Development Projects Observed

Brookings Institution Press, 1 de abr. de 2011 - 218 páginas

The experience accumulated in the wake of more than two decades of sustained effort to promote growth and change in the low-income countries presents a rich field for scholarly inquiry and new insights into the development process. The success and failures of such projects, the new skills and attitudes they impart, and the internal tensions they sometimes generate obviously have an important bearing on the next stages of a county's development effort. Yet little has become known about these truly formative experiences which are due to the behavior—and misbehavior—of development projects. In this recent volume, Professor Albert O. Hirschman turns his attention to the ways in which decision making is molded, activated, or hampered by the specific nature of the project that is undertaken; for example, the establishment and operation of a pulp and paper mill in east Pakistan, an irrigation project in Peru, railway expansion in Nigeria, and other development undertakings. In some parts of the present inquiry Hirschman elaborates on his earlier writings in this series; and occasionally, he qualifies or modifies his previous conclusions; the bulk of the study explores new territory.


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Páginas selecionadas


The Principle of the Hiding Hand
Varieties of Uncertainties
Excess Demand
Inadequate Demand
Latitude in Substituting Private for Public Outlays
Project Design TraitTaking and TraitMaking
The Dilemma of Design
A Failure in Nigeria
Entrained TraitMaking
The Autonomous Agency as a Hybrid
Project Appraisal The Centrality of SideEffects
SideEffects as Essential Requirements

The RD Strategy
Mitigation of Uncertainties
Latitudes and Disciplines
Spatial or Locational Latitude
Temporal Discipline in Construction
Temporal Discipline from Construction to Operation
Latitude for Corruption
Latitude in Substituting Quantity for Quality
Pure and Mixed SideEffects
Smuggling in Change via SideEffects
CostBenefit Analysis and the Offensive Against SideEffects
Modesty and Ambition in Project Planning
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Página 13 - Creativity always comes as a surprise to us; therefore we can never count on it and we dare not believe in it until it has happened. In other words, we would not consciously engage upon tasks whose success clearly requires that creativity be forthcoming. Hence, the only way in which we can bring our creative resources fully into play is by misjudging the nature of the task, by presenting it to ourselves as more routine, simple, undemanding of genuine creativity than it will turn out to be. Or, put...
Página 11 - ... no longer sounds wholly absurd: on the contrary, it is quite plausible and almost trite to state that each project comes into the world accompanied by two sets of partially or wholly offsetting potential developments: ( 1 ) a set of possible and unsuspected threats to its profitability and existence, and (2) a set of unsuspected remedial actions which can be taken whenever any of these threats materializes.
Página 1 - The term connotes purposefulness, some minimum size, a specific location, the introduction of something qualitatively new, and the expectation that a sequence of further development moves will be set in motion.
Página 18 - ... which they are capable. Just as the Hiding Hand principle states that the to-be-experienced difficulties should be hidden at the moment of the decision to go ahead with the project, so it implies that these difficulties should not appear too early after the execution of the project has started, for, at least within a certain range, the propensity to tackle the difficulties will be roughly proportional to the effort, financial and otherWise, already furnished. Therefore, a given level of difficulties...
Página 9 - ... by 1959 when management of the mill passed into private hands. Soon thereafter, a major upset endangered the very life of the mill: the bamboo began to flower, an event entirely unforeseen and probably unforeseeable in the present state of our knowledge, since it occurs only once every 50 to 70 years: given the resulting paucity of observations, the life cycle of the many varieties of bamboo is by no means fully known. In any event, the variety which supplied the Karnaphuli mill with some 85%...
Página 10 - ... unpleasant surprise was the discovery that, once flowering was over, a number of years would have to pass before the new bamboo shoots would grow up to the normal size fit for commercial exploitation. In its seventh year of operation, the mill therefore faced the extraordinary task of having to find itself another raw material base. In a temporary and costly way, the problem was solved by importing pulp, but other, more creative responses were not long in coming: an organization...
Página 17 - It becomes clear, for example, that projects derive a crucial advantage from being based on a technique that looks transferable even though it may not actually be nearly as copiable as it looks. This is perhaps a principal reason that infrastructural and industrial projects have so large an edge over others: not that the techniques involved are in fact so exceedingly transferable, for time and again industrial projects, particularly those that are not limited to administering "last touches...

Sobre o autor (2011)

Albert O. Hirschman is professor emeritus in the School of Social Science in the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.

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