When Helping Hurts


With more than 450,000 copies in print, When Helping Hurts is a paradigm-forming contemporary classic on the subject of poverty alleviation.

Poverty is much more than simply a lack of material resources, and it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve it. When Helping Hurts shows how some alleviation efforts, failing to consider the complexities of poverty, have actually (and unintentionally) done more harm than good.

But it looks ahead. It encourages us to see the dignity in everyone, to empower the materially poor, and to know that we are all uniquely needy—and that God in the gospel is reconciling all things to himself.

Focusing on both North American and Majority World contexts, When Helping Hurts provides proven strategies for effective poverty alleviation, catalyzing the idea that sustainable change comes not from the outside in, but from the inside out.

  • ISBN: 9780802457066
  • Author: Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert
  • Pages: 288
  • Ages: 12+, Adult

2 in stock

SKU: 9780802457066 Categories: , Tag:


Bargain Bin products are non-refundable and non-returnable.

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.

This is a ‘must-read’ for all who want to be effective in both North American and international missions. Suitable for Grades 7 and up.

Great Introduction to Poverty & Community development Issues.

The Key Keen insights:
For example -in the west we view poverty as a “lack” of resources, where as the poor use psychological terms to describe their situation – How it makes them feel ashamed, embarrassed, powerless etc.

Secondly – The authors highlight the three kinds of “Help” one can give – Relief, Restoration, Development. Unfortunately the westerners approach almost all we do from the “Relief” category. Very Damaging and has created serious dependency, and harm to local people.

Thirdly, another keen insight is reminding us to NEVER ask a community what their needs are. It makes them immediately define themselves by what they “LACK” This is negative and causes further depression as you highlight all they don’t have. It sets the community development person up as the only provider from the outside, making the poor think they have little or nothing to offer- it must come from outside sources.

Rather ask; “What resources, skills, knowledge etc do you have at your disposal around you to bear on your family or community issues. Help them to focus that, and then maybe you might be a small part of that skill/knowledge/resource equation. However, this question begins with the people thinking about what is “right” with me and my community.

I recommend making it mandatory reading for all Christian field visitors, short -term mission teams (From grade 7 up) and missionaries who already are trying to do something, anything , to help poor families.

Read the book if you would like to begin helping the poor.
It’s the perfect starter book on the subject. Will also keep you, and any field visitors, humble about our “real” place in the helping process among the poor.

Additional information

Weight 2.2 kg
Dimensions 22.8 × 15.3 × 1.7 cm
Book Author




There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “When Helping Hurts”