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Student Testimony

Student Testimony

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Published by: The Bartlett Development Planning Unit - UCL on Feb 02, 2012
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PRACTICE IN URBAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
MSc Urban Economic Development, 2006-2007
 
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As a future development practitioner, what is the single most important lesson youhave learnt from this fieldtrip?BY……………………………OBENG-ODOOM FRANKLIN…………………………..
Note to Readers:
As a fresh student on the MSc Urban Economic Development programme, I received withmixed feelings the information of a field trip as part of the MSc course. ‘Mixed feelings’ because in one breadth I felt it was a break from a rather rigorous albeit rewarding MScprogramme but in another breadth we were told that ‘the field trip is not a social event or amid-course break’ (MSc handbook, p.8). Of what use is the field trip? Does it add to or takefrom the MSc? In short what is the single most important lesson the field trip offers toparticipants of the MSc who eventually become Development Practitioners?Now that I have undertaken the field trip, I evaluate the experience and submit my verdict. Iwish you an enjoyable reading session.Obeng-Odoom FranklinMSc Urban Economic Development (2006/7)
 
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Introduction
‘There is a popular feeling that Theory and Practice are opposed to each other and the meritslie with Practice. This is a false conclusion based on a false supposition: Practice is brick,Theory is mortar; both are necessary to get a good structure’ 
 S.P.Lumby, 1981, p.1The above quote summarises my reflections on the 10-day Ugandan Field Trip. The lesson isthis
 By all means, a development planner should read as much as possible about his researcharea
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; however, no amount of literature review (usually in the office) can substitute for actual field work. This is because there could be fundamental gaps between what is known in theliterature and what is present in the field.
 In the paragraphs that follow, the analysis on which this lesson is built is presented. For wantof space, the analysis will centre on Decentralisation, Economic Growth and Poverty Reductionin the Ugandan context. First some of the required literature will be reviewed and comparedwith what was actually found on the field.
 
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B
oth thematic and geographical 

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