Northern words, Southern readings

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.