Rural Development

Here is the list of the posts related to rural development among indigenous people.
If you want to know the story behind, just go through the text below the list.

My early stages in development aid
The mistakes to avoid and the basic principles to adopt for building a right approach for development aid within indigenous communities.

What is development?
Believe me, the question is crucial. My answer is probably a little bit different from the general understanding. But it helps in promoting a respectful approach for development aid.

A methodology for development aid
… in indigenous rural areas. A methodology explained step by step with the help of a large diagram.

The same texts in the context of the story of my life in India.

Just after having got my degree in Geography, I flew to India with a wish to have some practical experiences in the field of development aid. Since then, I am involved in various programs in rural areas of India.

I started by working for a well-known NGO whose I won’t mention the name here. It was in Jharkhand in tribal villages where I really enjoyed my time. I enjoyed my work of course, but above all I have loved the company of the villagers and the beauty of the tribal villages, forests and lands. Of course, their lifestyle was very different from mine. And their level of comfort appeared to be very low. But somehow the villagers were much more smiling and relaxed than most of the urban or “advanced” citizen from India or from abroad.
Actually whenever I visit “my” tribal villages, I feel that there is an overall delightful atmosphere created by the natural environment and the attitude of the villagers. Later on, this feeling has given birth to a beautiful concept that I will explain in a future post: the “identity sphere”.

Anyway, I was there for development aid. So, being inexperienced, I tried to understand the work of the NGO and to fulfill my mission.
I’ve first understood that the beneficiaries of development aid programs are actually the victims of the global economic system, the castaways of our industrial civilization. Is development aid a solution for them? I strongly felt that being the beneficiaries of development programs, the villagers are forced to accept losing the control on their own destiny, they are forced to accept building a future that is not rooted in their traditions and cultural ground. And that has a lot of inherent side-effects for their social peace and their relations with nature. This is the hidden cost of organized development aid.

Rich of this understanding and having developed intimate friendship with many tribal villagers in Jharkhand I decided to launch my own program with them. Quickly I realized that to aid is not an easy matter. To do it in the context of an organization requires a sharp professional approach. Of course I did mistakes. But out of my mistakes I always learned good lessons. Read this post to know what I learned in my early stages as rural development professional.

After these experiences I was still convinced that a right approach for development aid can be devised. Naturally I have being wondering “what is development?” Some talk about indicators, other about economics, education, infrastructures, etc. Surprisingly, the concept is attached with adjectives changing over time: economic development, human development, sustainable development, participatory development, and so on.

I wished to have my personal understanding of what is development. I have lived in several tribal villages suffering from the modern industrial mechanisms. If, by chance, development is occurring in the villages where I used to spend time, then I should be able to identify and observe the development phenomena. The first idea that came to my mind was to discern the things that are changing. Basically development means changes, isn’t it?
What trigger these changes? How does it happen spontaneously?
I am sharing my findings in this post : What is development ?

My next step has been to find a way to intervene within rural indigenous communities as a professional of development aid while reducing the side-effects to the minimum?

Read this post: Methodology for development aid within indigenous rural communities.

Page under development, please visit later and follow the blog. 😉

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