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Helping People Help Themselves Toward a Theory of Autonomy-Compatible Help

By Ellerman, David

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Book Id: WPLBN0000221737
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 4.1 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: Helping People Help Themselves Toward a Theory of Autonomy-Compatible Help  
Author: Ellerman, David
Language: English
Subject: Economics, Finance & business, World Bank.
Collections: Economics Publications Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: The World Bank


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Ellerman, D. (n.d.). Helping People Help Themselves Toward a Theory of Autonomy-Compatible Help. Retrieved from


Summary findings If development is seen basically as autonomous self- development, then there is a subtle paradox in the whole notion of development assistance: How can an outside knowledgeparty (helper) assist those undertaking autonomous activities (the doers) without overriding or undercutting their autonomy? This conundrum is the challenge facing a theory of autonomy-compatible development assistance-that is, helping theory. Starting from a simple model of nondistortionarv aid, Ellerman explores several themes of a broader helping theory and shows how these themes arise in the work of gurus in different fields-John Dewey in pedagogy and social philosophy, Douglas McGregor in management theory, Carl Rogers in psychotherapy, Soren Kierkegaard in spiritual counseling, Saul Alinsky in community organizing, Paulo Freire in community education, and Albert Hirschman and E. F. Schumacher in economic development. That such diverse thinkers in such different fields arrive at very similar conclusions increases confidence in the common principles. The points of commonality are summarized as follows...


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