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Listening for a Change: Oral Testimony and Community Development

“The aid world has done too much talking and not enough listening. “Participation” may be the fashionable concept in development circles, but how true is it in practice? The voices of ordinary people, the supposed beneficiaries, are still rarely heard.” “Listening for a Change is a guide to collecting, interpreting and using the oral testimony of the people on whose actions and commitment development ultimately depends. The aim is to help development workers improve their listening and learning skills, and value the knowledge, experience, culture and priorities of local people.” “The book briefly traces the revival of the oral history movement in the North, highlighting its relevance to development practice. With case-studies from all over the world, it explores the many different ways oral testimony can be used, by agencies and by communities themselves, to contribute to development and relief projects. It gives practical guidelines on methods of collection, as well as on recording, transcription and translation, and information on relevant organisations and publications. Finally, the limitations and ambiguities of oral evidence are explored, as well as ethical issues.” “Packed with information pulled together for the first time, Listening for a Change challenges everyone in the aid world to listen to the awkwardly individual voices of the people at the heart of development. It is written for anyone working with communities in the collection and dissemination of first-hand testimony, but above all for policy makers, practitioners and students of social and economic development.”

Listening For A Change: Oral Testimony And Community Development
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