Friday, September 30, 2011

Whose business is development?

Yesterday I came across this blog post at the World Bank Institute by Rakesh Rajani.

Rakesh raises some important questions, namely:
  1. Who are the experts who work with development?
  2. What systems do they follow to do their work?
  3. Do those systems yield the broad outcomes we expect?

He also recommends understanding citizen knowdo:
"So,what if instead of thinking of bringing in experts to fill in gaps in a community’s or a country’s capability, we identified how people are already analyzing problems and getting things done? This approach need not romanticize what ordinary people can do or actually do, but rather make their everyday, pragmatic knowhow—and knowdo—a starting point for development. The purpose of development then would not be to create and apply expert solutions, but rather to help enrich the conditions in which people can do more of what they already do well–by making it easier to get, compare, and share information; learn from each other and from outsiders how they have made things work; search, experiment with, and craft solutions; and team up to get things done."
Read the full post here. Rakesh is the current Head of Twaweza, which works with sister organizations Uwezo and Uwazi. All three organizations operate in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Polls and the media

"It's all part of the de-ideologising of mainstream discourse. You know who's ahead three points in the polls, but you have no idea why you should care."

Read more from Ted Rall's opinion piece on Al Jazeera here.