In a compelling first-hand account of development assistance gone awry, Susan Walsh recounts how national, international, and multilateral organizations failed the Jalq’a people in the Bolivian Andes during the early millennium.
Intent on assisting potato farmers, development organizations pushed for changes that ultimately served their own interests. Paradoxically, these actions served to undermine local resilience and push farmers off their lands.
Trojan-Horse Aid challenges the idea of Western capacity-building, particularly the notion that these introduced technologies related to food production are essential ingredients for sustainable livelihoods among farmers.
Susan Walsh argues that the well-intentioned organizations working in Jalq’a communities paid insufficient attention to longstanding knowledge that has supported human survival in regions where the natural world has the upper hand.
She goes beyond a critical review of misguided aid to offer reflections on the relationship between indigenous knowledge and resilience theory, the hopeful future of development assistance, and the contradictions in her own hybrid role as researcher and development-practitioner.