Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Thayer Scudder, May 20, 2003

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Path to applied anthropology: Childhood and undergraduate years

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Partial Transcript: --Professor Thayer Scudder by Professor Lisa Cliggett on May 20th, nine--uh, 2003 at Cal Tech University, California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California in Professor Scudder's office.

Segment Synopsis: Cliggett asks Scudder about his childhood and what sort of trajectory led him to anthropology. Scudder begins answering by making the point that he thinks serendipity/chance/luck plays a big part in how one gets into a career. Scudder explains that he had originally intended to become an old-fashioned naturalist/biologist, particularly in the Amazon. He adds that most of his extracurricular activities and classes revolved around his interest in the outdoors. Scudder discusses how his parents played an important role in influencing his interests. He describes how his father's interest in nature and birds heavily influenced his own interests. Scudder often accompanied his parents to a literature commune during the summers of his childhood, spending much of his time in the woods observing birds and hiking. After graduating from his high school, Scudder attended Harvard University, but he notes that he wasn't at all interested in academics, barely climbing from a C+ average to a B- while in high school. Scudder discusses how his extracurricular activities while in high school, most significantly mountaineering, helped drive him to continue his studies and continued once he arrived at Harvard. Some of his first interactions with anthropology were at Harvard; he took archaeology since he was finished with all of his biology courses early. Scudder describes how, at this point in his studies, his interests shifted to becoming a naturalist working in the mountains as he became a mountain climbing fanatic. He became heavily involved in the Harvard Mountaineering Club and American Alpine Club, leading several expeditions himself. Scudder discusses how, around this time, he got married to his wife and began to extensively hitchhike, an experience which led to his growing interest in anthropology. Cliggett asks Scudder if he thinks he had an innate ability to communicate with people or if he thinks his ability to communicate improved over time from encountering diverse groups of people while hitchhiking. Scudder responds that he thinks it has something to do with mostly being around people much older or much younger than him while growing up. He explains that this led him to be good at bridging gaps in experiences. Scudder then returns to discussing his interests while at Harvard. He describes his interest in ornithology and his early experience with it and taxonomy, which led to him realizing he wasn't as interested in it professionally as he was as a hobby. Scudder then describes how he became interested in ethnobotany, studying maize from New Mexico. However, he also lost interest in this area of study, moving on instead to archaeology and studying the Paleolithic. Around this time, Scudder also began to take courses in physical anthropology, but had no experience at all with socio-cultural studies in anthropology. After graduating from Harvard, Scudder discusses his experience with working for the Arctic Institute of North America where he began working on a research project in the mountains on the border of Canada and the U.S. He describes how the institute was looking for a mountaineer to handle the logistics of the project and keep scientists safe, but they wanted him to have more experience before they hired him. Because of this, Scudder discusses how he began work in the Quartermaster Corps testing equipment in various climatic conditions. After about a year, Scudder describes how the Arctic Institute was ready for him and he resigned from the Quartermaster Corps, only for an accident to happen to his boss's family and the project to be cancelled as a result. Scudder discusses how without a job, but a growing interest in primitive religion, he began graduate school at Yale University.

Keywords: Amazon; Archaeology; Arctic Institute of North America (AINA); Biologists; Biology; Childhood; Commune; Ethnobotany; Exeter; Extra-curricular activities; Extracurricular activities; Hallam L. Movius; Hallam Movius; Harvard University; Hitchhiking; Literary commune; Literature; Literature commune; Maize; Mountain climbing; Mountain-climbing; Mountaineering; Mountaineering Club; Naturalists; Ornithology; Philipps Exeter Academy; Physical anthropology; Quartermaster Corps; Serendipity; Swarthmore College; Taxonomy; Undergraduate education

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Archaeology; Arctic Institute of North America; Ethnobotany; Mountaineering; Ornithology; Physical anthropology; Society for Applied Anthropology

00:33:53 - Graduate years at Yale University and Harvard University

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Partial Transcript: How did you end up at Yale Divinity School?

Segment Synopsis: Cliggett asks Scudder how he ended up at Yale Divinity School. Scudder explains that he experienced financial issues while trying to pay for graduate school, but he was given a full scholarship from Yale Divinity School to study religion. Meanwhile, Scudder explains, he was also taking other graduate classes at the same time and became interested in Africa and African studies. Scudder describes how he and his family had to live in uninsulated housing and subsist on what turned out to be cat food and jumbo lobsters for their nutritional needs. Scudder discusses that it was around this time that he became interested in geography as a discipline and began to pursue it as a field of study. However, Scudder explains that geography departments were being closed across many universities for not being seen as valuable, so he dropped the idea of focusing on geography. After this, Scudder discusses how he returned to Harvard and this is where he began to study anthropology at Peabody Museum. Following this, Scudder describes how he obtained a fellowship from the Danforth Foundation for studying religion, helping to finance his graduate work at Harvard. He depicts his experiences at the Danforth summer meetings and the impact of meeting people from many different academic backgrounds. Scudder emphasizes his multidisciplinary interests that continue to influence him even in the present. Scudder then begins to discuss mentors who had the most impact upon his early studies.

Keywords: Africa; African studies; Anthropology; Cora DuBois; D.W. Lockard; Danforth Fellows; Danforth Fellowship; Derwent Whittlesey; Four-field Americanist approach; Four-field approach; Geography; Grad schools; Graduate schools; Harvard University; Intersectionality; Multidisciplinary; Peabody Museum; Phil Gulliver; Yale Divinity School; Yale University

Subjects: Africa; Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Geography; Harvard University; Society for Applied Anthropology; Yale University

00:50:44 - Boston University and Elizabeth Colson

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Partial Transcript: No, um, uh, and he--Elizabeth Colson had been a, uh, research assistant of his and, and, and a junior colleague of his at one point in time. We'll get to Kluckhohn in a moment, later on.

Segment Synopsis: Because of his interest in Africa, but a lack of any experts or scholars of Africa at Harvard, Scudder discusses how he obtained permission from Harvard to take courses at Boston University, particularly with Elizabeth Colson. Scudder describes Colson's class, the material it covered, and how he was impressed by her as a lecturer. Scudder discusses how Colson came to him about a project she had been offered, a research study on the pre-relocation of a population about to be displaced by the building of a dam by the director (Henry Fosbrooke) of the Rhodes-Livingston Institute in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). Scudder explains that Fosbrooke wanted a geographer to work with Colson and Colson had asked Scudder to inquire Whittlesey about any recommendations for one. Scudder states that he came back to Colson with little luck, but offered himself as a choice to go. Scudder discusses how, although Colson agreed to take him along, his advisor Clyde Kluckhohn did not think the field research was a good idea for him since he hadn't even completed his general requirements yet. However, Scudder explains that while he understood Kluckhohn's reservations, he still accompanied Colson to Zambia. Before arriving in Zambia, Scudder discusses how he and Colson stopped in England to attend the Association of Social Anthropologist meeting. Scudder states that it was at this meeting that he knew for sure that he did not want to be a part of any academic anthropology department after hearing, what he described as, cruel criticisms of an anthropologist by those in attendance. Scudder also discusses that he met Chona Mainza while in England, Mainza later became a vice-president of Zambia and later its ambassador to China. It was Mainza that taught Scudder his first words in the Tonga language.

Keywords: Africa; African studies; Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA); Boston University; Clyde Kluckhohn; Derwent Whittlesey; Elizabeth Colson; Harvard University; Henry Fosbrooke; Northern Rhodesia; Zambezi Valley; Zambia

Subjects: Africa; Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Boston University; Harvard University; Society for Applied Anthropology; Zambia

01:04:18 - Gwembe-Tonga study--Pre-relocation

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Partial Transcript: Talk a little bit about what it was like to work with Elizabeth and what fiel--that first fieldwork was like and how that kind of shaped your--

Segment Synopsis: Scudder describes his experience working with Elizabeth Colson, first mentioning that Colson, at this time, is one of the top five social cultural anthropologists in the world and expresses that he was fortunate to work with her. Scudder describes how Henry Fosbrooke had intended on the junior researcher chosen by Colson to be under his thumb and guidance, but was halted by Colson who stated that Scudder was her co-researcher who could make his own independent decisions. Scudder discusses how the first ten days in Zambia during the project was a culture shock to him. This was his first trip outside the U.S., besides Canada and a childhood trip to Bermuda, and he was unsure if he had made the right decision in participating in the project. Scudder describes how Colson reacted to his doubts and then discusses when he chose his own village to study after being given his own vehicle to drive. Scudder explains that it was his job to study a few smaller villages while Colson studied a few larger ones. He then discusses Colson's fieldwork methodology and the distance between their chosen villages. Scudder explains that Folbrooke restricted himself and Colson from going across the Zambezi River so that they wouldn't get into any trouble. He then discusses how he chose to study human ecology of the villages while Colson studied kinship and social organization. Cliggett asks Scudder if he went into the research knowing that he would be writing a book on it. Scudder responds that he indeed did go into the research knowing that it would be his dissertation and that he'd be writing about it. Scudder then discusses the research strategy of picking one village in the area that would not be resettled by the dam project, to be utilized as a control village to compare with villages to be resettled. Scudder explains how he worked closely with Colson to determine how to work out credit when writing separate books and parcel/share the data they gathered during the study.

Keywords: Elizabeth Colson; Gwembe Project; Gwembe-Tonga; Gwembe-Tonga Project; Human ecology; Madanda; Madanda village; Northern Rhodesia; Relocation; Resettlement; Sinafwala; Sinafwala village; Zambia

Subjects: Africa; Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Gwembe Valley (Zambia); Human Ecology; Society for Applied Anthropology; Tonga; Zambia

GPS: Sinafwala (Zambia)
Map Coordinates: -16.816829, 27.783162
01:23:26 - Gwembe-Tonga study--Post-relocation

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Partial Transcript: A lot of people ask that question, when--did you start the project with the anticipation of it being a long-term study?

Segment Synopsis: After Cliggett asks Scudder if he and Colson started their project in the anticipation that it would be a long-term study, Scudder responds that they did not anticipate it being a long-term project. He mentions that it was fortunate that the district commissioner had acquired enough funds for both a pre-resettlement and post-resettlement study. Scudder mentions that, had they known what they learned in the future, that he and Colson should have been in the area to study the process of relocation and the time directly after it. Scudder discusses how the attitudes of the individuals you are studying and their perception of you impacts your research. He notes that the Tonga were not hostile towards himself and Colson, despite the circumstances of them being there. Scudder describes how villagers used denial as a stress reduction mechanism that allowed them to cope with the upheaval of relocation and the severing of their identities with their physical land and properties. Cliggett asks Scudder if he and Colson were noticing the effects of stress while in the field or when observing their data. Scudder responds that some of this knowledge was directly apparent in the field, giving the example of ritual leaders unable to reestablish their shrines. Scudder mentions that some British colonial officials truly cared about the well-being of the individuals being relocated, but they had no experience in relocation and the World Bank did not have guidelines on relocation at the time. Scudder describes how the process of resettlement differed significantly between Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). In Southern Rhodesia, the process of resettlement was in charge of the self-governing white settlers who simply saw Gwembe villages/villagers as "in the way" while there was active effort on the part of Northern Rhodesian officials to include individuals to be relocated in the process of relocation. Scudder notes that the policy used by the district commissioner in Gwembe was ahead of its time; Gwembe villagers were asked where they would like to be resettled and in what form. However, Scudder explains that the company in charge of the dam decided to heighten it during relocation preparations, the dam would now flood many areas designated for relocation. The government decided to move villagers downstream about a hundred miles to the only "unoccupied" area for resettlement. Scudder describes how the Tonga came into conflict with their new Goba neighbors who were of a different cultural and language group. He explains how the Tonga and Goba came up with ways to coexist, however these ways were not permanent measures.

Keywords: Field work; Fieldwork; Goba; Gwembe Project; Gwembe-Tonga; Gwembe-Tonga Project; Kariba Dam; Northern Rhodesia; Relocation; Resettlement; Socio-cultural impacts; Tonga; World Bank

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Field work; Fieldwork; Gwembe Valley (Zambia); Kariba Dam (Zambia and Zimbabwe); Society for Applied Anthropology; World Bank; Zambia

GPS: Kariba Dam (Zambia and Zimbabwe)
Map Coordinates: -16.522075, 28.761658
01:44:22 - Post-doctoral work in Egypt / Creation of the Institute for Development Anthropology

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Partial Transcript: Okay, we're, um, back after lunch on May 20th at 1:30 in the afternoon and, um, continuing on with our discussion and I guess, um, I'll start out with another question about what you knew or didn't know back, uh, during that second fieldwork time with the Gwembe in '62-'63.

Segment Synopsis: Cliggett asks Scudder if he was aware of applied anthropology at the time of his second fieldwork in Gwembe, Scudder replies that he didn't think he had any awareness of policy relevant research at that time. Scudder describes how, since he was still a graduate student at the time, he had to take foreign language courses at Harvard. He took French for ten days and German for two weeks but, due to the nature of them essentially being cram sessions, he gained nothing from them. Scudder then criticizes the degree criteria since he was forced to take these courses but gained almost nothing from them. Cliggett asks Scudder to talk about his time in Aswan and at the American University at Cairo. Scudder discusses how he had just gotten his PhD and had been in the process of moving all of his belongings to his godmother's house after graduating. Scudder states that he was offered two different fellowships, but took up the SSRC fellowship since he thought it was better. The SSRC fellowship took him to the London School for Economics where he did a year of postdoctoral work. Scudder lists his reasons for choosing to go to LSE: British social anthropology, the school's reputation, and because Raymond Firth and Isaac Schapera (a scholar on southern Africa) were there. However, Scudder states that after he arrived to meet Schapera, who had been designated to be his adviser, he was turned away by Schapera who had no interest in being his adviser. He discusses how it was fortunate that Raymond Firth decided to take him in and that working with Firth was better than working with Schapera. Scudder then describes how he and his family traveled around Europe after he was done with his year of postdoctoral studies at LSE. He mentions that he was offered two jobs while at LSE, one was offered by Elizabeth Colson who wanted him to study with her colleague in Khartoum, Sudan and the other offer was from his friend, Alan Horton, to work on a study of the Nubian population affected by the Aswan High Dam. Scudder states that he chose the offer from Horton because it interested him a great deal more. Scudder describes the Nubian study, how the Egyptian Nubians had been relocated because of the dam being re-heightened three times and how he traveled from Aswan to the Sudanese-Egyptian border, stopping in every other community to study labor migration rates. Scudder discusses how he chose four communities with 100 percent labor migration rates, no males over the age of 13 within them, and four communities with the lowest migration rates to study. Scudder states that the Aswan study didn't have major policy implications because, like the Kariba Dam study he did in Zambia, it was too late. He explains that the project was much more important as a salvage ethnography project than in influencing major policy. Scudder explains that he and his colleague, Fernea, were well aware of the policy implications of their research and they, along with Francisco Benes and Alphonse Said, decided around that time to form the Institute for Development Anthropology. However, Scudder also explains that the Institute didn't really form until fifteen years later due to the death of Benes who had been the key instigator. Scudder discusses his comparative analysis of resettlement that he was conducting and the quasi-laboratory nature of it. Scudder then describes the circumstances under which the Nubians acquired their own irrigation project from the Egyptian government. He discusses how this project was one of a kind because there was no other example of a government anywhere giving re-settlers their own project to control. Scudder explains that the Nubians utilized the irrigation project to diversify their production system, educate their children, and advance women's rights. Scudder explains that their exclusive right, access, and their shrewd use of the irrigation project allowed Nubians to dominate the political economy of Aswan Province and continue establishing themselves elsewhere.

Keywords: American University of Cairo; Aswan; Aswan High Dam; Egyptian Nubia; Institute for Development Anthropology (IDA); Labor migration; Labor migration rates; London School for Economics (LSE); Nubia; Nubians; Policy; Resettlement; Social Science Research Council

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Aswan High Dam (Egypt); Institute for Development Anthropology (Binghamton, N.Y.); Nubia; Nubians; Society for Applied Anthropology

GPS: Aswan High Dam (Egypt)
Map Coordinates: 23.970903, 32.877291
02:11:46 - First consultancy at the World Bank--The art of collaboration

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Partial Transcript: Well, we have to go--we have to go on with the story, um, so, in, in '63 with Molly and I having been overseas for three years, uh, and, um, we came back to, um, to the United States out-of-sight out-of-mind...

Segment Synopsis: Scudder discusses his return to the U.S. after three years abroad. He talks about how he was given a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard, which provided him with the opportunity to write up his Nubian labor migration work. Scudder explains that he reestablished contact with Phil Gulliver at Boston University and was recommended by Gulliver to the World Bank after Gulliver turned down the offer since he was too busy. Scudder discusses how he resigned his postdoc at Harvard and went to the World Bank as a consultant, working with three economists and an agronomist on a Pan-African study on small-holder agriculture. Around the same time, Scudder discusses how he came to work at Cal Tech. He explains how the position at Cal Tech was wonderful because he was the only anthropologist there and he was left alone to do his own thing, not a threat to other departments. Scudder returns to talking about his work in the small-holder agriculture study for the World Bank and mentions that the study resulted in a two volume book, a book that he believes is still the best overview of small-holder agriculture in Africa. Scudder explains that around the time of the book being written, he knew that anthropology and organizations like the World Bank and individuals within it could have major policy implications. After Cliggett asks him to talk about his collaboration with his colleagues at the World Bank, Scudder describes the division of expertise among his team members. Scudder states that there were never any arguments with his colleagues because they all recognized and respected each other's expertise in the many different areas of study. Scudder discusses the perspective of the World Bank at the time as being focused on macroeconomics, stating that the reason his colleagues sought an anthropologist was for anthropology's expertise in microeconomics. Scudder emphasizes that one of the biggest problems in policy and applied work is the inability of team members to get along and work together. Scudder describes his relationships with his team members from the small-holder agriculture project and the implications of lifelong relationships with colleagues. Cliggett asks Scudder how you can make your work have an impact. Scudder explains that there is no guarantee of making an impact and that written reports and selling them as being valuable means nothing unless you have authority to implement the results or to sign off on someone else implementing them. Scudder cites his colleague Michael Cernea as a good example of someone who was able to have an impact because of his ability to navigate the authority of an organization.

Keywords: Africa; African studies; Cal Tech; California Institute of Technology; California Tech; Collaboration; Consultancy; Economics; Economists; Macroeconomics; Microeconomics; Policy; Small-scale agriculture; Small-scale farming; World Bank

Subjects: Africa; Agriculture; Anthropology; Applied anthropology; California Institute of Technology; Economics; Macroeconomics; Microeconomics; Society for Applied Anthropology; World Bank

02:35:55 - Having influence on policy--Okavango Delta

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Partial Transcript: Well, my, my, my--okay, let's, let's see now, what--what--oh, we have to go--before we get into that topic, I want to go a little bit forward with the, with the history, okay?

Segment Synopsis: Scudder begins discussing who he describes was his greatest mentor after Elizabeth Colson, Gilbert White. He describes how he came about meeting White and how White got him involved in dam projects. Scudder then discusses how he, in turn, recommended Wolf Roder for an irrigation project in Nigeria, who went on to do conduct extensive research and work in the area. Scudder recalls how he was mentioned in Roder's book as the person that got him into the work and how this was an example of having influence. Scudder then discusses his colleague Jonathan Jenness and his work with fisheries, which leads him into discussing his part in the Okavango Delta project in Botswana. Scudder explains that the Botswanan government asked the IUCN to put a study/team together from five different nations to examine the ramifications of the project. Scudder remarks that the team, of which he was a member, recommended that the project be cancelled because of the resistance towards it from the local area, safari industries, and the environmental movement. He then discusses how he had arranged for there not to be a contract between the team and IUCN or the Botswanan government so that the team was free to do as it wished with its report. Before the team went public with their report, the government announced it was suspending the project. Scudder designates this as an example of the influence a researcher can have on policy. Scudder then describes what the consequences could have been had the project gone ahead, and mentions the three most successful resettlement projects in Africa.

Keywords: Aswan Project; Botswana; Dams; Egypt; Fisheries; Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); Gilbert White; International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN); Ivory Coast; Jonathan Jenness; Kainji Dam; Kainji Dam project; Kossou project; Nigeria; Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER); Okavango Delta; Ramsar; Resettlement; United Nations Development Program (UNDP); University of Chicago; Wolf Roder; World Bank; World Conservation Union

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Botswana; Dams; International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources; Okavango River Delta (Botswana); Society for Applied Anthropology

GPS: Okavango Delta (Botswana)
Map Coordinates: -19.643464, 22.904491
02:51:08 - The origins of Institute for Development Anthropology (IDA)--Real application of anthropology

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Partial Transcript: Well, um, you're still at Cal Tech. We haven't talked about the, the birth of IDA which I think we should talk about--

Segment Synopsis: Scudder begins to talk about his further connections with dam projects and then discusses Harrison Brown who got him involved in work for an organization called BOSTIN. Scudder then discusses the Pugwash conferences as meetings where scientists from east and west could come together and discuss science and world issues. After briefly mentioning SCOPE, at the behest of Cliggett, Scudder describes the circumstances behind the founding of the IDA. Cliggett asks Scudder how he met his co-founders Michael Horowitz and David Brokensha. Scudder first explains that Brokensha was an old friend who had worked at Berkeley whom he had met sometime in the '60s. Scudder then briefly describes how he met Horowitz, and says that they didn't meet until the mid-1970s. Scudder explains that IDA's origins could be traced to when he, Brokensha, and Horowitz met at SfAA meetings in Arizona around 1975. He discusses how the three of them felt the IDA was important for bringing anthropology into the mainstream of policy analysis. Scudder mentions USAID/AID as a pioneer organization in social science analysis and explains its methodology. Scudder explains that the different professional backgrounds of himself, Brokensha, and Horowitz meant that they were a good team to start IDA. Scudder says that IDA was established in 1976, but the organization and social science in general have struggled due to a lack of funding from the (at that time) government administration of the U.S. and lack of U.S. funding for overseas aid. Scudder attributes much of the credit for setting up IDA to Horowitz, the executive director of IDA. Scudder states that he believes they pioneered the institutional use of anthropology at IDA. After Cliggett inquires about what he means, Scudder explains that IDA was an institution run by anthropologists that actually competed for contracts. Scudder provides two examples of contracts the IDA had: the Onchocerciasis Control Program in West Africa and the Manantali Dam in Mali. Scudder describes the background of both projects. After Cliggett asks Scudder if the recommendations that IDA gave following the completion of their policy evaluation on the Manantali Dam project were heeded, Scudder responds that the recommendations were not accepted by all involved parties and were largely ignored by engineers on the Manantali Dam project. This leads Cliggett to ask if anthropology, because of scenarios like the Manantali Dam project, have real application and make a difference. Scudder responds to this question by stating that it is unfair to pose this as a problem for anthropology when it is a problem that all disciplines face. He describes a similar problem of real application facing his environmental engineer colleague at Cal Tech who was ignored because of U.S. politics. Scudder reiterates that this is a problem for all disciplines, but there are times when he has had success in anthropology of influencing policy through his work.

Keywords: Agency for International Development (AID); Compliance; David Brokensha; Gilbert White; Harrison Brown; Influencing policy; Institute for Development Anthropology (IDA); Manantali Dam; Michael Horowitz; Onchocerciasis Control Program; Pugwash Conference; Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs; Pugwash conferences; River Blindness Control Program; Social soundness analysis; Special Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE); United States Agency for International Development (USAID); World Bank

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Compliance; Manantali Dam (Mali); Onchocerciasis Control Programme in West Africa; Pugwash Conference of Science and World Affairs; Society for Applied Anthropology; United States. Agency for International Development; World Bank

03:17:08 - Okavango Delta--Interdisciplinary project

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Partial Transcript: Okay. Well, we keep saying we'll be getting on to that later on. Can we talk about the Okavango project?

Segment Synopsis: Cliggett asks Scudder how he became team leader of the thirteen interdisciplinary people involved in the Okavango project and how he managed to stay independent from the IUCN and the Botswanan government. Scudder begins by saying that a lot of the strategic decision-making wasn't necessarily planned and sometimes happened as the project went on. Scudder gives a description and historical background of the Okavango Delta. Scudder expresses that the Botswanan government did a good job of seeking outside recommendations and for carrying out the least environmentally damaging project plan. Scudder discusses how the firm that designed the dam for Botswana also was the first to conduct a report on its environmental effects, resulting in a positive report (unsurprisingly from their conflicting interests). Scudder again provides more background on the Okavango Delta's geography and provides information about the interests of the diamond mines in the project. Scudder mentions that, when construction initially began, safari operators, local people, and the environmental community objected to the project and formed the largest political opposition in Botswana since independence. Scudder explains that, to try to appease environmental protectionists and Greenpeace, the Botswanan government allowed Greenpeace to conduct its own report in the hopes that they would get on board and the project could move forward. However, Greenpeace's report resulted in a negative opinion of the project and the Botswanan government contacted IUCN for another study, but this time a yearlong one. Scudder introduces the head of the wetlands and water resources component of IUCN, Patrick Dugan. Scudder explains that Dugan sought him out over his work "Scenario for Dam Construction Beneficial to Local Populations" and asked him to head the study in Okavango. Scudder explains that he initially declined the offer, but took it after further consideration of how much it interested him. Scudder then describes the makeup of the team that he and Dugan assembled for the study. Scudder states that he knew no one on the team prior to the study and that they had all been recommended by colleagues. He explains that only he and Ron Manley stayed in Botswana full-time out of the entire team but they had two large meetings for the entire group at Okavango, both lasting a few weeks. After he talks about how the project was organized on an official memorandum rather than a contract, Cliggett asks Scudder to explain the difference between the two and how he managed to avoid a contract. Scudder describes the difference between a memorandum and a contract, emphasizing the independence the memorandum gave the study from both the IUCN and the Botswanan government. Scudder explains how the study was paid for, a little by the IUCN but mostly by the Swedish, Norwegian, and Botswanan governments. Scudder outlines the various areas the team investigated: impact on local people, the diamond mines, and the city of Maun. After investigating all of these areas that would be affected by the dam project, Scudder's team decided to not recommend the project in their report. Scudder explains that each team member came from their own independent perspective. He explains that he liked to rely upon the expertise of each team member and delegate rather than assume authority.

Keywords: Authority; Boteti River; Botswana; Dams; Diamond mines; International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Memorandums; Networking; Okavango Delta; Okavango River Basin Commission; Patrick Dugan; Program evaluations; Reservoirs; River basin development; Southern Okavango Integrated Water Development Project (SOIWDP); Thamalakene Fault

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Botswana; Dams; Diamond mines and mining; International Union for Conservation of Nature; Okavango River Delta (Botswana); Society for Applied Anthropology

03:44:41 - Attempts by the government of Botswana and IUCN to control the Okavango Delta project

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Partial Transcript: But, no. Now they did try to have--maintain control over us. I, I will mention that.

Segment Synopsis: Scudder describes the times when both IUCN and the government tried to take control of the oversight of the study and he explains how the study managed to stay independent despite outwards pressure. Scudder then explains how the team managed to obtain local insight despite the government insisting that local consultants be avoided since they may be biased. Scudder's team compromised with the government by taking no one on that did not have its approval. Cliggett and Scudder discuss how differently the study may have gone had it been led by an engineer rather than an anthropologist. Scudder then discusses the pressure he and the team faced from the Botswanan government following the declaration of their intention to publish a public report on the results of the study. Scudder explains that the government did suspend the project and had to pay off all of the contractors for the project, resulting in a multi-million dollar loss for the government. Scudder then mentions how President Masire of Botswana and President Mugabe of Zimbabwe attempted to resurrect the project and how he published the results of the study in the Okavango Observer as a reply to this attempted resurrection of the project. Scudder explains that Okavango River Basin has since been made into a Ramsar site following the results of his study and from the threat of Angola and Namibia utilizing the water source. Scudder explains that Okavango becoming a Ramsar site is a precursor to his team's recommendation that it be a world heritage site.

Keywords: Authority; Botswana; Dams; International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Masire; Memorandums; Mugabe; Okavango Delta; Okavango River Basin Commission; Program evaluations; Quett Masire; Ramsar; Reservoirs; River basin development; Robert Mugabe; Southern Okavango Integrated Water Development Project (SOIWDP); Zimbabwe

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Botswana; Dams; Diamond mines and mining; International Union for Conservation of Nature; Okavango River Delta (Botswana); Society for Applied Anthropology

04:15:24 - World Commission on Dams

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Partial Transcript: So, uh, let's talk about the World Commission on Dams.

Segment Synopsis: After Cliggett asks Scudder how he became involved in the World Commission on Dams, Scudder responds by first discussing the fundamentalism involved in opinions on dams and the hydro-politics utilized by national governments. Scudder explains that the World Bank and IUCN came together to bring together thirty-seven carefully selected people to represent all different viewpoints. Scudder states that it was to everyone involved's surprise that the thirty-seven people voted unanimously to establish a World Commission on Dams, which would operate on a limited time span of two years. Scudder explains to Cliggett, after she asks if he was involved in building the commissioner group, that he was one of the thirty-seven and it was understood that none of the thirty-seven would become commissioners. Scudder explains that the commission was made up of thirteen commissioners, both pro- and anti-dam. Scudder describes how the commission contracted out many different case studies around the world, followed by a bunch of studies in specific areas like resettlement, social impacts, indigenous people, etc. The idea, Scudder states, was that the report established by the commission would form the guidelines for future project planning. Scudder discusses that while many governments, banks, and companies said they would follow the new guidelines, many of the biggest dam building countries said they would not, adding that, ironically, the World Bank itself is unsupportive. He explains that the Dams and Development Unit was set up to continue dialogue and the World Bank has set up panels, of which Scudder is a member, to reevaluate the WCD report. Scudder states that the two most contentious issues for the commission were dams that had the most adverse impact without justification and where they had resulted in very adverse irreplaceable, irreversible environmental impacts. Cliggett asks Scudder about the process of working with the commissioners. Scudder explains that the first three to six months of the commission were spent getting to know each other and they had eight meetings over the two year period of the commission. Scudder states that the most contentious issues were left to be discussed until the very end of the commission, explaining that this allowed the commissioners to work towards these issues rather than unconstructively argue about them.

Keywords: Commissioners; Dams; Dams and Development Unit (DDU); International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); World Bank; World Commission on Dams

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Dams; International Union for Conservation of Nature; Society for Applied Anthropology; World Bank; World Commission on Dams