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Practicing Development: Upending Assumptions for Positive Change

Susan H. Holcombe and Marion Howard, editors
Practicing Development: Upending Assumptions for Positive Change
ISBN: 978-1-62637-795-0
ISBN: 978-1-62637-800-1
ISBN: 978-1-62637-835-3
2019/288 pages/LC: 2018053713
A Kumarian Press Book
"Thoughtfully examines the evolution, practice, and impact of the international development industry from the perspective of seasoned practitioners and educators from both the North and the South." —Jennifer Brinkerhoff, George Washington University


Practicing Development bridges the gap between academia and the world of practice to address challenges and propose concrete steps toward more equitable, effective, and sustainable development.

The authors draw from their on-the-ground experiences as they discuss what "development" is, how to attain it, and what their findings mean for the funding and practice of development efforts. Often challenging conventional wisdom, they provide a range of concrete examples of innovation, responsiveness, and sustainability—and perhaps most important, explore how practitioners might be better educated to achieve positive change.


Susan H. Holcombe and Marion Howard are professors emerita of the practice at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management.


  • Practicing Development—S.H. Holcombe and M. Howard.
  • Good Intentions and the Reality of Development Practice—S.H. Holcombe and M. Howard.
  • What Does Lasting Development Look Like?—M. Howard.
  • The Journey from Practice to Learning—L. Simon.
  • On Learning and Practicing Development—V. Ariyaratne.
  • The Business of Aid—T. Dichter
  • Courage Is the Cornerstone of Progress—P. Awuah.
  • Environmentally Conscious Development—T. Agardy.
  • Reimagining Development Practice—R. Offenheiser.
  • Empathy: A Missing Link—C.V. Donaldson.
  • Devolution: An Opportunity for Sustainable Development—E. Kamau.
  • Collective Action and Happy Accidents: Lessons from a Central Mexico Watershed—A. Madrigal Bulnes et al.
  • African NGOs: Potential to Make Sustainable Change—E. Odembo.
  • National Execution: China's Approach to Local Development—L. Lu.
  • Global Frameworks: Using International Law and Civic Action—F.R. Howard and R. Newball.
  • From Local to Global: Four Microcases—P. Gupta et al.
  • Drawing Lessons from Reflection and Practice—S.H. Holcombe and M. Howard.
  • Educating Development Practitioners for Positive Change—M. Howard and S.H. Holcombe.