Anthony Ware is Lecturer, School of International and Political Studies, Deakin University, Australia.
Ware's well-researched and detailed analysis of international NGOs in Myanmar advocates for culturally sensitive approaches to development and historically informed understandings of context rather than assumptions based on external imaginations of the country. The timing of the book is impeccable as donors lift sanctions and more and more international NGOs turn their attention to Myanmar. Ware's book serves as an essential guidepost to NGO workers and analysts of civil society navigating this new dawn. The book presents an analysis of sociopolitical milieu for Burmese days and Myanmar times from historical perspectives and it highlights the topics of context sensitivity; while working with communities and dealing with stakeholders. But the real thrust of this book is the working style of INGOs in Myanmar which has a complex though not a unique operating environment for aid agencies. Such socio-political environment is found in many African and Asian countries. However, working in Myanmar is dancing with the devil without holding hands as the skeptical eyes of authoritarian regime cannot be ignored while designing the development projects there. Though, the book covers the case of Myanmar, due to its grounding in theoretical base of context s sensitivity, it serves as a resource for understanding impacts of contextualization on the effectiveness of development projects in Myanmar and beyond.