Title
Aid as an encounter at the interface: the complexity of the global fight against poverty Aid as an encounter at the interface: the complexity of the global fight against poverty
Author
Faculty/Department
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Source (journal)
Third world quarterly / Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies [London] - London, 1979, currens
Volume/pages
25(2004) :5 , p. 871-885
ISSN
0143-6597
1360-2241
ISI
000223060500005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
International development discourse has recently shifted its focus from top‐down economic adjustment to participative anti‐poverty policy. This shift hints at an acknowledgement of the local complexities within the poverty process and at a need to listen to and develop actions with the poor. But, whereas the mainstream argument remains couched in a technical framework, we argue that the fight against poverty is inevitably political. Conceptualising the aid industry as a set of globallocal interfaces, it follows that a closer look at participation in anti‐poverty interventions is needed to come to grips with the political issues involved. Four issues are discussed: the complexity of local participation, given the polycephalous character of third world societies; the power biases in the aid chain; the potential problem of false consciousness; and the ambiguities of the role of local development brokers. We conclude that anti‐poverty policy is in need of interface experts, who, through provocation can beget participation.
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