Collective Action for Watershed Management Lessons from Haiti

White , T.A. (1994) Collective Action for Watershed Management Lessons from Haiti. PhD thesis, University of Minnesota.

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This paper describes field research and then suggests some changes in the theory and practice of land governance. Although some practitioners are loath to consider theory, I disagree, and argue that the improvement of theory is critical, at least because theoretical assumptions about human behavior underlie the educational training received by major policy makers, and thus the policies created by those individuals. Faulty theory contributes to faulty policy. Because of inherent personal biases, my challenge in this paper is to be objective and to carefully sort out the particular from the general. In the words of Thomas Huxley, my goal is to: "sit down before a fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion ... or else (I) will learn nothing"; I will seek to objectively examine the problem and the results, and to distinguish between what is particular to behavior, collective action and watershed management in Haiti from what might be generalizable to other populations. My hope is two-fold: (1) that this paper will illustrate that indeed we in the developed world have much to learn -- about ourselves and about mankind in general -- from lesser developed countries; and (2) that this paper will be a contribution to those seeking to bridge the gap between the two.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: This paper is a product of many people that have influenced, encouraged and inspired me over the years. First and foremost I am indebted to the Haitian peasants, whose character, will and sense of morality in the face of brutal poverty and violent injustice have been a great inspiration to me. This paper is my way of honoring them and a testament of my hope that they will someday be treated with the fairness and respect that they deserve. Secondly I would like to thank my Haitian friends and colleagues whose dedication to the poor and to a new Haiti has similarly encouraged me. Among these friends I am especially grateful to Father Fritz and Mamito LaFontant, Wilner Alix, Marlene Gay, Hamilton Desarmes and Luc Pierre Jean.
Author Affiliation: University of Minnesota
Subjects: Agricultural Engineering > Mechanization
Social Sciences > Agricultural Extension,Technology, ICT
Environmental Science > Natural Resources
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Arbind Seth
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2013 09:53
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2013 09:53

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