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The Development Context

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The Development Context

This study falls at the intersection of several key themes or debates in International Development. These include the debate about the role and effectiveness of official international assistance agencies, the body of thought on the micropolitical forces which shape the development assistance process, and the debate over the ecological limits to and sustainabiltiy of economic growth. The following sections will review the most important concepts and some of the authors associated with those themes.

1) What do international donor agencies do, and do they do it well? Some

discussion has been given in the literature to approach taken by international donor agencies to development assistance. For the most part, this discussion has focused on the fact that large governmental and bureaucratic agencies lack the flexibility to adapt to changing conditions and be effective at grassroots-level implementation. In a scathing condemnation of official international development assistance, Korten (1990) asserts that such efforts are defined by the bounds of bureaucratic convenience, and that there has been a strong preference in international assistance for short-term, narrowly-focused, and self-interested efforts.' Hellinger et al. (1988), in an assessment of the U.S. Agency for International Development, suggest that even when more farsighted and well-designed approaches emerge, they "face internal structures, operational procedures, and reward systems geared to promote objectives related primarily to expansionary ' David C. Korten, Getting to the 21st Century, West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press, 1990, pp. 36-137.

and survival interests of the AID bureaucracyi'

In the context of this criticism and dom...

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...r: Lynne Rienner. 1988.

Hirschmann, David. "Women and Political Participation in Africa". Public Domain. 1990.

Kasfir, Nelson. "Explaining Ethnic Political Participation". (in State of Development in the Third World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1986.)

Kolenda, Pauline. Caste in Contemporary India: Beyond Organic Solidarity. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. 1985.

Korten, David C. Getting to the 21st Century. West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press. 1990.

Lipsky, Michael. "The Rationing of Services in Street-Level Bureaucracies". Street-Level Bureaucracy. New York: Sage Foundation. 1980.

Meadows, Donella et al. Beyond the Limits. Post Mills, VT: Chelsea Green. 1992.

Robertson, C. and I. Berger. Women and Class in Africa. New York: Holmes & Meier. 1986. Ibid, p. 24.

Samarasinghe, Vidya. "Hangin' in at the Margin". Public Domain. 1992.
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