Results Time-Questions more


3. Silver Bullet Participation?

The interviewees saw participation as the central answer to the problem of how to properly deal with the factor time. Therein the central idea was that reliability was the basic precondition for stable partnerships. The argument can be summarized in three points:

  • First: There is general agreement that the timetables and cycles of the partners have to be coordinated. However that is not as easy as it may sound. A handbook of the UNDP states for example: “Participation begins, when the donor does nothing.” The first rule is: “Don’t rush!” Necessary preconditions to design timetables participative are transparency and sensitivity – especially as regards the time restrictions of those working in development cooperation. It has to be recognized that our own time structure, also the demand for more speed – represents a restriction, that reduces the room for maneuver of both sides.

  • Second: Adolf Kloke-Lesch (BMZ) has found out that time has to do with power. It is about the power to set binding timetables for others. Or that one gives up part of his power, by accepting the time dimension of the other. This can go as far as complete synchronization. Prof. Josef Sayer (Misereor) recounted his time in Peru: “We were traveling without a car: deliberately, in order not to lapse back into Western acceleration: to drive into one village, talk to some people, and then drive to the next appointment. That would have been “efficient”. We however were walking. That took time. But it adapted our time experience to that of the people there”.

  • Kloke-Lesch formulates synchronization as a goal, i.e. the alignment of temporal concepts. Participation means not only taking part in a process designed by a donor country, but a real acceptance on both sides of a common process.

  • Third: It is crucial to take social integration into consideration. A result could be, according to Dr. Martin Bröckelmann-Simon (Misereor) a socially intelligent and integrating time planning, as shown by the example of the fable of the rabbit and the hedgehog, where the rabbit represents blindness for his environment and the ignorant chasing of speed records. The hedgehog on the other hand is an example of intelligent social networking, that resists the time pressure from outside and through an advantage in information and adaptation of the rules leads to success.


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Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH Bischöfliches Hilfswerk MISEREOR

Die Zeit

The interviewees saw participation as the central answer to the problem of how to properly deal with the factor time.


Results of the Survey (PDF, 164 kB)


The Problem

Time and Man

Silver Bullet Participation?

Pro and Contra Speed

Starting With Us

List of Interviewees