ERIC Number: ED219203
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1969-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Case for the Generalist in Rural Development. Peace Corps Faculty Paper No. 4.
Lodge, George C.
Veraguas province, Panama, is an example of the need to have generalists, not specialists, deal with the interrelated aspects of rural areas in developing nations. Intricate connections between living standards, agricultural production, market and credit structures, land tenure, the political system, the social structure, education, health, values, and culture make it fruitless to attempt an artificial isolation of one particular problem for the application of outside technical expertise. The primary step for the introduction of change in the Veraguases of the world is essentially a political one. The problems of development can be characterized by two general inadequacies: lack of motivation and insufficient organization. Since education is largely a function of motiviation or ideology, a vision of change and hope is required before the acquisition of knowledge and skills seem important and necessary. A successful change agent must have the characteristics of authority, communication and access to power, competence and the ability to impart it, and protection. The most relevant outside presence to assist the campesinos (people from the fields) is not the expert who tends to adapt indigenous problems to his expertise, but the trained and sensitive generalist who adapts his limited skills to the campesino's entire problem circle. (BRR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Peace Corps, Washington, DC.