Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Charles Curry-Smithson


Even though local development needs may be thoroughly assessed in the field through the use of various approaches, if the decision-making processes do not appropriately address the local needs, the development activities will not result in an effective outcome for the beneficiaries.

Therefore, development professionals need to take not only the field side but also the decision-making side into consideration and to then secure an invisible path to clearly articulate local development needs from the field side to the decision-making side.

This Capstone explores how the headquarters staff as the decision-making side should face the local staff, the field side, in order to create the optimum relationship in which to achieve ‘effective’ development aid, by focusing on a case study of a development organization. My research question is as follows: How can the OISCA headquarters staff improve their relationship with the local field staff in order to best meet the local needs?

Sub-questions include the following: 1) How do the local staff evaluate the needs assessment process conducted by the headquarters staff? and 2) How do the local staff perceive themselves in their relationship with the headquarters’ staff?

By analyzing qualitative data from interviews, questionnaires, etc, this study concludes that the headquarters staff need to ensure; 1) access to information by the local staff, 2) internal and external interactions with the local staff, 3) local rights to self-determination, and 4) self-awareness of one’s own roles and the goal of our development aid, in order to achieve development aid based on an optimum relationship with the local staff of a development project.


Growth and Development | Organizational Behavior and Theory