When we talk about “development” work — in any form, there is this automatic assumption that the work that is being done is “good.” But this isn’t always the case. Help isn’t always good, especially when it is unwanted or forced. Often times the help given can be detrimental to the livelihoods of those that we are claiming to help. I like this quote for many reasons, but one is because it reminds us that ours is a collaborative work between equals. We cannot come from a place above to give help or aid, we must come as equals, humble and open, in order to share our dreams and collaboratively Dreamscape our world. Development can no longer be top-down imposition. It must be a collaborative endeavor.
My time in South Africa allowed me to witness the failures of development at the micro level. I was able to compliment my education and understanding of educational development at the macro level with work at the micro level. I was also able to glimpse a hope for us who are in this kind of work: The beauty of life.
There is a beauty in intentional living. However, development is so focused on intentional progress that rarely we look at the unintentional outcomes of our actions. …
I’ve been very fortunate that I started my internship as Molteno was finishing up a project. Despite my criticisms of the project, I’ve been able to put to use skills I learned in my quantitative and qualitative research classes. My fluency in STATA has been growing and I’ve been able to develop an efficient method to analyzing qualitative data in excel. Some of my favorite moments in this job is looking at the data, and deciphering how we could have implemented this project better. I’m a strong believer that monitoring and evaluation (M&E), when done right (and applied fairly), ensures…
In development, large initiatives and bold revolutions are often highlighted as the answer the the worlds problems — think Millennium Development Goals or the new Sustainable Development Goals. But this is wrong. What we need in development is not big revolutions with a capital R, but small revolutions. The kind that we find people doing everyday, in various schools and communities around the world. …
One of my critiques on the way current development work is done is that it focuses very heavily on implementing projects and programs on people without working with the people. It treats them as subjects instead of as people with agency. The lack of effective, collaborative efforts to enhance capacity is troubling. They are out there, but until recently they have been few and far between.
In articulating the concept of Dreamscaping, I wanted to highlight the positive and (in my view) appropriate approaches to development, of working with people instead of on people. In other words, treating people as…
Dreamscaping, like teaching, is a collective endeavor. And when we come together, even we can’t imagine the possibilities.
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Sagole Baobab — Largest Baobab Tree in South Africa in terms of overall size and dates to almost 2,000 years old.[/caption]
by Christian Kochon
Of late, I find myself deep in thought, pondering the diverse experiences that call South Africa home. A home, which now includes my experiences as well. And at the heart of these contemplations is the majestic beauty that is South Africa, and the ugliness that it masks.
If you’ve never been to South Africa, you might be mistaken into thinking that it consists of only a couple major cities with sprawling plains in between where tourists go on safari to watch the once mighty lion roar. But you’d be mistaken. In many ways, South Africa is similar…
I write this blog to you from Johannesburg, South Africa. It is not where I am from, but for the next few months it will be my home. I am here to fulfill a requirement for my Master’s program, interning at the Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy. While here, I will be collecting and analyzing data for one project that is coming to an end, and assisting with the development of a new project that is just beginning. I have also been tasked with unpacking a section of the national curriculum to turn it into a professional development program…
2015 is a big year in development. It marks the end of the (failed) Millennium Development Goals and the beginning of the Sustainable Development Goals, which the United Nations will officially adopt this fall. Given the transition, I thought it would be an appropriate time to reflect on the concept of development and the industry that it has spawned.
The concept of development is primarily viewed as a process of modernization. But this view of development is false. In reality, development is a continuation of the hegemonic practices of colonialism. …
Traveling, I lose myself
in strange places -
Only to find myself anticipating
experiences I had
No part in creating -
In loose spaces, places
of transient being
I recognize Being only to be eclipsed
by being beside myself.
Out of body, out of mind,
Out of sight.
I see without understanding
the wrongs that are within
I lose myself in strange places.
Only to emerge in
I face myself.
And I am startled to be meeting myself
for the very first time.