Waylaid Dialectic


I’m a student. I used to work for an aid agency, and before that an NGO.

The Disclaimer

This blog is me jotting down my thoughts about international development. Needless to say, they are my thoughts alone and don’t reflect the opinions of the institute where I study or my previous employers.

The Important Disclaimer

I could be wrong. In fact I almost certainly am. Development is difficult and the odds of me being right when everyone else was wrong are vanishingly small. Please read the blog with this in mind.

You can email me at:  laantablogNOSPAM@PLEASEyahoo.co.nz (obviously remove the words in capital letters)


  1. Hi there,

    Please excuse me barging in on your blog. I am trawling for kindred spirits with a similar objective to mine, which is to provide handcarts to those who most need them.

    Many people in many lands, live in drudgery and poverty, spending many hours each day walking long distances, searching for essential things like water, firewood and food, to carry home using their heads, hands and backs, because they have no wheeled transport for carrying their loads.

    I am sure the lives of these people would be greatly improved if they had handcarts.
    Handcarts increase mobility, and save precious time and energy. Their benefits include –
    Better able to carry heavy loads, further and faster, with less effort.
    Improved health, with less mental stress and physical strain.
    Greater freedom for women and girls.
    Better attendance of schools and medical clinics.
    Spending less time away from home.
    Greater security for children, livestock and property.
    Earning money hiring out carts, and taking produce to market.
    Setting up mobile stalls for selling food and garden produce.
    Social and welfare improvements.
    More buildings and shelters.
    As time goes by, the benefits of using handcarts expand exponentially, turning basic subsistence into dynamic development for individuals, families, communities and nations alike.

    I realise that designing, making and distributing good quality handcarts to those who need them most, will be a prolonged, difficult and costly task, but I believe it can be done on a global basis, if dedicated caring individuals and relief organisations join forces to develop and action viable, agreeable and sustainable solutions to a problem that has compounded the effects of drudgery and poverty for far too long.

    What you think?
    I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on this matter, and any handcart associated intelligence .
    Do you think that the concept is valid?
    Would you support or participate in it?
    Do you know of any individual or organisation currently involved with providing handcarts?
    Would you like further details of the concept?
    Do you have any questions, that I haven’t thought of?

    Please show or forward this message to anyone you think may be interested in the concept of providing handcarts on a humanitarian basis.

    Many thanks

    Ed Austin

    Comment by Ed Austin — November 16, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

  2. Hi Ed,

    Handcarts might help some people some of the time, but reading your spiel you could be mistaken for thinking they’re a panacea. This they will not be.

    Often, people in developed countries come up with bright ideas for simple technical solutions to problems in developing countries; ideas which are frequently based on the skill set of the person coming up with the bright idea. And sometimes these can help. But reality in developing countries is a pretty complex beast and things will not be as simple as you think.

    My advice, for what it’s worth: talk to a few of the big NGOs in your part of the world. Get their feedback. Start small, and prepare to learn.

    Hopefully this doesn’t sound negative. You may have an idea that if well implemented may really help some people. But things will be complicated. Good luck.


    Comment by terence — November 17, 2012 @ 6:32 am

  3. Thanks Terence, Somehow, I missed your response way back in November last year.
    You are correct in your comments and cautions.and I have taken them into account.
    However, lack of load-carrying mobility is a major constraining issue for many people in many places, and I have yet to see any of the big players in global relief or social entrepreneurship address it.

    Comment by Ed Austin — October 21, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

  4. Hi Ed,

    Thanks for getting back to me. All the best in your endeavours.


    Comment by terence — October 22, 2013 @ 7:05 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: