Chambers, Robert

Behaviour and attitudes: a missing link in agricultural science

The thesis of this paper is that 'our' (professionals', scientists', outsiders') behaviour and attitudes are a key missing link for good agricultural science. Unless they are confronted and transformed, as part of a new definition of professionalism, the agriculture of small farmers will not achieve its potential, and the needs of many of the food-insecure of the world will not be met. The argument, set in the context of agricultural science and scientists, has implications also for other development professions concerned with the diversity and complexity of human lives and livelihoods.

Diverse paths converge on common ground

In this introduction to the collection of articles in Social Change that focus on participatory pathways, the author draws attention to the increasing prevalence of 'participation' in the development literature. This seems to imply convergence and even consensus and shared values. In reality, what constitutes participation and what is participatory are contested. There is a huge diversity of orientations, values, approaches, methodologies, topics and contexts, geographical range, and problems and challenges.

Space and time for critical reflection and change

In this short paper the author looks at the importance of development institutions providing staff with opportunities for experiential learning and reflection. The prevailing culture tends to be long hours, over-commitment and intensive activity. Even annual retreats are often overloaded, with little or no time allowed for genuine reflection. The focus is alway action-orientated, with no space for learning.

Activities for ABC

This short paper looks at games, exercises and activities for Attitude and Behaviour Change (ABC) that can be used in workshops. It briefly describes four different activities: where æuppersÆ are taught by ælowersÆ; awareness and correction of behaviour in field situations; using video to capture behaviour and role reversal. The second example has a more detailed illustration of how it works.

Behaviour and attitudes to teachers, trainers, and facilitators

This short paper looks at behaviour and attitudes in the context of teaching and training. The top down transfer of knowledge is embedded in most education systems, and top-down cultures, behaviours and attitudes reinforce this. This paper looks at the scope for using participatory learning instead. Despite some participatory trainings never referring to behaviour and attitudes, self-awareness is increasing and practices are changing.


This short paper explores two key aspects of development and participation. The first is power relations: described as a latecomer to development, and seen as critical in its pervasiveness and ability to affect the quality of process and experience. The author describes the experience of an ActionAid Forum where participants critically reflected on how they were behaving and relating to one another. Over the days this was at times frustrating, threatening and inhibiting, but ultimately seminal: bringing home the central significance of power and power relations in development practice.

Subsidy or self-respect? Community-led total sanitation: an awesome opportunity and responsibility

This very brief discussion note for the SACOSAN conference in Dhaka 2003, describes the concept of community-led total sanitation (CLTS). It looks at the realities, vision and challenges of CLTS in improving the wellbeing for many rural and/or poor communities. It gives short comments on what has happened so far; benefits; how the technique has developed and briefly how it works; shifts from target driven partial sanitation (TDPS) to CLTS; non-negotiable principles for CTLS; scaling up of CTLS; and potential of CTLS for the future.