256 pages, Figures
This book tells the story of development studies in practice over the last 50 years through the work of one remarkable individual - Robert Chambers. His work has taken him from being a colonial officer in Kenya through training and managing large rural development projects to a fundamental critique of top-down development and the championing of participatory approaches. The contributors eloquently demonstrate how he has been at the centre of major shifts in development thinking and practice over this period, popularising terms that are now at the centre of the development lexicon such as vulnerability, multi-dimensional poverty, sustainable livelihoods and 'farmer first'. Robert Chambers played a major role in the massive growth in participatory approaches to development, and particularly the application of participatory methods in development research and appraisal. This has led to fundamental challenges to development practice, ranging from approaches to monitoring and evaluation to institutional learning and professional training. There is probably no-one who has had more influence on approaches to development in the past decades. "Revolutionizing Development" book offers a unique overview of these contributions in 32 concise chapters from authors who have been intimately involved as collaborators, critics and colleagues of Robert Chambers.
'A powerful influence on development doing and thinking, Robert Chambers provokes us to focus on what doesn't fit our neat categories, reversing our normal assumptions. He has transformed attitudes and behaviours through impelling us to reflect on how we work and what we do. This wonderful collection of perspectives on Robert's life and work reminds us how much a single person can do by being confident, pragmatic and willing to take risks.' Dr Camilla Toulmin, Director, International Institute for Environment and Development, London 'Robert Chambers has been an ardent advocate of a livelihood approach to development, a testimony to his holistic vision of sustainable human security and happiness. This book captures the essence of his many original contributions during the last fifty years. Through the "farmer first " approach he has shown the pathway for linking ecology, economics, equity and employment in a mutually reinforcing manner leading to food for all and forever.' Professor M S Swaminathan, Chairman, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Member of Indian Parliament (Rajya Sabha); and Chair, High Level Panel of Experts of the Committee on World Food Security of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation
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