Development Professionals: Reconciling Personal Values with Professional Values

  • Neranjana Gunetilleke
  • Nilakshi De Silva
  • Gayathri Lokuge
Volume 42 Number 5
Published: September 1, 2011
This article is the result of conversations among a group of development professionals associated with the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) in Sri Lanka, around questions of the values with which we conduct our work and what this means for our practice. Prompted by the opportunity presented by the Reimagining Development initiative and in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008, specifically we asked: Is there tension between values that drive our life and those that drive the ‘development’ we promote? Is there tension between our personal aspirations and the type of development we promote for the ‘poor’? What are the implications on us as individuals and as professionals? What are the implications on the ‘targets’ of the development that we promote? The discussion that follows is based on a structured process of reflection and discussion of ideas among a purposively selected group of professionals, all institutionally linked to CEPA. The analysis of how these values are reconciled provides a useful basis to take the discussion of an alternative, value‐driven development paradigm forward.
From Issue: Vol. 42 No. 5 (2011) | Time to Reimagine Development