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Information for G02872

Basrabai, Meeraiben, and the master of Mohadi (PLA 57)

Ravi Kanbur

Journal article

Agreement seems universal that immersions give insights and experiences that are not accessible in other ways. Those who participate learn in a personal way about people’s lives, livelihoods, and cultures, and the conditions they experience. The world can be seen the other way round, from the perspective of people living in poverty. It is expressed in many ways and by many phrases – ‘face-to-face’, ‘walking in their shoes’, or ‘putting a face on poverty’. This ground-truthing provides a touchstone to refer to, and a source of confidence, and the conviction of authority based on personal experience. The Exposure and Dialogue Programmes (EDPs), SEWA and World Bank streams came together in Ravi Kanbur’s seminal immersion when he was leading the preparation of the World Development Report 2000 on development and poverty: part of his account of that experience follows this opening piece.

Quite often there are stark and startling insights, including here, Ravi Kanbur’s ‘master of Mohadi’ incident which he says ‘encapsulated for me the gap between macro-level strategies and ground-level realities’.

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board. See: www.planotes.org

For the full table of contents please click on ‘More information’ above.

Journal article in: PLA 57. Guest editors: Izzy Birch, Raffaella Catani with Robert Chambers.

Publication information

  • IIED code: G02872
  • Published: Dec 2007 - IIED
  • Area: India
  • Theme: Participation
  • Source pub: Participatory Learning and Action 57 Immersions: learning about poverty face-to-face
  • Languages: English, Arabic

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