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Wrecking an International Project: Notes from a saboteurs vade mecum


Wrecking an International Project
B. Use of distance
C. Use of funds
D. Use of cultural and working style differences
E. Use of intellectual differences and comprehension
F. Use of image, competence and presentation
G. Use of public relations
H. Use of organizational structure and procedures
I. Use of prospective supporters and opponents
J. Use of superficial response, decoys and lures
K. Use of technical matters
L. Use of project personnel
M. Use of strong arm methods and intimidation
N. Use of information

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Reprinted in International Associations 1972, pp. 487-490, with minor modifications by the author, from and earlier version under the title More than 100 Ways to Sabotage a Project: notes from a saboteur's handbook (Urban and Social Change Review, USA), 5, 2, Spring 1972, pp. 67-71). [PDF version]
Despite its title and the nature of the contents, this list is published here for a serious purpose. Some such checklist should be in the hands of anyone anxious to see a project effectively implemented so that he or she can ensure that each administrative step made in response to the project proposal is not disguised sabotage. In fact 'in case of doubt' the burden of proof should be on those responding to the project proposal. NG0s will recognize many of these methods from their associations with IGOs...

A. Use of time lags

  1. Respond too soon.
  2. Respond too late.
  3. Arrange a meeting to discuss the matter at some convenient future date.
  4. Time the critical meeting, or invite the critical intervention, so that it interferes with people's desire to go away for lunch, for a weekend, or for a holiday period.
  5. Ensure that the critical intervention is given just too little time, so that the arguments appear incoherent.
  6. Agree to research the topic in depth, so as to introduce a delay.
  7. Encourage submission of the project through a body which already has an overload of projects for consideration.
  8. Encourage submission of the project at a time when budgetary allocations for the following period have already been decided.

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