Are The Old Ways Better?
January 31, 2010 9:35 AM   Subscribe

This development project may not be meeting its own expectations. Here is a look at a sustainable alternative to conventional development in the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia, as shown in the film, A Thousand Suns, from the Global Oneness Project. previously
posted by Xurando (5 comments total)
The first article reads as if Kristol was hell bent on providing the worst possible slant on the project. The facts that he provided did nothing to justify his dire tone.
posted by oddman at 11:46 AM on January 31, 2010

The facts that he provided did nothing to justify his dire tone.

I dunno. Either the project is sustainable or it isn't. There is no middle ground. Some NGO's use the future as a magic tool when all will be well, but if the farmers can't make enough to buy fertilizer, and fertilizer destroys what's worked for eons, then maybe just maybe, the project is not sustainable.
posted by Xurando at 1:07 PM on January 31, 2010

and fertilizer destroys what's worked for eons

That's a statement pretty heavily dependent on your definition of "worked". In those pre-fertisliser days, infant mortality, literacy, etc would have a metric that went up and down with the seasons. Farming marginal land is not easy.

God knows, I'm the last person to defend the world bank, but positing some kind of pre-development wonderland is equally suspect, in my opinion. Kristol himself admits the project as more kids in school, less famine, and more crops than before. Whether this will hold remains to be seen; but I dunno, everybody seems to be a development specialist.
posted by smoke at 3:34 PM on January 31, 2010

"So is the MVP working? It’s hard to deny that the quality of life in Koraro has increased substantially: disease rates have plummeted, crop yields have gone up, and children are attending school at unprecedented levels."

Well, then regardless of whether or not the project meets the lofty goals of its backers, I'd say it's working just fine.
posted by Toby Dammit X at 4:14 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

It seems like a financial groundwork may have aided significantly in the long term success of the project. If you give a person three apples and tell them to sell them and that what they get they need to use to grow an apple tree, they might not invent the best pricing structure.
posted by mrmod at 8:47 PM on February 1, 2010

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