And here is an article suggesting similar gap in the "development's universalising discourse and those of people in the rest of the world who see things differently" (We are not poor).
(And then here is an interesting view on poverty as a career from a development economist).
Guess nobody likes being an object of inquiry in a detached manner, none would like to be the guinea pig on whom income generation projects are conducted in an impersonal manner. (as none would like to have uninvited therapist comments about their lives, although unconditional acceptance and regard is another matter).
Some of the successful community interventions about 'change for better' have 'relationship' as one of their most important change agent. Who wants an 'uninvested outsider' trying to change them without understanding how it is to live like 'one of them'.
And once someone is an insider, s/he will be evaluated and only then put on a pedestal as a leader... one has to have that quality within to rise up to the occasion. It is not for the cowards or opportunists.
I am fascinated by the change process going on in India, behind which there is a small group of committed people, who in turn is inspiring another larger group of people invested in the process. It has been heart warming for even the most objective people who had the tendency to sit on the fences and give ongoing commentaries about the status of affairs.
It feels good to be part of a generation awakening... seriously!