Friday, 30 May 2008

Trust the Development Experts

William Easterly is not known for complacent views, but he's outdone himself in his latest piece announcing the "end of the development expert paradigm". Well written, obviously, with views we could all probably (partially) agree with. There's surely much to be learnt.

Even if there's not, it certainly gives an opening for an interesting discussion (just think of the avalanche Fukuyama caused proclaiming "the end of history"). I have a soft spot for 'extremist academics'. Where, for instance, would pro-poor business would be if Prahalad and Hart hadn't published "The Bottom of The Pyramid"? Not as far as we have come now.

Luckily post-modern approaches are best for just that - discussions, not decisions. What do you think; how useful are development experts?

An interesting response to the article can be found here. The full text is here.