Delivering Development

Delivering Development: Globalization’s Shoreline and the Road to a Sustainable Future

Delivering Development: Globalization’s Shoreline and the Road to a Sustainable Future is a vivid account of two centuries of life in rural Ghana, demonstrates how commonly held beliefs about globalization and development fail to capture the lived experiences of the global poor.  Over his 13 years of working along what he calls "globalization's shoreline," a world region buffeted by the economic, political, and environmental decisions of those living in wealthier places, Carr has concluded that most experts misunderstand what they are trying to fix, and cannot tell if they are fixing it.  Delivering Development is an eye opening, you-are-there book that compels the reader to question conventional wisdom and redefine what assistance to the developing world really means.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1:    Taking it all Apart

Chapter 2:    Getting to the “Beach”

Chapter 3:    A Day at the Beach

Chapter 4:    Living with Uncertainty

Chapter 5:    Nothing Has Always Been Like This

Chapter 6:    The Tide Goes Out

Chapter 7:    The Tide Comes Back In

Chapter 8:    Scaling Up: Why the Lessons of Dominase and Ponkrum Matter to the World

Chapter 9:    Losing the Signal in the Noise

Chapter 10:    The Long Emergency on the Shoreline of Globalization: It’s Not Their Problem

Chapter 11:    Understanding the World Anew

Chapter 12:    Truly Participatory Development

Chapter 13:    Two Futures (Out of Many)

Chapter 14:    Uncertainty Is Hope



"Carr’s concern is that development and globalization, as currently pursued, are creating more poverty than they solve, needlessly producing economic and environmental challenges that put everyone on Earth at risk. Confronting this paradoxical outcome head-on, Carr questions the "wisdom" of the traditional development-via-globalization strategy, a sort of connect-the-development-dots, by arguing that in order to connect the dots one must first see the dots. By failing to do so, agencies do not understand what they are connecting and why. This fundamental questioning of Post WWII development strategies, grounded in life along "Globalization’s Shoreline," sets his approach to development in the age of globalization apart from much of the contemporary development literature."  

— Michael H. Glantz, Director, CCB (Consortium for Capacity Building), INSTAAR, University of Colorado

"Over the fifty years since the end of the colonial era, rich nations have granted Africa billions of dollars in development aid—the equivalent of six Marshall Plans—and yet, today, much of the continent is as desperate as ever for help. In Delivering Development, Edward Carr delves into the question of why the aid system has failed to deliver on its promises, and offers a provocative thesis: that economic development, at least as international donors define it, is not necessarily equal to advancement. Unlike many combatants in the debate over the causes of global poverty, who jet in and out of these countries and offer the view from 10,000 feet, Carr takes a novel approach to the problem. He examines the aid system as it is actually experienced by poor Africans. Delivering Development focuses on a pair of Ghanaian villages, which despite their poverty by statistical measures have nonetheless managed to construct sophisticated systems of agricultural cultivation and risk management. Carr doesn't argue that these places hold the secret to ending poverty. On the contrary, his point is that there are no overarching solutions, that each community holds a unique set of keys to its own future. By delving into development at the grassroots, Carr reveals the rich and bedeviling complexity of a problem that, all too often, is reduced to simplistic ideological platitudes."  

— Andrew Rice, author of The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda

“The book is a riveting read, horizon broadening and . . . takes a somewhat unusual path towards challenging the dominant paradigm that complements other, parallel efforts . . . All-in-all, a must read for aid wonks everywhere.”

— Andy Sumner, Global Dashboard

Development often fails. This is not a new premise. Many have written about it. But Edward Carr offers a fascinating perspective on why he believes this is true in Delivering Development.”

— Robin Pendoley, Thinking Beyond Borders

This book makes an important contribution to critical literatures on globalization and development . . . [providing] an often overlooked perspective within critical development literature: the real possibility for positive change and for a more active role of development’s target population to participate and shape the direction of change in their communities.

— Kelsey Hanrahan, Africa Today