The Aid Triangle

Just done reading (dissecting/consuming) the little book called “The Aid Triangle”.
It’s one of the few books I have come across that makes an uncompromising link between development efforts and power relations. Some of my friends might think ‘power relations’ is Schalk’s thing because I did my Masters on it. Yet, the three authors of this little book affirms that ‘develoment’ (aid/charity/CSI) is all about relationships and a human dynamic.

The authors explain how dominance, injustice and identity interplay and that inequitable interaction causes a system without integrity and with little prospect of sustainability. Dominance, simply implies someone is in a favoured position and has more power or influence than they deserve. The lack of equality is revealed through paternalism and games people start to play. Injustice refers to how everyone is not treated in the same way and how they do not have equal opportunity and benefits. Identity relates to how people view themselves, it speaks to confidence and pride.

Relational issues reveals how trust and dignity for example are major success factors, yet seldom feature in project management frameworks. The best thing we can do is to learn together. Content experts and context experts should learn from each other. These are nice descriptions of academics and real people; funny.

Speaking of Organisational Learning, the authors interestingly mentions single, double and triple loop learning, respectively referring to thinking in, outside and about the box. Clever ways to say we have to be critical and see the bigger picture.

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