Smith, Janet: Travel Grant - 2017-2018

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Project Title: 
Navigating Alternatives in the Political Economy of Development
Project Abstract: 
The Islamic Development Bank is a multilateral lending institution that provides loans for development projects to Muslim member nations according to Islamic principles. These principles have been praised for creating a structured financial system based on equality and partnership, restricting the banks ability to make extensive profits on a loan. As an alternative lending institution to the World Bank and IMF, scholars have questioned the ability of Islamic financial institutions to perform to their full potential while remaining within the dominant, Western economic system.  Burkina Faso, a landlocked, resource poor West African nation, has recently partnered with the IDB for a solar energy project that promises to reduce poverty via electrification of rural communities. This project explores how the IDB navigates the political economy, examining how an alternative development model is practiced and negotiated by implementing actors and recipients in Burkina Faso.