First Advisor

Stenger, Mary

Second Advisor

Murphy, Lynette


College for Professional Studies

Degree Name

Master of Nonprofit Management


School of Management

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

42 pages


In spite of decades of western developmental aid and billions of dollars in resource transfers, the number of poor in the world remains at astonishingly high levels. This paper argues that in many cases poverty remains stubbornly rooted because of the moral values and spiritual beliefs of the poor. A review of developmental literature confirms that Western aid systematically ignores these causes of poverty and is often fragmentary and elitist in its delivery. The result is developmental activity that is ineffective. This paper argues that aid is more likely to be sustainable if local values and beliefs are taken into account and aid is delivered in a holistic and inclusive manner. This can be included in project design by using local community leaders to design, deliver and evaluate the aid.

Date of Award

Summer 2006

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

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