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Many geoscientists apply their expertise to international community development through projects that involve direct interaction with host country agencies, community groups, and individuals. As someone with expertise or financial resources, one often has power to frame the definition of success around one’s own perceived reality regarding human development. Both local counterparts and international geoscientists themselves are often in a position to shape project goals toward their own needs and interests, rather than those of intended beneficiaries. We argue that one-sided engagement is often ineffective and even harmful for target beneficiaries. Awareness of such power dynamics minimizes the waste of resources...

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