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The Afterlives of Development Interventions in Eastern Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique)

Objective

International development involves ideologies and activities ostensibly directed towards the improvement of well-being of populations in the Global South. Mainstream development interventions emphasize forward-looking ideas of progress and advocate for novelty. In so doing, however, the sector is often myopic, as evidenced by countless unintended consequences that stretch beyond interventions' official life cycle. Whether deemed success or failure, such interventions leave behind a long trail of tangible and intangible traces.
Project AfDevLives explores how development interventions' representational and material remains are experienced, employed, and re-appropriated by local actors over time, and how such active immanence of the past affects people's life-worlds. It weaves together three temporal gazes: prospective (development's blueprints); retrospective (sediments of the past, shorthanded as interventions' 'afterlives'); and present-time lived experience. Consciously de-centering formal development discourse and temporalities, the project develops and applies a phenomenological framework oriented around embodiment and intertwinement of people, objects, and space.
Using an interdisciplinary approach centered on social anthropology, research will be conducted in Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique, neighbouring Eastern African countries that are among the highest recipients of development aid and whose past and present balance continuities and ruptures. The project will unfold via an iterative process involving four complementary work packages: Movement, Image, Storytelling, and Synthesis. Working across work packages, countries, and case studies, the project will pursue three categories of objectives: conceptual (methodological toolkit), empirical (based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork), and practical (aimed at the development sector, local heirs of interventions, and the public at large). The project will result in a robust set of outputs.

Coordinator

Iscte - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
Net EU contribution
€ 1 499 745,00
Address
Avenida Das Forcas Armadas
1649 026 Lisboa
Portugal

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Region
Continente Área Metropolitana de Lisboa Área Metropolitana de Lisboa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00