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Showing posts from October, 2013

Book Review: Research for Development, A Practical Guide

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Research for Development is a comprehensive guide to commissioning, managing and undertaking research in development work. It is useful for students of development research and teachers looking for a robust and engaging teaching tool. Read my review here.
Sage Publications, 440 pp.

Link Pack | Debates on Poverty, Development and Resilience

Nothing like a good debate to wake one up! What I've been reading this week:
The Arrogance of Good Intentions: NYU Economist William Easterly reviews Nina Munk's book 'The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty' and questions Sachs's seductive message of eradicating poverty through western aid.  Going Against Duflo: Raj Patel critiques the Abhijit Banerji-Esther Duflo duo for focussing on 'what works' when tackling poverty, and ignoring critical contextual issues. [Key points: they ignore larger contextual issues, assume 'what works' in one place will work in other contexts, ignore ethical issues around randomised controlled trials]  On Measuring Resilience: A new paper from IDS on possible directions towards 'measuring' resilience. Resilience has become the new 'sustainable development' and by that I mean it is being championed as the new goal to aspire to and has found a dedicated following amongst development academi…

Discipline hopping: what does depression have to do with vulnerability science?

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You often hear of the virtues of thinking 'out of the box', developing interdisciplinary reading habits, opening our minds to different influences and ideas. In spite of this, interdisciplinarity is a difficult monster to tame, and one commonly falls back on familiar authors, known reading lists, well-worn and oft-searched keywords. Skirting the peripheries of one's own discipline seems revolutionary enough, exploring a new discipline appears just too time-consuming and uncomfortable.

Yesterday, I attended a talk by Professor Glen Wilson on 'The Black Dog: Causes and Cures for Depression'. Falling within psychology, the subject was many disciplines away from my research on farmer vulnerability to water scarcity and climate change in India. So what exactly was I doing in that hall? First, two people very dear to me suffer from some form of 'the black dog' and attending a lecture on it seemed like a way to understand their situation better. Secondly, exhaust…