Ellerman on helping people

This page in:

A WB friend of mine is a huge David Ellerman fan and has been reading his latest book: Helping People Help Themselves : From the World Bank to an Alternative Philosophy of Development Assistance. He sent me this excerpt, where Ellerman sarcastically describes what he believes should to be the policy message being conveyed to policymakers by development agencies:

'To the best of our accumulated experience (which we deem to call knowledge), here is what works best in countries like yours. Why don't you study this experience..., take a look at these case studies, contact the people who designed those reforms, set up horizontal learning programs with those cases and try some experiments to see what works in your own country? After carrying out this learning process on your own, you might call us back if you feel we could help by partially but not wholly funding the reform program you have decided upon.'

Ellerman argues that the most important thing is to get away from the model of teaching as the transmission of knowledge from the development agency to the developing country. He favors a more organic learning process where developing countries share lessons and experiences between each other.

I have not read the book yet, but you can take a peak inside. An earlier 51 pg. précis of the book is also online.

Update: more from T&B and David Warsh.

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000