Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and by David Mosse

By David Mosse

Improvement firms and researchers are preoccupied with coverage; with exerting impact over coverage, linking examine to coverage and with enforcing coverage all over the world. yet what if improvement perform isn't really pushed by way of coverage? feel that the issues that make for 'good coverage' - coverage that legitimises and mobilises political help - in truth make it very unlikely to enforce? by way of focusing intimately at the unfolding actions of a improvement venture in western India over greater than ten years, because it falls less than diverse coverage regimes, this booklet takes an in depth examine the connection among coverage and perform in improvement. David Mosse exhibits how the activities of improvement employees are formed via the exigencies of enterprises and the necessity to keep relationships instead of by way of coverage; but in addition that improvement actors paintings toughest of all to take care of coherent representations in their activities as cases of authorized coverage. elevating unusual questions, Mosse presents a unprecedented self-critical mirrored image on perform, whereas refusing to propose present post-modern dismissal of improvement.

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Extra info for Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice

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For one thing, the agency lacked an overall strategic policy, and, as one adviser put it, ‘policy statements were made in response to international concerns about issues – holes in the ozone layer, carbon, environmental concerns, human rights concerns, famine, drought’, or ministerial pronouncements (for example, Margaret Thatcher’s 1989 Conservative Conference speech which committed a hundred million to forests). For another, shifting power and influence within ODA, and especially the rising importance of the Social Development Advisers (SDAs) under new leadership from 1987, meant that external pressure on matters of poverty, participation or gender, could for the first time be registered as strategically important.

But as the design wins more supporters, it also takes on more agendas; it is ‘a sentence that becomes more and more complex and more and more reasonable … it becomes so complete, so comprehensive, so enveloping, so detailed, that volumes of reports and specifications are needed to contain it’ (Latour 1996: 103). The corollary of enrolment is, of course, the exclusion of other frames, perspectives and approaches – technical, commercial and political. And there were strategic silences on questions such as land reform or conflicts over tenure, or local corruption or state violence against tribals (especially of the police or Forest Department).

In reality, while I draw from the stories of other actors, it is my experience, values and interpretations, my self-critical (or therapeutic; see Pels 2000, cited in Eyben 2003: 6) judgements, my historical sense derived from being part of the originary design team, and my continuing involvement that impose coherence; it is my narrative that becomes the meta-narrative. Mine is an interested interpretation not a scientific judgement; it adds interpretations to those of actors whose experience I share (cf.

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