From the Earth Up

The typical approach within the international development sector globally draws on a basic theory of change. This approach uses a simple cause-and-effect model. For example, a food aid programme sees a man who is hungry so gives him a fish. The effect is that he is no longer hungry today. Alternatively, an intervention intended to reduce poverty through creating additional livelihood sources might teach a man to fish and give him the tools he needs to do so. The effect is that he has a source of income from selling his catch, so his income is increased and economic poverty is reduced. Cause-and-effect means facilitating an intervention and that resulting in the planned outcome.

Fishing boats in Upper West Region, Ghana Fishing boats in Upper West Region, Ghana

This is how development interventions are expected to achieve their intended outcomes. I am questioning whether this actually reflects the reality of how intended outcomes are achieved in practice…

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