These images by Oren Ginzberg appear on this blog as a guest post by Katrin Volkov of Survival International.

To download the full publication, click here.

For more about the work of Survival International, click here.

Our original aim was the same as usual:

to bring them sustainable development.

However, in this specific case

we encountered an unexpected challenge.

It turns out that these people,

in their own strange kind of way,

were already sustainable…. So all we could really bring them was…


We started with Participatory Community Development. But they did not fully participate.
We tried income-generating activities… but some people seemed satisfied with less than a dollar a day.
We even attempted to empower them, but their reaction was more powerful than we expected.


So we opted for a Multi-Stakeholder Cross-Disciplinary Integrated Approach.

We developed innovative Private Sector Partnerships.

We developed Vocational Skills adapted to a shifting economy.


We developed tough conservation measures, to protect the environment from further harm.


And we developed ambitious Social Safety Nets – for those unable to take care of themselves.

This has been a challenging process with many lessons learned.


We certainly look forward to applying them elsewhere in the very near future. But for now let us just say,


Welcome to the Global Village!

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. If people would stop theorising and paying those who theorise. I think this is one of the best comments I have ever seen. It breaks my heart.

  2. It would have been great to have had the 2 ‘developers’ take off their clothes and get lost in the forest with the people. But it is only the devastated landscape that makes sense to these people. Horribly true

  3. Humility. Where is it!

  4. […] by Survival International, more here about insider-outsider perspective of sustainable development, appeared on Ben Ramalingam’s […]

  5. fanfastic! it feels so good to laugh about your own approaches

  6. We and Them !
    We no know how we and dem a-go work this out, oy!
    We no know how we and dem a-go work it out.
    (Bob Marley)

    Are “We and Them” in the same boat?
    Are “We and Them in the same world?”

    I wish our francophone fellows had their share of this VERY GOOD cartoon !

  7. Spot on. Everyone lived very happily, very sustainably until development came along. Development?


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About Ben Ramalingam

I am a researcher and writer specialising on international development and humanitarian issues. I am currently working on a number of consulting and advisory assignments for international agencies. I am also writing a book on complexity sciences and international aid which will be published by Oxford University Press. I hold Senior Research Associate and Visiting Fellow positions at the Institute of Development Studies, the Overseas Development Institute, and the London School of Economics.