Friday, August 27, 2010

Not a blank slate

Water Wellness confesses the end of a illusion:
I realized the flaw in my assumptions: the environment I entered was not a blank slate.
When thinking of development in rural Africa, I can see how it would be easy to make this assumption. Most images of the Sub-Saharan portray dry, desolate landscapes that conjure feelings of remoteness and destitution. Yet even rural Malawi is awash with NGOs, private sector activities, religious groups, community organizations, and government programs to name just a few. Despite their proximity, effective coordination is a rare occurrence. Most organizations seem to make the same assumption: that their program is filling some kind of void and takes precedence. ... Rural Malawi is anything but a blank slate.

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