1. The practice of economic development should also focus on changing our behavior.
The practice of economic development is, for the most part, focused on changing the behavior of the poor – creating opportunities and incentives for the poor to invest in themselves and in their futures, families, and communities. This is crucial. However, we believe that it should also be focused on changing our behavior – creating opportunities and incentives for us to not only act but to also critically reflect on our role (if any) and methods of participating in the process of economic development.
2. Our efforts to address global poverty must be guided by what works and not just what feels good.
In a world of scarcity, every unit of aid, effort and passion that is misdirected is a lost opportunity to move a family out of poverty. Our efforts to address global poverty must be guided by what works and not just what feels good. There is no doubt that our efforts to take on global poverty feel good. Indeed, our rewards are many. We want to make sure that our efforts also work for the poor – that is, expands economic opportunities and improves everyday living conditions.
3. We cannot help anyone with good intentions…alone.
Economic development should be about building relationships with those we wish to partner with through a mutual process of learning about and from one another. This process should be accompanied by critical self-reflection, prompted by recognizing the validity of opposing arguments. It should also be accompanied by self-doubt. We should constantly be questioning ourselves and our motivations.