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The No-Nonsense Guide to International Development

(No-Nonsense Guides)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  13 reviews
“Overseas aid” and “international development” are catch-all terms that cover a multitude of activities—and abuses. This guide explains what “development” actually is—and explores its political and economic roots. It shows what can happen in the name of development and argues for a more organic, social approach with those it seeks to serve as equal partners in the process. ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by New Internationalist (first published 2002)
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May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Maggie Black traces how international development came into being in the 1960s and has subsequently evolved up to the present day.

The author argues that too much development work assumes that the poor are merely passive victims and that the paternal hand of some distant government is what is needed to lift them out of their distress. This assumption, both arrogant and incorrect, ironically becomes self-fulfilling, leading to policy that disempowers the poor from shaping their own
John Miller
Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
no nonsense!
Clear and practices about how IFM and World Bank runs the 3th words
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
A fast read about international development's history and future. The statistics are staggering. "10 million people a year are displaced due the construction of dams and urban transportation systems. Compare to 12 million annually with wars and other 'disasters'." I enjoyed this book, read it in about a week, and recommend it as an introductory text. It discredits the historical Marshall Plan style of development, which has attempted to funnel infrastructure investment in a massive global scale. ...more
Babak Fakhamzadeh
Although the book, which is part of a series of no-nonsense guides, is utterly compact and Black could write a bit more accessibly, the book gives a good overview of the state of international development and its change of concepts over the past 50 years, since the 'race' was first initiated by Harry Truman with his vision of a 'Marshall Plan for Africa'.

Over the past 50 years 'development', at least in theory, has changed its focus from macro-economic change, for example building dams or explo
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Figures that I had to move to DC before I found and read this book (and that my thesis studied a country where aid/development efforts had repeatedly failed). Maggie Black, the author, is pretty well written on the topics of international development. If I were to summarize her views throughout the book: Aid/Development have repeatedly failed. They're doing a little better, but have a long way to go. She captures this eloquently (though her fondness for passive sentences can be offputting). I'd ...more
Mark Harris
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: global
A much more balanced discussion about international development than the introduction would lead you to believe. A rational reiteration of Easterly and others' assertion that indigenous boots on the ground develop and maintain projects better than the aid complex. A quick and interesting read, but little new for those who have been paying attention.
Jan 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat dated, but balanced in general terms, although the authors introductory and closing statements would lead one to believe that the case against technocratic development efforts is more solidly one-sided.
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the book takes a panoramic view of Development as witnessed from the post World War II onwards to date. A lot of events that i thought i knew fell into place
Another entry in this series that tries to explain complex international issues to high school students. Needs to be updated given the 2002 publishing date.
Helen Lewis
A good primer but I'd like to see an updated version.
More case studies of what worked and what has not would be good.
Jacob Pallone
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easy to follow. Well written overview of a very complex topic. Definitely a good starting point if wanting to venture into the details of international development studies.
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Essential reading for anyone working in the development sector or people with an interest in making our planet more liveable.
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Maggie Black is the author of several publications including From Handpumps to Health: The Evolution of Water and Sanitation Programmes in Bangladesh, India and Nigeria and In the Twilight Zone: Child Workers in the Hotel, Tourism and Catering Industry. She has worked as a consultant for UNICEF, Anti-Slavery International, and WaterAid, among others, and has written for The Guardian, The Economist ...more

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