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Picking up the thread

June 24, 2008

Two things for now. The first is more of a comment on Irene’s ‘Aha! Moment in the Development Sector’. I can really recommend Narrative Policy Analysis by Emery Roe (Duke University Press, Durham/London,1994). This book elaborates on the benefits from applying contemporary literary theory to policy analysis using case studies in environmental and development policies. On page 5 it promises: “By establishing and fixing the assumptions for decision making, these narratives enable governments and donor agencies to make and implement developing country policy under conditions of extreme uncertainty and complexity”. The second is what has been puzzling me since I attended the accreditation course in London this year. Educated in social sciences and in linguistics, I recognize a lot in the course, but wonder why the vocabulary is so different. Have I missed the point somewhere? Is there a difference between an ambiguated filter and a semantic differential? Between tagging and coding? And if so, what is the difference? Or is it all just semantics?

Floor Basten

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