Recommended Reading on the Subjects of Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, Community Development, and Poverty Alleviation

The following are recommended reading for anyone interested in learning more about water resource development, sanitation, hygiene, and other subjects related to community development and poverty alleviation.

This list is by no means complete and will be updated regularly.

We are always looking for excellent books and information that are educational and enlightening.

If you have suggestions for books that you feel belong on recommended reading list like this, please feel free to email us by visiting "Contact Us".



Alleviating Poverty/Advancing Prosperity by Steven Downey,

BookBaby, 2015.

ISBN-13: 9781483556864

Explores the current state of our fight against world poverty in an effort to rethink our strategies and the nature of poverty itself. Principles in this book will increase the effectiveness and sustainability of anti-poverty programs from short-term missions to global long term efforts. 


Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot and Cold Climate Cultures by Sarah A. Lanier,

McDougal Publ., 2007.

ISBN-10: 1581580223

A unique perspective on cross-cultural experiences. The author creates within us a greater appreciation for our extended families around the world and an increased desire to better understand them. Recommended reading for anyone working cross-culturally. 



When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert,

Moody Publ., 2009

ISBN-10: 0802457053

A situation is assessed for whether relief, rehabilitation, or development is the best response to a situation. Efforts are characterized by an "assest based" approach rather than a "needs based" approach. Short term mission efforts are addressed and microenterprise development (MED) is explored. Recommended reading. 



Let the Nations Be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions by John Piper,

Baker Academic; 3 edition, 2010.

ISBN-10: 0801036410

"If I had to choose only one book on missions, Let the Nations Be Glad! would be it. Don't read it unless you're willing to have your eyes reopened to the highest possible motive for being about the business of reaching the world for Christ."--Duane Litfin, president, Wheaton College. Recommended reading for the missions-oriented and reaching the poor in the hardest-to-reach places. 



Just and Lasting Change: When Communities Own Their Futures by Daniel Taylor and Carl E. Taylor,

The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.

ISBN-10: 0801868254

This book shows us the real potential of honest partnerships between communities, governments, and technical experts. 



Don’t Watse Your Life by John Piper,

Crossway Books, 2010.

ISBN-10: 1433506327

Most people spend their lives on trivial diversions, seeking to gain comfort and pleasure for themselves. But Jesus said, "Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." If the path to God-exalting joy and purpose is to "lose" your life rather than to waste it, then this book is essential 



Banker to the Poor: Micro-lending and the Battle Against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus,

Public Affairs; Rev. and Updated, 2003.

ISBN-10: 1586481983

Banker to the Poor is an inspiring memoir of the birth of microcredit, written in a conversational tone that makes it both moving and enjoyable to read. The Grameen Bank is now a $2.5 billion banking enterprise in Bangladesh, while the microcredit model has spread to over 50 countries worldwide, from the U.S. to Papua New Guinea, Norway to Nepal. 



Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by Muhammad Yunnus,

Public Affairs; Reprint edition, 2009.

ISBN-10: 1586486675

This volume efficiently recounts the story of microcredit, then discusses Social Business, organizations designed to help people while turning profits. French food giant Danone's partnership to market yogurt in Bangladesh is described in detail, along with 25 other businesses that operate under the Grameen banner. Infused with entrepreneurial spirit and the excitement of a worthy challenge, this book is recommended reading and the opposite of pessimistic recitals of intractable poverty's horrors. 



The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier,

Oxford University Press, 2008.

ISBN-10: 0195373383

Reveals that fifty failed states--home to the poorest one billion people on Earth--pose the central challenge of the developing world in the twenty-first century. Collier offers real hope for solving one of the great humanitarian crises facing the world today. Recommended reading concerning poverty alleviation. 



The No-Nonsense Guide to International Development by Maggie Black,

New Internationalist , 2007.

ISBN-10: 1904456634

A concise examination of international development, its history, and current challenges. 



Whose Reality Counts: Putting the First Last by Robert Chambers,

Intermediate Technology Publications, 1997.

ISBN-10: 185339386X

An authority in participatory development approaches, calls on all development professionals to adopt new methods of interacting and learning that empower the world's poor. Recommended reading concerning ownership and responsibility in community development. 



The End of Poverty:Economic Possibilities for Our Time by Jeffrey Sachs,

Penguin, 1st edition, 2006.

ISBN-10: 0143036580

Sachs's latest work not only asserts that the elimination of extreme poverty is possible, but that it can be accomplished by 2025. In this recommended reading he delineates how this can be achieved and what people living in the West can do to contribute. 



Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher,

Harper & Row; First edition, 1975.

ISBN-10: 0060803525

Schumacher pioneered the concept of low cost, appropriate, small-scale development ideas to help people to help themselves. 



The No-Nonsense Guide to World Poverty by Jeremy Searbrok,

New Internationalist , 2007.

ISBN-10: 1904456669

Jeremy Searbrok looks at the broad effects of poverty worldwide and the inseparability of poverty and wealth. 



Development As Freedom by Amartya Sen,

Anchor; Reprint edition, 2000.

ISBN-10: 0195655265

This groundbreaking work challenges popular understandings of development by explaining economic development not as an end, but rather a means to extending freedoms. 



The Alms Bazaar: Altruism Under Fire by Ian Smillie,

Practical Action, 1995.

ISBN-10: 1853393010

Ian Smillie examines international development NGOs—their historical evolution, the challenges they face and the lessons they have learned. 



Mastering the Machine: Poverty, Aid and Technology by Ian Smillie,

Westview Pr., 1992.

ISBN-10: 0813314887

An introduction to appropriate technologies—a must-read for anyone interested in work overseas and the role of western engineers in development. 



The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly,

Penguin (Non-Classics); First Edition, 2007.

ISBN-10: 0143038826

Author asserts that without feedback from the poor who need the aid, no one in charge really understands exactly what trouble spots need fixing. True victories against poverty are most often achieved through indigenous, ground-level planning. 



Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa by Dambis Moro and Niall Ferguson,

Douglas & Mcintyre Ltd, 2010.

ISBN-10: 1553655427

Author prescribes a tough dose of medicine: stopping the tide of money that, however well-intentioned, only promotes corruption in government and dependence in citizens. 



The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence by Martin Meredith,

PublicAffairs, 2006.

ISBN-10: 1586483986

One of the decade's most important works on Africa. Spanning the entire continent, and covering the major upheavals more or less chronologically—from the promising era of independence to the most recent spate of infamies 



Food and Water: Threats, Shortages and Solutions by Bernard S. Cayne and Jenny E. Tesar,

Facts on File, 1992.

ISBN-10: 0816024952

Discusses the vital importance of having an adequate supply of food and water and the effects of pursuing this need though various forms of storage and farming methods. 



Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity by Sandra Postel,

W. W. Norton & Company; 2 edition , 1997.

ISBN-10: 0393317447

The author has written a stunning account which discloses the atrocious amount of neglect and mismanagement of water. Fortunately, there are solutions which offer hope for restoring and sustaining our essential lifeline, all of which are economically and environmentally friendly. 



Tapped Out: The Coming World Crisis in Water and What We Can Do About It by Paul Simon,

Welcome Rain Publishers, 2002.

ISBN-10: 1566492211

Discusses increasing global population and a water supply that cannot increase; faced with this crisis, what can the average citizen do? 



Water: A Natural History by Alice Outwater,

Basic Books, 1997.

ISBN-10: 0465037801

Takes us on a journey 500 years past to present to recover a lost knowledge - how the land cleans its own water, how natural ecologically interacting systems can create healthy waterways. 



Water: Almost Enough for Everyone by Stephanie Ocko,

Atheneum, 1995.

ISBN-10: 0689317972

Through case studies, anecdotes, facts, and theoretical explanations, this recommended reading provides a look at the social and environmental implications of severe droughts, their causes, and some possible solutions.



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