May 12, 2012

How to do development?

If I were to do it all again, I wouldn't design a solution. It isn't my place to do that. What I'd do is try and be a useful resource for a group of people or a community that have a much better understanding of their problems than I do, and want to work together toward finding solutions. I wouldn't come in as the guy with the answer. I'd come in as the guy willing to try and help them in any way possible as they find their own answer, and act as the bridge between that answer, and the money and resources needed to make it happen.
That is Quinn Zimmerman who describes his experiences doing development work in Haiti. It is worth reading the whole post, including the comments. 
He continues:
Or, perhaps if I really wanted to help, I wouldn't ever come to Haiti to begin with.
An NPR interview with Zimmerman is here.  
HT: @viewfromthecave

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