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Mark Liechty

What Went Right

What Went Right


ISBN: 9781316514900


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This book explores why Nepal's hydropower sector is one of its few development success stories. Unlike most other 'developing' countries, in Nepal local firms design and build hydropower facilities using Nepali engineers, builders and labor. Nepal has largely avoided the trap whereby most poor countries are forced to accept energy infrastructure projects that are foreign designed, funded and built – typically resulting in debt, dependency and unsustainability. It traces the struggle between two competing development paradigms: one that emphasizes gradual national human capacity building – at the expense of speed and efficiency – and another that emphasizes rapid, large-scale infrastructure building – at the risk of unsustainability and dependency. At stake is whether what passes for 'development' benefits the countries in which it occurs, or the banks and investors that finance capital-intensive projects. What Went Right brings a vision for sustainable development into vigorous conversation with development strategies that have proven to be less productive.

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