Author: David Ellerman
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8189487086
Helping People Help Themselves grew out of David Ellerman’s ten years at the World Bank-and particularly out of his three years as advisor and speechwriter for Joseph Stiglitz during Stiglitz’s tumultuous term as the Bank’s Chief Economist. The book provides a structural critique of the World Bank’s approach to development assistance, but the main purpose is to lay the intellectual foundations for an alternative approach. The book takes abroad interdisciplinary approach drawing from educational theory, management theory, community organizing, psychology, and philosophy.
While many thinkers are discussed, there is a focus on eight individuals who have wrestled with the fundamental conundrum of giving external help that promotes (rather than thwarts) self-help. These include: Albert Hirschman, John Dewey, Paulo Freire, E f Schumacher, Douglas McGregor, Carl Rogers, Saul Alinsky, and Soren Kierkegaard. Helping People Help Themselves might be considered the companion volume, focusing on the World Bank, to Stiglitz’s Globalization and Its Discontents, which focused on the IMF.
A towering achievement. It outdoes Sen and Hirschman in its reach across economics, management theory, psychology, sociology, mathematics and philosophy. The result is a coherent alternative way of seeing the relationship between aid organizations based in rich countries and aid recipients based in poorer ones, and some practical suggestions on how to reengage the aid recipients based in poorer ones, and some practical suggestions on how to reengage the aid agencies more as helpers than as doers. Along the way it fairly sizzles with insider insights into the workings of the World Bank.
-Robert Hunter Wade,
London School of Economics, author of Governing the Market
Ellerman provides a compelling humanist understanding of how economic development aid can succeed, if only people and nations are enabled to help themselves.
FOREWORD BY ALBERT O HIRSCHMAN
Introduction & Overview
Internal & External Motivation: Beyond Homo Economicus
The Indirect approach
Indirect approaches: Intellectual History
Autonomy-Respecting Development Assistance
Knowledge-Based Development Assistance
Can Development Agencies Learn & Help Clients Learn?
Case Study: Assistance to the Transition Countries
Hirschmanian Themes of Social Learning & Change
APPENDIX: EIGHT THINKERS ON THE FIVE THEMES