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Do we use obscure or fashionable words to impress our colleagues or win research proposals? Are many of our actions against poverty simple, direct and wrong? Provocations for Development is an entertaining and unsettling collection of writings that questions concepts, conventions and practices in development. It is made up of short and accessible writings by Robert Chambers reflecting on the evolution of concepts like participation and of organizations like the World Bank. Besides provocations, there is mischief, verse and serious fun. The book irreverently examines vocabularies of development and how words are instruments of power; challenges concepts of poverty, presents empowering breakthroughs in the current explosion of participatory methodologies; is critical of past and present procedures and practices in aid; points to feasible changes for doing better; touches on values, ethics, gender and participation, immersions, hypocrisy, and paradigms; and finally invites readers to ponder the question ‘what would it take to eliminate poverty in the world?’