The Consequences of Avoiding Certain Universals of Human Nature
  2. pp. 152-163
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  1. Story Eleven: Spare No Expense—the Very Best
  2. pp. 164-174
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  1. Story Twelve: For the People, By the People
  2. pp. 175-179
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  1. CHAPTER SIX: The Mismatch of Organizational Imperatives and Money
  2. pp. 180-196
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  1. Story Thirteen: Position, Not Condition
  2. pp. 197-214
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  1. Story Fourteen: Headless Chickens
  2. pp. 215-225
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  1. CHAPTER SEVEN: The Professionalization of Development
  2. pp. 226-238
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  1. Story Fifteen: Too Many Cooks
  2. pp. 239-245
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  1. Story Sixteen: Rhetorical Support
  2. pp. 246-256
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  1. CHAPTER EIGHT: Marketing Development
  2. pp. 257-270
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  1. Story Seventeen: Unintended Consequences
  2. pp. 271-280
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  1. Story Eighteen: The People’s Program
  2. pp. 281-285
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  1. CONCLUSION: The Case for a Radical Reduction in Development Assistance
  2. pp. 286-294
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  1. EPILOGUE
  2. pp. 295-296
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 297-299
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 301-303
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  1. Back Cover
  2. p. 305
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781613760826
Related ISBN
9781558493926
MARC Record
OCLC
647376217
Pages
320
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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