Why Some Development Works

Understanding Success

Meera Tiwari


An essential framework for assessing success in international development, challenging how we view fragile states, conflict zones, and the ability of international agencies to take effective action.

Why do some development projects succeed where others fail? This book looks at the overlooked success stories and considers what enabled them to alleviate poverty in some of the world’s most deprived communities. Using case studies from ten countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia, Tiwari’s innovative approach offers a multi-layered understanding of poverty which provides insights into causal, enabling and impeding factors.

While a macro level analysis of development is a common feature of the current literature, there has been little attempt to develop a micro level understanding of development at the grassroots. Tiwari’s work fills this important gap while drawing attention to the importance of engaging local actors at an individual, collective and state level, demonstrating how achieving a ‘convergence’ of goals among all actors is a crucial and unheeded component to a development project’s success. Looking beyond the case studies to consider how this unique ‘convergence framework’ might be usefully applied to other contexts, the book has profound implications for how we view fragile states and conflict zones, and the ability of the international agencies to take effective action.

A unique study based on extensive empirical research, Understanding Global Development will make essential reading for students and researchers studying international development across the social sciences, as well as humanitarian and development practitioners.

Author Bio

Meera Tiwari is an associate professor of international development studies at the University of East London, where she leads the MSC in NGO and Development Management. She has also played an active role in a number of development projects around the world, including work with the NGO Childreach International in India. Her previous books include After 2015: International Development Policy at a Crossroads (co-authored with Andrew Sumner, 2009) and The Capability Approach: From Theory to Practice (co-edited with Solava Ibrahim, 2014).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The Story So Far
  • 3. The Convergence Framework
  • 4. The Macro
  • 5. The Micro
  • 6. The Fragile context
  • 7. Conclusion


Publication Date: 9 September 2021
208 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781786993595
Hardback: 9781786993601
eBook ePub: 9781786993625
eBook PDF: 9781786993618
eBook Kindle: 9781786993632

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