| Forestry training manual for the Africa region |
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- Restate the importance of local resources so the trainees can again register this statement,
- Identify local resources, where to find them, how to approach them,
- National and international resource identification.
What happens when a Volunteer really needs outside help? Have they looked at all the alternatives? Human? Monetary? In this session we once again dwell on finding local resources and outside help. The implications of bringing in outside help are explored. The where, who, and how to locate funds is explained in detail.
Flip chart, marker pens, tape
1. Article by E.F. Schumacher
2. Catalogs, guidelines, newsletters from funding sources for display and perusal by the trainees.
Exercise 1 Resources
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This exercise re-emphasizes the importance of first looking within your own community. After having exhausted all community resources, what do Volunteers do next, to whom do they go and how do they ask for resource assistance?
1. The trainer lectures on resources using the following outline posted on newsprint.
A. Do you really need outside help?
1. Have you exhausted local solutions?
2. What are the implications of outside help?
b. Non-support of local potential,
3. Schumacher - Development depends upon people not resources.
B. If you really need help:
1. What sources are available?
a. $ $ $ $ $,
b. In kind: material, equipment, supplies,
c. Information/technical assistance.
2. What sources?
Private: clubs, service organizations, professional associations, churches,
Government: local, national.
Private: Development groups, universities,
Government: UNDP-FAO, AID, Peace Corps ICE, British, Swiss, USDA Experimental Station, Puerto Rico.
C. How does one find out about them?
1. Curiosity, creativity,
2. Clearinghouse - TAICH, Catalogs-FAO, USDA, Newsletters,
3. Write - Wait.
D. How to get the most?
1. Be aware of their a. speciality, b. interest.
2. Follow their system or format.
3. Advance by stages.
2. If available, newsletters, catalogs and funding guidelines should be displayed through which the participants can browse.
Trainer’s Note: If no one on the training staff feels comfortable with this lecture, you could probably convince the PTO from Peace Corps to do this one.
by E. F. Schumacher
(from: Small is Beautiful)
A British Government White Paper on Overseas Development some years ago stated the aims of foreign aid as follows:
To do what lies within our power to help the developing countries to provide their people with the material opportunities for using their talents, of living a full and happy life and steadily improving their lot.
It may be doubtful whether equally optimistic language would be used today, but the basic philosophy remains the same. There is, perhaps, some disillusionment: the task turns out to be much harder than may have been thought--and the newly independent countries are finding the same. Two phenomena, in particular, are giving rise to world-wide concern-mass unemployment and mass migration into cities. For two-thirds of mankind, the aim of a "full and happy life" with steady improvements of their lot, if not actually receding, seems to be as far away as ever. So we had better have a new look at the whole problem.
Many people are having a new look and some say the trouble is that there is too little aid. They admit that there are many unhealthy and disrupting tendencies but suggest that with more massive aid one ought to be able to overcome them. If the available aid cannot be massive enough for everybody, they suggest that it should be concentrated on the countries where the promise of success seems most credible. Not surprisingly, this proposal has failed to win general acceptance.
One of the unhealthy and disruptive tendencies in virtually all developing countries is the emergence, in an ever more accentuated form, of the "dual economy" in which there are two different patterns of living as widely separated from each other as two different worlds. It is not a matter of some people being rich and others being poor, both being united by a common way of life: it is a matter of two ways of life existing side by side in such a manner that even the humblest member of the one disposes of a daily income which is a high multiple of the income accruing to even the hardest working member of the other. The social and political tensions arising from the dual economy are too obvious to require description.
In the dual economy of a typical developing country, we may find fifteen per cent of the population in the modern sector, mainly confined to one or two big cities. The other eighty-five per cent exists in the rural areas and the small towns. For reasons which will be discussed, most of the development efforts goes into the big cities, which means that eighty-five per cent of the population is largely bypassed. What is to become of them? Simply to assume that the modern sector in the big cities will grow until it has absorbed almost the entire population--which, is of course, what has happened in many of the highly developed countries--is utterly unrealistic. Even the richest countries are groaning under the burden which such a maldistribution of population inevitably imposes.
In every branch of modern thought, the concept of "evolution" plays a central role. Not so in development economies, although the words "development" and "evolution" would seem to be virtually synonymous. Whatever may be the merit of the theory of evolution in specific cases, it certainly reflects our experience of economics and technical development. Let us imagine a visit to a modern industrial establishment, say a great refinery. As we walk around in its vastness, through all its fantastic complexity, we might well wonder how it was possible for the human mind to conceive such a thing. What an immensity of knowledge, ingenuity, and experience is here incarnated in equipment. How is it possible? The answer is that it did not spring ready-made out of any persons's mind--it came by a process of evolution. It started quite simply, then this was added and that was modified, and so the whole thing became more and more complex. But even what we actually see in this refinery is only, as we might say, the tip of the iceberg.
What we cannot see on our visit is far greater than what we can see' the immensity and complexity of the arrangements that allow crude oil to flow into the refinery and ensure that a multitude of consignments of refined products, properly prepared, packed and labelled, reaches innumerable consumers through a most elaborate distribution system. All this we cannot see. Nor can we see the intellectual achievements behind the planning, the organizing, the financing and marketing. Least of all can we see the great educational background which is the precondition of all extending from primary school to university and specialized research establishments, and without which nothing of what we actually see would be there. As I said, the visitor sees only the tip of the iceberg, there is ten times as much somewhere else, which he cannot see, and without the "ten", the "one" is worthless. And if the "ten" is not supplied by the country or society in which the refinery has been erected, either the refinery simply does not work or it is, in fact, a foreign body depending for most of its life on some other society. Now, all this is easily forgotten, because the modern tendency is to see and become conscious of only the visible and to forget the invisible things that are making the visible possible and keep it going.
Could it be that the relative failure of aid, or at least our disappointment with the effectiveness of aid, has something to do with our materialist -philosophy which makes us liable to overlook the most important precondition of success, which are generally invisible? Or if we do not entirely overlook them, we tend to treat them just as we treat material things--things that can be planned and scheduled and purchased with money according to some all-comprehensive development plan. In other words, we tend to think of development, not in terms of evolution, but in forms of creation.
Our scientists incessantly tell us with the utmost assurance that everything around us has evolved by small mutations sieved out through natural selection. Even the Almighty is not credited with having been able to create anything complex. Every complexity, we are told, is the result of evolution. Yet our development planners seem to think that they can do better than the Almighty, that they can create the most complex things at one throw by a process called planning, letting Athene spring, not out of the head of Zeus, but out of nothingness, fully armed, resplendent, and viable.
Now, of course, extraordinary and unfitting things can occassionally be done. One can successfully carry out a project here or there. It is always possible to create small ultra-modern islands in a pre-industrial society. But such islands will then have to be defended, like fortresses, and provisioned, as it were by helicopter from far away, or they will be flooded by the surrounding sea. Whatever happens, whether they do well or badly, they produce the "dual economy" of which I have spoken. They cannot be integrated into the surrounding society, and tend to destroy its cohesion.
We may observe in passing that similar tendencies are at work even in some of the richest countries, where they manifest as a trend toward excessive urbanization, toward "megalopolis", and leave, in the midst of affluence, large pockets of poverty-stricken people, "drop-outs", unemployed and unemployables.
Until recently, the development experts rarely referred to the dual economy and its twin evils of mass unemployment and mass migration into cities. When they did so, they merely deplored them and treated them as transitional. Meanwhile, it has become widely recognized that time alone will not be the healer. On the contrary, the dual economy, unless consciously counteracted, produces what I have called a "process of mutual poisoning", whereby successful industrial development in the cities destroys the economic structure of the hinterland, and the hinterland takes its revenge by mass migration into the cities, poisoning them and making them utterly unmanageable. Forward estimates made by the World Health Organization and by experts like Kingsley Davies predict cities of twenty, forty and sixty million inhabitants, a prospect of "immiseration" for multitudes of people that staggers the imagination.
Is there an alternative? That the developing countries cannot do without a modern sector, particularly where they are in direct contact with the rich countries, is hardly open to doubt. What needs to be questioned is the implicit assumption that the modern sector can be expanded to absorb virtually the entire population and that this can be done fairly quickly. The ruling philosophy of development over the last twenty years has been: "What is best for the rich must be best for the poor." This belief has been carried to truly astonishing lengths, as can be seen by inspecting the list of developing countries in which the Americans and their allies and in some cases also the Russians have found it necessary and wait to establish "peaceful" nuclear reactors--Taiwan, South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, Turkey, Portugal, Venezuela -- all of them Countries whose overwhelming problems are agriculture and the rejuvenation of rural life, since the great majority of their poverty-stricken peoples live in rural areas.
The starting point of all our considerations is poverty, or rather, a degree of poverty which means misery, and degrades and stultifies the human person, and our first task is to recognize and understand the boundaries and limitations which this degree of poverty imposes. Again, our creduly materialistic philosophy makes us liable to see only " the material opportunities" (to use the words of the White Paper which I have already quoted) and to overlook the immaterial factors. Among the causes of poverty, I am sure, the material factors are entirely secondary--such things as a lack of infrastructure. The primary causes of extreme poverty are immaterial, they lie in certain deficiencies in education, organization, and discipline.
Development does not start with goods: it starts with people and their education, organization and discipline. Without these three, all resources remain latent, untapped, potential. There are prosperous societies with but the scantiest basis of natural wealth, and we have had plenty of opportunity to observe the primacy of the invisible factors after the war. Every country, no matter how devastated, which had a high level of education, organization, and discipline, produced an "economic miracle". In fact, these were miracles only for people whose attention is focused on the tip of the iceberg. The tip had been smashed to pieces, but the base, which is education, organization and discipline was still there.
Here, then, lies the central problem of development. If the primary causes of poverty are deficiencies in these three respects, then the alleviation of poverty depends primarily on the removal of these deficiencies. Here lies the reason why development cannot be an act of creation, why it cannot be ordered, bought, comprehensively planned, why it requires a process of evolution. Education does not "jump"; it is a gradual process of great subtlety. Organization does not "jump" it must gradually evolve to fit changing circumstances. And much the same goes for discipline. All three must evolve step by step, and the foremost task of development policy must be to speed this evolution. All three must become the property not merely of a tiny minority, but of the whole society.
If aid is given to introduce certain new economic activities, these will be beneficial and viable only if they can be sustained by the already existing educational level of fairly broad groups of people, and they will be truly valuable only if they promote and spread advances in education, organization, and discipline. There can be a process of stretching--never a process of jumping.
If new economic activities are introduced which depend on special education, special organization, and special discipline, such as are in way inherent in the recipient society, the activity will not promote healthy development but will be more likely to hinder it. It will remain a foreign body that cannot be integrated and will further exacerbate the problem of the dual economy.
It follows from this that development is not primarily a problem of economists, least of all for economists whose expertise is found on a crudely material philosophy. No doubt, economists of whatever philosophical persuasion have their usefulness at certain stages of development and for strictly circumscribed technical jobs, but only if the general guidelines of a development policy to involve the entire population are already firmly established.
The new thinking that is required for aid and development will be different from the old because it will take poverty seriously. It will not go on mechanically, sayings "What is good for the rich must also be good for the poor.. It will care for people--from a severely practical point of view. Why care for people? Because people are the primary and ultimate source of any wealth whatsoever. If they are left out, if they are pushed around by self-styled experts and high handed planners, then nothing can ever yield real fruit.