Articles authored by Overton, John


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.


While ‘rights-based’ approaches to development – those in which development and poverty alleviation are viewed through the lens of human rights – have become the language of choice among the international development community, less is known about how human rights are used for development at the local level. Using a case study of Fiji, this research investigates how local NGOs understand and use human rights for development. It demonstrates some of the tensions involved in translating broad and supposedly universal approaches to human rights into local contexts.

The aid effectiveness agenda has placed much emphasis on issues of recipient ownership, alignment, and donor harmonisation. It has affected the policies and practices of many donor agencies and promoted a drive to consult widely with partners in governments and civil society and encourage their active involvement in aid-funded development activities.