Reducing Poverty and Sustaining The Environment – The Politics of Local Engagement from Edited by: S Bass, H Reid, A Satterthwaite & P Steel

Title: Reducing Poverty and Sustaining The Environment – The Politics of Local Engagement
Author: Edited by: S Bass, H Reid, A Satterthwaite & P Steel
Publisher: Earthscan, London
ISBN No.: 1-84407-116-2
Year of Publication: 2005
Website: http://www.earthscan.co.uk

This book on governance, poverty and the environment, is a valuable, informative guide, not only for governments NGOS and aid agencies, but also for companies who are trying to steer their social investment programmes in meaningful and practical directions.

The book uses a series of case studies sourced from developing countries in Asia, Africa, and South America to illustrate good and bad experiences of poverty reduction programmes. They illustrate that there is no single clear “one size fits all” answer for all initiatives but that local engagement is a crucial factor in the success of any programme or project.

The book includes an excellent exposition of the South African “Working for Water” programme, written by Phillipa Holden and David Grossman. The chapter on community designed, built and managed toilet blocks in Indian cities has a number of sobering messages on capacity building and empowerment.

The book presents some simply stated conclusions which suggest that donors need to rethink the manner in which they “do business”. The message also applies to the manner in which many corporates apply their community development and community investment programmes.
Recommended. This is a readable, practical book which most corporate Community Affairs Managers would benefit considerably from reading.

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