Context-Sensitive Development: How International NGOs Operate in Myanmar

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9781565495241: Context-Sensitive Development: How International NGOs Operate in Myanmar
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Development is a difficult undertaking in any environment, but much more so in places such as Myanmar with its perfect storm of extreme poverty, international sanctions, and political repression and human rights violations with concomitant conflicts within development organizations over norms and policies.

Context-Sensitive Development examines how to effect successful development interventions in Myanmar. Anthony Ware points out that while practitioners have questioned universal economic prescriptions for development, they have not been as consistent in questioning the normative foundations behind their work. Ware does not argue for a facile moral relativism; he sees Myanmar as an egregious violator of human rights, but he does call for context sensitivity to help organizations adapt their values to better meet the needs of client populations.

Through his years of practice in the field and extensive series of interviews, the author brings into focus key issues of perception and practice that are intrinsic to the development enterprise. Although the focus is on Myanmar as a quintessential difficult case, Ware shows how his conclusions can be used elsewhere. His book represents a major contribution to both development theory and practice, vital for both the classroom and the development organization in situ.

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About the Author:

Anthony Ware is Lecturer, School of International and Political Studies, Deakin University, Australia.

Review:

"The book presents an analysis of sociopolitical milieu for “Burmese days” and “Myanmar times” from historical perspectives and it highlights the topics of context sensitivity; while working with communities and dealing with stakeholders. But the real thrust of this book is the working style of INGOs in Myanmar which has a complex though not a unique operating environment for aid agencies. Such socio-political environment is found in many African and Asian countries. However, working in Myanmar is dancing with the devil without holding hands as the skeptical eyes of authoritarian regime cannot be ignored while designing the development projects there. Though, the book covers the case of Myanmar, due to its grounding in theoretical base of context’s sensitivity, it serves as a resource for understanding impacts of contextualization on the effectiveness of development projects in Myanmar and beyond."

"Ware's well-researched and detailed analysis of international NGOs in Myanmar advocates for culturally sensitive approaches to development and historically informed understandings of context rather than assumptions based on external imaginations of the country. The timing of the book is impeccable as donors lift sanctions and more and more international NGOs turn their attention to Myanmar. Ware's book serves as an essential guidepost to NGO workers and analysts of civil society navigating this new dawn."

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9781565495234: Context-Sensitive Development: How International NGOs Operate in Myanmar

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ISBN 10:  1565495233 ISBN 13:  9781565495234
Publisher: Kumarian Press, 2012
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