Unintended Effects in International Development
Maaike van Woerden & Maren Backbier
“An unintended consequence/effect refers to a particular effect of purposive action, which is different from what was wanted at the moment of carrying out the act and the want of which was the reason of carrying it out” (Baert, 1991)
Unintended consequences can cause harm to those people development programs are designed to support. Negative unintended consequences can undermine the positive results of a project, policy or program. Studying unintended consequences can help development professionals better understand how positive change can be achieved.