In my first blog, I mentioned that I am very interested in the intersection of development and peacebuilding. I came in with my own set of critiques for development work and agencies engaged in development work. Often times development efforts assert that in addition to other merits, it will also serve as the cause of peace.

What I appreciated about our session with Kent Glenzer was that instead of just critiquing previous development norms and values, we had to see the benefits of such norms and see how and where it was useful. This was a great exercise for me. It made it clear to me that there was nothing particularly wrong with some of the development practices, however, these practices had been misused by implementing the same projects/programs in different cultures/communities without taking into account the uniqueness of each culture/community.

And of course, the introduction of action research methodology. When I did the readings, I got upset thinking there is new language and vocabulary for participatory development practices. However, I really enjoyed our discussion in class and it cleared out my misunderstandings about this methodology. The discussion about past practices was very interesting for me. By looking at the flawed practices from the past, development practitioners can learn a lot by avoiding those practices. And so other than learning from Kent Glenzer and about action research methodology, I also learned to get past my biases.