Foreword to Planning and the Case Study Method in Africa: The Planner in Dirty Shoes
Flyvbjerg, Bent, 2014, "Foreword," in James Duminy, Jørgen Andreasen, Fred Lerise, Nancy Odendaal, and Vanessa Watson, eds., Planning and the Case Study Method in Africa: The Planner in Dirty Shoes (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. xiii-xv.
4 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2016
Date Written: October 1, 2014
One morning in the early 1990s, at the Lutheran Uhuru Hostel at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, my colleagues Tumsifu Nnkya and Fred Lerise were getting ready, after months of preparation, to go out to begin fieldwork for case studies for their doctoral dissertations. As their supervisor, I asked if I could join them. I thought my professional support might come in handy for dealing with what Clifford Geertz (1995) has called, appropriately in capitals, ‘The Field’ and described as a ‘powerful disciplinary force: assertive, demanding, even coercive’ (Geertz, 1995, p. 119). But Nnkya and Lerise would have none of it. Born and raised in the region where we worked, they patiently explained to me it was bad enough that they would arrive on site in our team car, the clichéd white four-wheel-drive vehicle of development workers. If, on top of this, they appeared with a European in tow, that would impede data collection and bias results. So they asked me politely to stay ‘at home’ at the Uhuru Hostel, which I reluctantly did, watching the white car disappear down the hostel driveway with the doctors-to-be.
Keywords: Planning, Urban Planning, City Management, Regional Management
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