Research for Development in the Dry Arab Region: The Cactus Flower

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Can dryland communities cope with the global changes sweeping the world today? Is their predicament limited to their difficulty of building livelihoods on precarious natural resources? Can development research and external interventions offer any sustainable and fruitful partnerships to this end? This book relates the story of a relationship between a poor rural community in arid Lebanon and a development research project and their common journey to embrace sustainable resource use. The book compiles 10 years of knowledge and experience of a team of development researchers investigating sustainable rural livelihoods in the community of Arsaal, Lebanon. It describes the research experience and evaluates the innovative approaches that were developed, the successes and failures of the project, and the many lessons that were learned.
 

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Page 83 - And it ought to be remembered ' that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.
Page 96 - A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living.
Page 29 - Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?
Page xiii - In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, 9to say to the captives, 'Come out,' and to those in darkness, 'Be free!
Page 60 - system of computer hardware, software and procedures designed to support the capture, management, manipulation, analysis, modelling and display of spatially referenced data for solving complex planning and management problems
Page 98 - ... the process by which rural families construct a diverse portfolio of activities and social support capabilities in their struggle for survival and in order to improve their standard of living
Page 96 - A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base.
Page 55 - participatory research', 'community involvement' and the like, at the end of the day there is still an outsider seeking to change things. Marxist, socialist, capitalist, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, humanist, male, female, young, old, national, foreigner, black, brown, white - who the outsider is may change but the relation is the same. A stronger person wants to change things for a person who is weaker. From this paternal trap there is no complete escape.
Page 55 - However much the rhetoric changes to 'participation', 'participatory research', 'community involvement' and the like, at the end of the day there is still an outsider seeking to change things. Marxist, socialist, capitalist, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, humanist, male, female, young, old, national, foreigner, black, brown, white -who the outsider is may change but the relation is the same. A stronger person wants to change things for a person who is weaker. From this paternal trap...
Page 31 - Centre (IDRC) is a public corporation created by the Canadian government to help communities in the developing world find solutions to social, economic and environmental problems through research.

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