“We are poor, but we are developed” Differential Perceptions of “Development” among Key Stakeholder Groups in the Philippines

Main Article Content

Adam Kis
Jovy Conde Cabus
Tzaddi Romo
Cheyanne Welch


This mixed-methods study conducted in the Philippines explored the perceptions of various stakeholders in the international development process on the meaning of the word “development”. It also measured the extent of differences between stakeholder groups (Adventist Development and Relief Agency [ADRA] employees, government liaisons, and beneficiaries) on their perceptions of what “development” means. It was found that approximately half of the self-generated indicators associated with the word “development” overlapped between stakeholder groups, and approximately half were unique to each stakeholder group. In addition, the differences measured between stakeholder perceptions were statistically significant using ANOVA and MANOVA procedures. The implications for these different perceptions according to stakeholder group are discussed. Furthermore, the implications for faith-based NGO’s working in development (such as ADRA) are also discussed.

Article Details

How to Cite
Kis, A., Cabus, J., Romo, T., & Welch, C. (2020). “We are poor, but we are developed”. Christian Relief, Development, and Advocacy: The Journal of the Accord Network, 1(2), 93-108. Retrieved from https://crdajournal.org/index.php/crda/article/view/407
Author Biographies

Adam Kis,

Dr. Adam D. Kiš is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and the Internship Coordinator for the International Studies Program at Burman University in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. He holds a BA in French from Andrews University and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Florida with a concentration in research methods. Both his Master’s and Doctoral work focused on HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa – the former studying the effects of AIDS on funeral culture in Malawi, and the latter examining how migrant gold miners in Guinea protect themselves from HIV infection in a typically high-risk yet currently low-prevalence environment.

Before his current position, Dr. Kiš was an Assistant Professor of Research and Statistics and Director of the Asia-Pacific Research Center (APRC) at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) in Silang, Cavite, Philippines and a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Graduate Studies, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Manila, Philippines. Prior to that, he was the Programs Director for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Madagascar, Chief of Mission for a World Bank/International Development Association-funded AIDS prevention project implemented by ADRA Madagascar, Country Director for ADRA in Sao Tome and Principe (STP), Director of a USAID-funded health project implemented by ADRA-STP, and Deputy Country Director and HIV/AIDS Technical Assistant for ADRA Guinea. While finishing his dissertation, Dr. Kiš was an instructor of anthropology for the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Andrews University. He has also taught for the ADRA Professional Leadership Institute (APLI) and for Andrews University’s Master’s program in International Development at the Ghana and South Sudan field sites. In addition, he has worked as a consultant for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for A Better World Canada (ABW) at several of their education project sites in Kenya.

Dr. Kiš has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals focusing on international development and the intersection of culture and the AIDS epidemic. His first book, The Development Trap: How Thinking Big Fails the Poor, was published by Routledge in 2018. The book analyzes the prospects for poverty eradication and the motivations of the international development industry. His professional service has included being a member of the International Advisory Council of the Asia Pacific Consortium of Researchers and Educators (APCORE), Chair of the Network of CALABARZON Educational Institutions (NOCEI) Research Council, and serving as the International Professional Representative for the AIDS and Anthropology Research Group (AARG) Steering Committee. Dr. Kiš is married to an American missionary kid who grew up in Malawi, the United States, and Kenya. They have two children, a boy and a girl. Dr. Kiš is fluent in English, French, and Portuguese and nearly fluent in Spanish. He has traveled to over 50 countries and territories on 5 continents.

Jovy Conde Cabus

Jovy is an independent researcher who has worked on contract for ADRA Philippines from time to time over the years in various aspects.

Tzaddi Romo

Tzaddi is an independent researcher who has worked on contract for ADRA Philippines from time to time on various projects.

Cheyanne Welch

Cheyanne Welch is a recent graduate of the International Studies program at Burman University in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada.