In the article by Millen, Irwin, and Kim, they address that oftentimes in development projects and aid, the attempts not only fail, but worsen the situation. This is not to say that aid projects are inherently “bad”, but the ways in which most of them are implemented are poor. Many development projects are put together and in place by the west. Thinkers and professionals come together to decide in which way the developing world will be best fixed. They use what Professor Gupta (IDS 100A) calls “scaling up”, which is the process of taking a development project that works in one small area and then applying it to the rest of the developing world. The people living in the affected regions are not truly respected, let alone involved.
If development is to work, the people living in these areas must be consulted extensively. They need to be made the center and most important aspect of the project, as they are those that will have to carry on the potential success. Also, who better to understand the problems of a community than those that live there. People coming from the industrialized world look at these people as the reason they are in the poverty they are in. It is rarely acknowledged that many of the hardships of the third world are vestiges and continuing affects of developed world. The global north sacrificed their global counterparts to achieve success, and then wonder why they haven’t been able to achieve the same in terms of development.
The developing world is ripe with intellectual innovation, that needs to be recognized. As this article shows, people with far less resources are able to come up with solutions to very serious problems. A man from India developed a simple and cheap means of producing sanitary pads.
Another example is of what started as a grassroots development project in Bangladesh. BRAC (Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee) developed a way to dramatically reduce diarrheal disease in children. They went from house to house for over ten years, as there small project became a huge NGO. By developing a way women could use household ingredients to save the lives of the children affected by diarrhea, they revolutionized the health care in the country. Projects like these are far more rewarding than those developed in a meeting room in the west and arbitrarily assigned to other areas of the world.