Book Discussion Format

Book Discussion Format, Discussion Questions, Getting Started, The End of Poverty, Uncategorized

The purpose of discussion is to point out what each book has to offer the field of development or what we don’t find effective. Try to explain why you agree or disagree with something rather than using “I agree,” “+1,” or the dreaded (imo) “This.”

I cannot integrate a forum so we will use the comment section to facilitate discussion. Questions will be posted and your answers, additional questions, and comments can be added at the bottom of each post.

As always, be kind.

None of this:

twitter fight

If you have book suggestions you can add them here

Let’s Read!


Managing Oneself

Getting Started, Managing Oneself- Career Advice

In the article “Managing Oneself,” Peter Drucker discusses the following questions we need to ask to make the most of our career paths.

 What are my strengths?

“Go to work on acquiring the skills and knowledge you need to fully realize your strengths.” Once you know what your strengths are, work on improving them. The focus on strengths does not mean we can ignore our weaknesses -especially if they produce bad habits.

How do I perform?

Do you learn by reading, listening, or doing? Do you work best in a team or alone? It’s important to recognize the differences in how people receive information and how they work.  Knowing how you work will make it easier to interact with others.

What are my values?

Recognize that your values can change. You may need to move on to find an organization that is a better fit.

Where do I belong? What should I contribute?

It’s unlikely you will have the answer to these two when you are just starting your career. As you get to know yourself you will have a better understanding of where you fit in an organization and what roles are best suited to you.

Key Takeaways from “Managing Oneself

  • Know how you work with different people. Dynamics may change between working in the field and your domestic office.
  • Know how you can best contribute to an organization.
  • Know what kind of opportunities are a good fit.
  • Acquire skills as needed (inspiration for starting this blog).
  • Seek other ways to learn. The methods used in school are not the only way.

What are other tips for knowing yourself and how you work?


How to Analyze a Text

Getting Started, How to Analyze a Text

The following is taken from “How to Analyze a Text” by the English Dept. at Goshen College. Some things to keep in mind while reading:

  1. Read or reread the text with specific questions in mind.
  2. Marshal basic ideas, events and names. Depending on the complexity of book, this requires additional review of the text.
  3. Think through your personal reaction to the book: identification, enjoyment, significance, application.
  4. Identify and consider most important ideas (importance will depend on context of class, assignment, study guide).
  5. Return to the text to locate specific evidence and passages related to the major ideas.

I would add: How did they obtain data and are those sources reliable?

Would you add anything to this list?

Defining International Development

Defining International Development, Getting Started

While we’re gearing up to start reading July 1st, I thought I would post some relevant articles, about working in and studying development.

First is a segment from “Discourse analysis in international development studies: Mapping some contemporary contributions” by Dimitri della Faille of the University of Quebec. I found the definition of international development on page 218 (page 3 in the pdf) suitable for the diverse range of books and perspectives we will soon read. Faille recognizes the difficulty of defining the ambiguous term and provides a brief history as to how its meaning has expanded from attaining steady economic growth to the diverse goals it is connected to today.

He defines international development as:

“the ensemble of strategies, ideas, policies and institutions put in place since the end of World War II that recognize development, whichever meaning is attached to it (economic growth, poverty reduction, global peace, etc.), as a central  motivation for the actions they undertake.”

What do you think of this definition? How do you define “international development”?


Della Faille, Dimitri (2011) “Discourse analysis in international development studies: Mapping some contemporary contributions”, Journal of Multicultural Discourses, vol. 6, n. 3, pp. 215-235.

Let’s Read

Getting Started

ImageWelcome to the Development Book Club. We’re launching July 1st with The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs. Until then, let’s get to know each other. Fill out the contact form below and put the book on hold at your local library (it’s probably on the shelf). Stay tuned.