Taking stock of value chain development
In 1967 Albert O. Hirschman, the pioneering development economist, published Development Projects Observed. Based on an analysis of a handful of long-standing World Bank projects, the book was an effort, as Hirschman writes in the preface, “to ‘sing’ the epic adventure of development — its challenge, drama, and grandeur.” He sang this epic not in the register of high development theory, but rather through the ups and downs and unexpected twists of real-world development projects.
Today, a new group of researchers have taken up a similar challenge. Value Chain Development and the Poor: Promise, delivery, and opportunities for impact at scale, a new book edited by Jason Donovan, Dietmar Stoian and Jon Hellin, surveys over two decades of academic and practical thinking on value chains and value chain development.