Robert Chambers

Convening and Facilitating Rapid Action Learning Workshops for the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G)

These guidance notes intend to inform and support all who seek to sponsor, convene, facilitate and report on Rapid Action Learning (RAL) workshops anywhere in India and to contribute to the quality, sustainability and timely implementation of the national Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) campaign (this translates to clean India mission).


Inclusive Rigour for Complexity

Rigour can be reductionist or inclusive. To learn about and understand conditions of complexity, emergence, nonlinearity and unpredictability, the inclusive rigour of mixed methods has been a step in the right direction. From analysis of mixed methods and participatory approaches and methods, this article postulates canons for inclusive rigour for research and evaluation for complexity: eclectic methodological pluralism; improvisation and innovation; adaptive iteration; triangulation; plural perspectives; optimal ignorance and appropriate imprecision; and being open, alert and inquisitive.

Into the Unknown: explorations in development practice

As change accelerates, development professionals fine themselves more than ever explorers of an unknown and unknowable future.  This brings opportunities, excitement and surprises, and demands continuous critical reflection and learning.  In the opening part of this book, Robert Chambers reviews his own life, including his early career, participation in the World Bank’s Voice of the Poor project and research and engagement in South Asia on canal irrigation.  These experiences led him to examine personal biases and predispositions, and to recognize the pervasive significance of power in form

Poverty unperceived: traps, biases and agenda

With the priority of poverty reduction and with accelerating change in many dimensions, up-to-date and realistically informed perceptions of the lives and conditions of people living in poverty have come to matter more than ever. At the same time, new pressures and incentives increasingly trap decision-makers in headquarters and capital cities, reinforcing earlier (1983) analysis of the attraction of urban 'cores' and the neglect of rural 'peripheries'. These trends make decision-makers' learning about poverty and from people living in poverty rarer and ever more important.