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Ignorance, Error and Myth in South Asian Irrigation: Critical Reflections on Experience

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Chambers, Robert
Journal: Water Alternatives
Volume: 6
Page(s): 154-167
Date: 2013
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9024
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): research
water management
World Bank
Abstract: "As a researcher in South Asia in the early 1970s, I was allowed to be seduced by the (then) neglected topic of water management and small-scale irrigation, which opened the door to a whole orchard of low-hanging fruit, much of it to be plucked simply by wandering around. This led later to time working on canal and other irrigation with the Ford Foundation in Delhi. There I was bemused by the close agreement of the World Bank and the Indian Government, dishonest research, and absurdly impractical policies, until I began to understand the relationships and interests at play, my earlier naiveté justifying a consultant saying 'you have to understand, this is India.' This was an India I did not wish to recognise. With hindsight, I regret my reticence and timidity: whistleblowers are needed."

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