The escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel is leaving people in Gaza in urgent need of humanitarian support. Please donate now.

Available documents

No available documents

Oxfam Policy & Practice provides free access to Gender & Development and Development in Practice journal articles.

Download from publisher


In many development projects, individuals from one organisation are assigned and relocated to another organisation. For these ‘guests’ to be effective in the provision of technical assistance, they need to learn about and adapt to the local milieu. Using a Navajo case study, this paper analyses how practices called acts allow guests to make effective contributions through learning and adaptation. It is shown that two categories of acts, calibrating and progressing, are crucial in this regard. Calibrating allows guests to assess the appropriateness of assumptions, and progressing allows them to elicit information and explanations to help develop an understanding of the context. These sets of acts contribute to cross-cultural communicative competence and, thereby, to the success of the development project.

This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis.

Additional details






How to cite this resource

Citation styles vary so we recommend you check what is appropriate for your context.  You may choose to cite Oxfam resources as follows:

Author(s)/Editor(s). (Year of publication). Title and sub-title. Place of publication: name of publisher. DOI (where available). URL

Our FAQs page has some examples of this approach.

Related resources

Here are similar items you might be interested in.

Browse all resources