From Idealism to Realism
“From Idealism to Realism”: A social history of the Dutch in Zambia 1965-2013
Anne-Lot Hoek, published and commissioned by the Africa Study Centre.
"…In 2012 I wrote a book for the Africa Study Centre on the relationship between The Netherlands and Zambia at the ending of the development relationship and the closure of the Dutch embassy. What did we leave behind? Was it a good moment to leave? What did we accomplish, and was that in terms of development goals or was it the spin-off of from the aid? I made an overview from the first ambassador in 1965 who came from the former Dutch Indies, who visited the young inexperienced development volunteers far in the bush accompanied by a few bottles of jenever (Dutch gin) in his trunk, to the high level development policies and diplomacy of modern development cooperation. When the Dutch left, a number of former development workers who became commercial farmers stayed. The biggest coffee grower of Zambia who I visited on his huge estate, was a Dutchmen; an intriguing adventurer who came to Zambia in the 1960s from Twente..."
SNV, Netherlands Development Organisation
"…In 2005- 2007 I was part of a research project for the Africa Study Centre in Leiden. Together with dr. Inge Brinkman I researched forty years of development aid by Dutch development organization SNV. For this project, that was supervised by Jan-Bart Gewald by whom I graduated, I made extensive travels into Cameroon, Zambia, Mali and Bolivia. We looked at the concept of development aid, its goals and how they were met, seen from a local perspective. It was a fantastic experience: from interviewing native South-Americans in the Amazon, aid workers in the capital of Mali to finding a former catholic priest deep in the forests of Cameroon, and digging into the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It cured my idealistic ideas on development aid. But I did learn a great deal from the way local people coped with developmental challenges, such as the many SNV drivers who most of the time knew more about the history of the organization than the directors. And from the influence of Dutch individuals who decided to stay and finish what the organization had started in the 1960s out of own initiative…."
Bricks, Mortar and Capacity Building:
A Socio-Cultural History of SNV Netherlands Development Organisation
Inge Brinkman in cooperation with Anne-Lot Hoek
Brill, Afrika-Studiecentrum Series; vol. 18, 2010.