Old Development Proverb
Go in search of your people,
Learn from them.
Plan with them.
Begin with what they have.
Build on what they know.
But of the best leaders, when the task is accomplished,
The people all remark: “We have done it Ourselves.
Updated Development Version
Go to the people;
Live in a four star hotel several miles from them;
Love them (but take care, they may have AIDS).
Take away from them their foolish customs;
Start with what they lack;
Make a list of what they need.
But at the end of the day,
When the work is still waiting to be done,
The people will all say:
“We are poor. We can do nothing.”
“Can you get me a job in your country?”
“Please give us a big grant.”
“We badly need a Land cruiser.”
“Send the ticket and I’ll come to Geneva.”
M. Miles (1995) Adult Education & Development, No.44, p.130