All we need are brains

Hand Relief International is a very amusing blog, but presumably not widely read outside development circles. So it’s nice to see some satire on development reaching more mainstream sites, see here. And it’s got some bite, attacking one of the classic fallacies of development thinking: that all we need are some really bright people, and we can solve the problem of poverty in Africa and elsewhere. Clever people and new ideas can always help, of course, and too much development work is done like painting by numbers, but clever ideas need to fit with the real needs and context of poor people. And even then, outsiders’ brains can only help; ultimately development has to come from within individuals and communities, otherwise it will never be sustainable.

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