Helping People Help Themselves: From the World Bank to an Alternative Philosophy of Development Assistance

By David Ellerman

Foreword by Albert O.Hirschman



xx + 336 pages

9.5 x 6.25 inches

ISBN: 81-89487-08-6

Rs 625

For sale in India only

Helping People Help Themselves grew out of David Ellerman’s ten years at the World Bank – and particularly out of his three years as advisor and speechwriter for Joseph Stiglitz during Stiglitz’s tumultuous term as the Bank’s Chief Economist. The book provides a structural critique of the World Bank’s approach to development assistance, but the main purpose is to lay the intellectual foundations for an alternative approach. The book takes a broad interdisciplinary approach drawing from educational theory, management theory, community organizing, psychology, and philosophy. While many thinkers are discussed, there is a focus on eight individuals who have wrestled with the fundamental conundrum of giving external help that promotes (rather than thwarts) self-help. These include: Albert Hirschman, John Dewey, Paulo Freire, E.G. Schumacher, Douglas McGregor, Carl Rogers, Saul Alinsky, and Søren Kierkegaard. Helping People Help Themselves might be considered the companion volume, focusing on the World Bank, to Stiglitz’s Globalization and Its Discontents, which focused on the IMF.

David Ellerman is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of California at Riverside.