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The Anomalous Nature of Development Success: A case study from China

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Seth Cook and Huilan Wei examine a successful rainwater harvesting project in northwest China. They argue that while the project is an anomaly in its success, it holds many lessons for how development projects can be conducted more effectively. In order to be sustainable, the authors contend that development projects should first try to guarantee peasant subsistence; build upon indigenous techniques and knowledge; focus on pressing but frequently overlooked problems that people in developing countries face in everyday life; and limit projects to tinkering with what already exists while eschewing a ‘grand design’ approach. In order to move from a situation where successful projects are the exception, to one where they are the rule, it requires fundamental re-thinking of the approach that development agencies take to projects.Development (2002) 45, 76–80. doi:10.1057/palgrave.development.1110383
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 1Yale School of Forestry, USA 2: 2Institute of Economics and Management, Lanzhou University, PR China

Publication date: 2002-09-01

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