Journal Article

IDS Bulletin 47.2A

Restoring Development Dharma with Toad’s Eye Science?

Published on 8 December 2016

While the Millennium Development Goals (and their successors, the Sustainable Development Goals) loom large among those who take a global-level approach, they elicit, at best, a confused shrug from the Nepali villager. We unpack this paradox by way of the distinction between eagle’s eye science and toad’s eye science, and go on to show how vital it is that the latter is not neglected.

It is, for instance, household-level decisions that have resulted in a substantial proportion of Nepali citizens working in the Gulf States and elsewhere, thereby quickly establishing a remittance economy that makes a nonsense of the long-held view, among the proponents of eagle’s eye science, that it is lack of money that is the problem. Rather, it is the constructive engagement of the three ‘solidarities’ – market, state and civil society – that is needed: a task (we call it ‘dharma restoration’) that simply cannot be accomplished without the bringing-in of toad’s eye science.

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IDS Bulletin 47.2A


Dipak Gyawal Gyawali
Michael Thompson

Publication details

IDS Bulletin, volume 47, issue 2A