On July 26, we had a session on Structural Pathologies of the Development Enterprise by Kent Glenzer. It was extremely interesting and reminded me of many discussions that I’ve come across when studying anthropology. Anthropology started off as a discipline that tries to understand “the colonized other” and it has come a long way.  Anthropology similarly asks the questions: what is this other that we are trying to understand and help? What power do we (anthropologists) hold? How to reflect on ourselves as anthropologists and our presence in different communities? These questions should similarly be asked by people doing international development work and there should be always be reflections on the roles that development practitioners take. It is extremely important to keep questioning what it is the vision of modernity and society that we imagine it to be as we do development work? This remains a problems that I see in international development and the way that donor systems work. People are caught up with the goals set by their donors, which do not often reflective of the needs of the community and their objectives are shaped by their own Western-oriented views of a “developed” society and do not necessarily take into account different local needs and their visions.

I am interested in exploring more about the intersection of development and anthropology, and how in the field of development academia engage with practitioners.