Our Book of the Month choice for January

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

Sarah Rhodes (an SSL Subject Consultant) selecting a book from the shelves in the SSL

January’s Book of the Month was selected by Sarah Rhodes, Subject Consultant for International Development, Forced Migration, and African & Commonwealth Studies.

The cover of the book 'When communities design aid' which features drawings of different coloured hands, reaching towards the title. On top of it is a rosette with the words 'SSL Book of the Month' in it.


Richard Atkinson

When communities design aid: creating solutions to poverty that people own, use, and need

HC79.P63.ATK 2022





It was chosen to highlight the importance of communities struggling with poverty to be involved in the design and planning of programmes to facilitate their own development.

Book Overview

Aid initiatives go wrong for many reasons, but a common and surprising one is that poor people often don’t want the kind of aid that is offered. The importance of radically accelerating the transfer of knowledge, skills and power from outside ’experts’ to communities on the ground is key to resolving this issue.  The author’s twelve proposals for Participative Development Goals hope to stimulate debate and action amongst development practitioners, researchers and organisations interested in developing solutions for the world’s poorest communities.


‘This welcome book provides an actionable blueprint for bringing the end-user into the design of interventions.  As such, it effectively challenges the supply-side approach that dominates the field’.

Per Braginski, Insights, Copenhagen

How can I access it?

This title is available in hard copy in the library and is currently located in our New Books Display Area (around the corner from our Issue Desk). Its shelfmark is HC79.P63.ATK 2022 and it is available to borrow by Oxford University students and staff members.

Image of an open book with the pages curled to form a love heartWhat would your SSL Book of the Month be? Do you have a favourite book in our collection? If so, we would love to know what it is. Add a comment below or email us.

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