Monday, March 18, 2013

SFAA is a Few Days Away!

The 2013 SFAA Annual Meeting opens this week at the Marriott Hotel in Downtown  Denver, Colorado. The exhibit begins on Thursday, March 21st and ends Saturday.

Stop by our booth to get the latest Kumarian Press publications at 30% off their full retail value.

Titles you can expect to see include:
Looking forward to meeting our readers!

For more information on our titles, contact Marketing Associate Jennifer Kern at

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Review Posted For Context-Sensitive Development

Dr. Mustaghis-ur-Rahman
Faculty of Management and Social Sciences
SZABIST, Karachi.

"International NGOs (INGOs) have experienced tremendous growth in recent decades with a rise from 16,000 to more than 63,000 organizations around the world till 2005. They are channelizing fairly big amount of money ($120 billion as per 2009/10’s statistics) from north to south for achieving the goal of sustainable development with no matching results. Many development projects, especially in the developing countries, could not bear fruit as they were largely designed on the generalized assumptions about the people, their needs and level of acceptability of those projects.


Researches reveal that the projects too frequently fail to achieve their goals due to a number of challenges that could be termed “cultural”, “managerial” and “organizational” resulting in project delays, cost overruns, coordination failure, etc. The World Bank's private arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has discovered that only half of its African projects succeed. An independent rating, confirmed that 39% of World Bank projects were unsuccessful in 2010. The failure of the World Bank’s Social Action Program (SAP) from 1992 to 2002 in Pakistan is also a glaring example of the poor contextualization of projects in the Pakistani socio-economic and cultural realties. For INGOs, contextualization of the development philosophy and practice in a particular society has always been a challenging task in the pursuit of their agenda as complexities and uniqueness are the two common features of the development issues.


Government-INGO relations in the region revolve on several factors including the fitness of the government, the political system, and the type and location of particular NGO projects. The best relation between the two occurs where a confident and capable government with popular policies greets an INGO that wishes to pursue mainstream development programs in the country. Contrarily, the worst relations occur where authoritarian government meets an INGO that seeks to promote community mobilization in the societies’ heart land. Such governments in developing countries find non-controversial projects desirable, such as; child immunization or clean water programs, but may not warmly welcome INGOs working in such areas as basic human rights. The book Context-Sensitive Development deals with such issues in the context of Myanmar which is plagued by authoritarian rule, international isolation and internal conflict.


The book presents an analysis of sociopolitical milieu for “Burmese days” and “Myanmar times” from historical perspectives and it highlights the topics of context sensitivity; while working with communities and dealing with stakeholders. But the real thrust of this book is the working style of INGOs in Myanmar which has a complex though not a unique operating environment for aid agencies. Such socio-political environment is found in many African and Asian countries. However, working in Myanmar is dancing with the devil without holding hands as the skeptical eyes of authoritarian regime cannot be ignored while designing the development projects there. Though, the book covers the case of Myanmar, due to its grounding in theoretical base of context’s sensitivity, it serves as a resource for understanding impacts of contextualization on the effectiveness of development projects in  Myanmar and beyond.

In my opinion, rareness of the subject, coherency of topics, going deep into the real time issue and research based deliberations make Context-Sensitive Development worth reading. The book has beneficial mass and contents for the volunteers, development professionals, state functionaries and indigenous philanthropists. Last but not the least; Anthony Ware has very aptly supplemented his ethnographical research by strong literature review from the development."

Context-Sensitive Development is available for purchase through Kumarian Press. To request review and/or exam copies, please contact Marketing Associate Jennifer Kern at

Monday, February 25, 2013

Something Bigger Than Ourselves Receives Stellar Remarks

Something Bigger Than Ourselves is set to release in a few short weeks. Read what Nick MacDonald of Mercy Corps had to say about the publication:

"Something Bigger than Ourselves is at once an introduction to the organizations of the humanitarian aid business, an anthropology of the personalities, and a diagnostic of it's ills and complaints. It's also a manual for how to navigate and survive them, and a prescription for how to address them. It's more than that though - because if you read carefully, and between the lines, you'll find hints of a very personal story, if not exactly an autobiography, then at least a frank and honest guide through the subject matter.

In a field of literature dominated either by grand geopolitical theories or disgruntled and critical rants about the aid business, this is a rare book. It focusses on the human story, but in a disciplined and thoughtful way - practical without being callous, compassionate but never sentimental. I come away from it feeling more that I have had a chat with an old friend in a bar in Nairobi than read a treatise on development. It is rigorously sourced and thoughtfully arranged (and I mean that in a good way).

It's conclusions are modest, at the scale of the human being, and most of its recommendations pragmatic rather than sweeping. Not for her radical restructuring of the UN, rather a call to us all to be more thoughtful and ethical practitioners. If I have a criticism it is that it tends to dwell on the downsides of the work, and does not show some of the more exciting movements at the edge of mainstream humanitarianism. Her slight tendency towards pessimism lends a feeling of melancholy to some of the book, although I am not certain she isn't right in some of her analysis...

As a teacher and a development practitioner I often get questions through my website and class about what aid work is like, and how to 'get into it'. This book starts with a thorough overview of the sector, the work, and the life that answers many of those, but goes far beyond that, grappling with issues of how to thrive as a human being within the system.

I intend to recommend Something Bigger than Ourselves to all my students. It's a great introduction to the world and issues of humanitarian aid. I also recommend it to every aid worker - her thoughtful call to self-knowledge and introspection about our practice is a useful reminder of the need to hold the course, stay true to our principles, and strive to do the best work that we're able to do. Perhaps we shouldn't need that reminder, but I think in the frantic melee of the day-to-day chaos and urgency that we do. We really do."

The book is available to pre-order online through Kumarian Press. To receive a review and/or exam copy, contact the Marketing Associate at

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Join Us at SFAA Next Month

Hi KP Readers,

Join us in Denver for SFAA from March 20-23rd. Stop by our tables to receive 30% off our new titles including: Practicing Military Anthropology, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence and NGO Leadership and Human Rights.

In Practicing Military Anthropology, a number of anthropologists who have either worked with the US armed forces or who teach at military service academies reflect on what they do and teach in their military anthropologist personae. Through their personal accounts they show that the practice of military anthropology is much more than HTS and that they are more than mere “technicians of the state” as critics allege.

The result of a collaboration between a feminist legal scholar and an anthropologist, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence presents completely original work by anthropologists, international human rights lawyers, legal theorists, political scientists, mental health professionals, and activists who report upon their respective research regarding responses to conflict-related sexual violence in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and South Africa.

NGO Leadership and Human Rights covers various topics of importance to those who work in development and/or advocacy organizations with human rights orientations and for undergraduate and graduate students aspiring to such careers. This book provides context, definition and guidance for the perplexed seeking entrance into a challenging but rewarding endeavor.

Contact the Marketing Associate for more information on our attendance at SFAA:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Women's History Month is Just Around the Corner

Hello, Bookworms:

International Women's Day, on March 3rd, is a globally recognized day during the month of March (Women's History Month). Since 1908, women's opression and inequality spurred women from all over the world to become more vocal in campaigning for change and human rights. On the eve of WWI in Russia, women celebrated the first International Women's Day the last Sunday in February 1913. This day was then transfered to March 8th where it remained globally recognized. Since the new marking of this day, women campaign for peace, justice and independence.

"The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation." Great improvements have been made for women including the opportunity for an education, the freedom to work and even the chance to travel into space. However, "the unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men."

Make March 8th about women worldwide and give a voice to those who are seeking peace, independence and justice this International Women's Day with these Kumarian Press publications: Women and War
, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, and Challenging Gender Norms.

Contact the Marketing Associate to obtain review and/or exam copies:

Monday, February 4, 2013

New Pakistan Studies Title Released

Development Challenges Confronting Pakistan is February's new release.
The global scholarly community concerned with development and social transformation has identified explicit "structural impediments" that constrain countries’ efforts to alleviate poverty and promote sustainable social development. The UNDP, in launching its Millennium Development Goals, contends that there are “practical, proven solutions” to breaking out of the poverty traps that entangle poor countries.

In Pakistan, there has been limited substantive research conducted to identify the unique blend of structural impediments to development that prevail in the country today. Indeed, Pakistan’s prospects to promote viable, sustainable social development appear bleaker today than a decade ago. Development Challenges Confronting Pakistan seeks to rectify this void by bringing together scholars and practitioners—many of them from Pakistan—to provide a scholarly understanding of the structural impediments, or barriers, that have negative effects on Pakistan’s ability to eliminate poverty, promote social justice and implement policies to promote equity. This book will be an essential tool for analysis, study and practice. Its publication is indeed a major event in South Asian scholarship.

This book is available to purchase in the United States through Kumarian Press for $27.50. To receive review and/or exam copies, contact

Monday, January 28, 2013

Poverty and Development in Latin America Book Just Released

Dear KP Readers,

Henry Veltmeyer and Darcy Tetreault have just released a new Kumarian Press publication entitled Poverty and Development in Latin America.

Poverty is still widespread in Latin America, in spite of over five decades of international development efforts to eradicate it. While some progress was made during the first decade of the new Millennium, at least until the onset of the global food and economic crises, there are still over one hundred and eighty million people in the region who unable to meet their basic needs. This is the ‘poverty problematic’ that is at the center of this book. It addresses what are perhaps the most important questions of our time: What are the root causes of poverty? And how can it be overcome? Also, with regards to the recent progress in the so-called war against poverty, the editors ask: How real is this progress? What or whose actions are responsible for this achievement?

Through a critical analysis of public policies and development pathways, Poverty and Development in Latin America provides nuanced responses to these questions. The major conclusion reached and shared by the editors is that poverty reduction cannot be sustained with an anti-poverty strategy based only on social inclusion and economic assistance, or humanitarian relief. It requires a substantive change in the structure of inequality, and a confrontation of the relations of production and power that sustain this structure.    

The book retails for $29.95 and is available for purchase through Kumarian Press. For interview, exam and/or review requests within North America, send a note to