Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections

Edited by: 
Eade, Deborah

MImageany aid agencies adopt values-based approaches to development - requiring, for instance, that they should be rights-based, participatory, gender-equitable, and sustainable - but these approaches are often at odds with the methods that the agencies actually adopt. This selection of essays offers critical readings of fashionable tools such as Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and Logical Frameworks, in addition to presenting less familiar methods. Two central themes emerge: that a project-based approach tends to distort rather than illuminate the wider picture; and that whatever the ideology underpinning a given method, its impact will depend on the skills and understanding of those applying it. Introduced by Jo Rowlands, a Policy Adviser on Gender and Participation in Oxfam GB's UK Poverty Programme, this collection brings together articles from multilateral agencies, international NGOs, local development organisation, and academic institutions.

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Contents and Contributors

Deborah Eade

Beyond the comfort zone: some issues, questions, and challenges in thinking about development approaches and methods
Jo Rowlands

Dissolving the difference between humanitarianism and development: the mixing of a rights-based solution
Hugo Slim

Should development agencies have Official Views?
David Ellerman

Bridging the ‘macro’–‘micro’ divide in policy-oriented research: two African experiences
David Booth

Capacity building: shifting the paradigms of practice
Allan Kaplan

Capacity building: the making of a curry
William Postma

Operationalising bottom–up learning in international NGOs: barriers and alternatives
Grant Power, Matthew Maury, and Susan Maury

Organisational change from two perspectives: gender and organisational development
Penny Plowman

Beyond the ‘grim resisters’: towards more effective gender mainstreaming through stakeholder participation
Patricia L. Howard

Sustainable investments: women’s contributions to natural resource management projects in Africa
Barbara Thomas-Slayter and Genese Sodikoff

Critical Incidents in emergency relief work
Maureen Raymond-McKay and Malcolm MacLachlan

Tools for project development within a public action framework
David Wield

Ethnicity and participatory development methods in Botswana: some participants are to be seen and not heard
Tlamelo Mompati and Gerard Prinsen

Logical Framework Approach and PRA — mutually exclusive or complementary tools for project planning?
Jens B. Aune

Critical reflections on rapid and participatory rural appraisal
Robert Leurs

Participatory methodologies: double-edged swords
Eliud Ngunjiri

The Participatory Change Process: a capacity building model from a US NGO
Paul Castelloe and Thomas Watson

Two approaches to evaluating the outcomes of development projects
Marion Meyer and Naresh Singh



© Oxfam GB 2003.
ISBN 0 85598 494 5
All rights reserved.
Available from Stylus Publishing



‘This publication is as close yet to any examination of the flaws in peace-making processes which exclude the involvement of more than half the world‘s population. It should be required reading by all men and women in Defence Departments worldwide’.
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