Manifest Destiny

Initially this post was going to be a thought provoking piece on the world of capacity building and transfer but I had to give that up.  I came to some conclusions I just couldn’t shake. 

1 – Development is supposed be about and is measured by impact on the ground.  I.e. How much we get people to change the way they live an act.  (This dovetails into the whole development is about profound personal and social change belief.  It also begs the question of who decides what these indicators and objectives are).

2 – This means development agents should be goal oriented.  We’re not about building people’s capacities.  We build their capacities so that they can act a certain way.  We’re like missionaries with a manifest destiny in our hearts.  Missionaries don’t teach people to read because they care, they teach them to read so they can read the bible, understand it and become god fearing Christians. 

3 – At the end of the day, capacity transfer, M&E, implementation support, training, empowerment all our work should lead to a significant movement forward on some sort of development indicator like, GDP growth per capita, lower mother and child mortality rates, increased number of children immunized etc…  Anything less could just be a waste of time.


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