The Role of Popular Participation in Development
This volume describes the detailed conclusions and recommendations of an intensive six-week study organized by the Center for International Studies, N.I.T., at the request of the Agency for International Development in the summer of 1968, to explore the implications and possible implantation of the directive in the Foreign Assistance Act which instructs the aid agency to place emphasis on “assuring maximum participation in the task of economic development on the part of the people of the developing countries through the encouragement of democratic, private, and local governmental institutions.” This provision, known as Title IX of the Foreign Assistance Act, has been interpreted by some as calling for a basic revision of our whole foreign-aid philosophy and by others as requiring only minor modifications in program emphases.
The Center assembled a group of about twenty social scientists with experience and expertise in the politics, economics, and social structure of the less developed countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and about an equal number of AID officials with practical knowledge of aid operations in these countries. The group worked intensively together at Endicott House, an estate in Dedham, Massachusetts, belonging to M.I.T., studying the problem and writing drafts on which this report is based. While the report has as yet no official status, it was the unanimous conclusion of the participants that Title IX should in future be one of the cornerstones of American aid policy. The report explains in detail just what this means.