Archive for November 19th, 2014

Stop trying to save the world…why we should “dream smaller” in economic development?

November 19, 2014

Michael Hobbes, a long time development practitioner has written this really useful piece on economic development (HT: MR Blog).

In a longish piece he points how development world gets crazy about an idea and then oversells it to rest of the world. So we keep seeing fads come and go with overall development remaining unchanged. What is worse is that just because we see some positive result in a really small experiment in a small place, the experts sell it as the solution. The hype is built up for some years only to see plenty of dollars wasted and no progress.

The idea is not to shun these dev programs. But just have much smaller targets (dreams) and be really humble over its claims. Starts with this interesting example of Playpump:


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