Friday, May 23, 2008

Human Potential as Development

As I've been delving into the area of sustainable development and poverty reduction over the past couple of weeks, a few themes have emerged.

1. Development projects work best when individuals at the grassroots set out to identify and solve their own problems, not when outside agencies and individuals come in to identify and solve their problems.

2. The most meaningful forms of development projects are those that unlock the capacity of the individual at the grassroots to do exactly that -- to believe in their own potential to address their own problems, and to develop the moral capacity to do so in a just and honest way.

3. Lack of money is usually not the biggest problem. There is lots of money and international aid available. The challenge is spending it in a meaningful way, and again, it goes back to having individuals within communities identify the meaningful ways to address their social and economic problems.

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