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Programmed to fail? Development projects and the politics of participation

Kumar, Sanjay and Corbridge, Stuart (2002) Programmed to fail? Development projects and the politics of participation. The Journal of Development Studies, 39 (2). pp. 73-104. ISSN 0022-0388

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00220380412331322761


The Eastern India Rainfed Farming Project is in many respects a model development project. A joint venture of the governments of India and the UK, the EIRFP has been successful in improving farm-based livelihoods in Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal. But the Project might yet be considered a failure. It has not persuaded the poorest villagers in Jharkhand (our study area) to join or manage the self-help groups that are called for by the Project's Logical Framework. We show why this has been the case, and why such an outcome was entirely predictable. Development projects cannot be expected to change local systems of politics or stratification. But this does not mean that the EIRFP is a failure. It means that a development project will be destined to 'fail' when it is judged against unrealistic assumptions about the possibilities and merits of 'participation'.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2002 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD100 Land Use
J Political Science > JC Political theory
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2007
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 00:03

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