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Finding a Way in International Development: Options for Ethical and Effective Work

Sarah Parkinson
Finding a Way in International Development: Options for Ethical and Effective Work
ISBN: 978-1-56549-566-1
ISBN: 978-1-56549-567-8
ISBN: 978-1-56549-647-7
2013/300 pages/LC: 2012034293
A Kumarian Press Book
Also of interest:  Inside the Everyday Lives of Development Workers: The Challenges and Future of Aidland edited by Anne-Meike Fechter and Heather Hindman

This book also available as a Nook Book from Barnes & Noble

"A must read for those considering work in  development, or for those taking an introspective look at their careers.... I am sorry this book was not available when I started out; it would have been the most dog-eared of my collection."—Sheilagh Henry, GlobalScale

"A rare book.... It’s a great introduction to the world and issues of humanitarian aid."—Nick Macdonald, Mercy Corps

"A balanced, yet frank, account of the realities of following a career in international development.... A must read for new and seasoned development practitioners alike."—Naysan Adlparvar, University of Sussex

"Issues of ethics in development spring to life in this book.... The book will challenge people who work in development—and those who are working toward it—to reflect on their choices.... important reading for everyone who cares about making development efforts go better than they have."—Jay Drydyk, Carleton University


Despite the labyrinthine bureaucracies, frustrating inefficiencies, and disorienting complexities of the "development business," many individuals and groups find their way through and contribute to positive change. How do they do it? What ethical and practical dilemmas do they face, and what strategies do they find most effective for overcoming them? Sarah Parkinson draws on the experiences of more than 150 practitioners to provide insights on how the international development system functions—and seasoned, down-to-earth advice about how to successfully confront its challenges.


Sarah Parkinson is a consultant on the monitoring and evaluation of development projects.


  • Introduction.
  • The Idea of International Development.
  • The International Development System in Practice.
  • Facing Ourselves.
  • Learning the System.
  • Learning to Be Effective.
  • The Drifters.
  • The Team Players.
  • The Visionaries.
  • Opting Out.
  • Conclusion.
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