The book is called We Do Know How, and outlines a proven market-driven approach to economic development that is called the Buyer-Led Approach. It was written for development practitioners and offers fresh thinking for working with value chain actors. It combines that thinking with practical guidance, in plain English, on what to do and (perhaps more importantly) what not to do while working on the ground. We Do Know How takes buzzwords often used in development (such as demand-driven, results-oriented, and accountability) and makes them real, spelling out a proven approach for expanding business sales and generating jobs for poor people.
Although government has a strong role to play in development, we know that the actions of businesses drive economic growth and expand individual incomes. We Do Know How shows how to build on the incentives that drive businesses and, in the process, create jobs for the poor. Specifically, it urges development practitioners to support only those business opportunities for which there is market demand, abiding by the maxim produce what you can sell, rather than sell what you produce. Further, it cautions development practitioners to search creatively for ways to solve the specific problems that already stand in the way of clients meeting buyers requirements - rather than practitioners being the solutions themselves. We Do Know How challenges much conventional wisdom on how to do development work. At the same time, and in contrast to other books on development, it shows how - by maintaining focus and discipline - development practitioners can deliver demonstrable increases in jobs for those who need them.
To tell you a bit more about Dr. Riordan, he is a proven development practitioner with more than 35 years of experience in the design and implementation of agricultural and business development programs around the world. Dr. Riordan has a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, has lived in Colombia, Peru, Egypt, and Albania, and has worked in 59 countries around the world. As the Project Director for USAID?s Poverty Reduction and Alleviation (PRA) Program in Peru, Mr. Riordan developed and implemented the approach featured in We Do Know How, for which the project received Perus prestigious Creatividad Empresarial award.