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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

It is inherent in the nature of the beast that there will be a progressive disconnect between the working lives of development professionals and the lives of those their work is meant to help. This is bad purely from a technical point of view. But it is a gross moral disconnect, too. Exposure and Dialogue Programs (EDPs), or Immersions as they are also known, are a way of addressing this disconnect between development professionals and development reality. They involve exposure to the realities of the lives of the poor through staying with them and experiencing their lives for a period of time, however short. Some general design principles have emerged from experience. Clarity of objectives, prior preparation and facilitation, and ex post evaluation are all important. Immersions must be done well. The point, however, is that they must be done.

Keywords: development professionals, Exposure and Dialogue Programs, Immersions, moral disconnect, technical disconnect between analysis and reality

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