The reflexive engineer: perceptions of integrated development

Robbins, Peter T. (2007). The reflexive engineer: perceptions of integrated development. Journal of International Development, 19(1) pp. 99–110.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jid.1351

Abstract

The professional ideology of engineers is said to be rooted in feelings of self-importance and a belief in an ability to lead based on qualities of technical expertise and rational decision making not held by the public at large. This paper outlines the views of another group of engineers, labelled ‘reflexive engineers’, having a much more integrated view of socio-technical systems. Interviews were conducted with engineers working in the Global South in fields such as community water supply and sanitation. The paper aims to uncover how they make sense of the social and how they perceive factors shaping development practice.

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