Professor

 

A Half Century of Teaching and Scholarship

Theodore E. Downing, Ted- as we know him, is Research Professor of Social Development at the University of Arizona and has been on the faculty since 1971. He has taught in Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and been a Visiting Scholar at Oxford.

Ted’s academic work has been punctuated by extended, often lengthy applied research endeavors in a dozen third-world countries, focusing on improving socio-economic opportunities for powerless peoples.  His accomplishments include:

  • improving institutions that provide for the consent of the governed and participatory development;
  • leading a Mexican scientific team to combat a plague threatening their small coffee producers;
  • founding – with other leading professionals,  the International Network on Displacement and Resettlement (INDR)
  • being elected President of the (international) Society for Applied Anthropology by his peers
  • serving as the Ranking Minority on both the House Education and the House Higher Education Committee in the Arizona State Legislature.
  • developing the first university environmental training program in Saudi Arabia;
  • and advising The World Bank’s Chief Social Policy Advisor, Dr. Michael Cernea, for over 20 years.

Ted Downing has been a consultant on socio-economic development issues for the International Finance Corporation, Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations, and the Board of The World Bank (as an investigator for their Inspection Panel). Most of these endeavors have been supported by 43 years of collaboration with his wife and best friend, Carmen Garcia.

Professional Appointments

University of Arizona

    • Research Professor of Social Development and Director of the Social Development Division, Arizona Research Laboratories (1992 – present).
    • Director of Social Anthropology, Arizona State Museum (1985-1992).
    • Research Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology (1982-1992).
    • Anthropologist, Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (1980-85).
    • Interim Director, Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (1977-1981).
    • Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology (1972-1980).
    • Research Specialist, Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, BARA (formerly the Bureau of Ethnic Research) (1972-77).
    • Assistant Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources (1971-72).

    University of Oxford, England

    Visiting Scholar. Institute of Social Anthropology (Jan – Nov 1983).

    Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan

    Visiting Professor of Social Policy. College of Policy Science, Ritsumeikan University. Presented annual short-courses on international social development policies to graduates and upper-division undergraduates (1998-2001).

    King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

    Research Director and Associate Professor of Arid Land Studies in Faculty of Meteorology and Environmental Studies (July 1982-Jan. 1983). Advisor to Dean Dr. Abdulbar Al-Gain, Dean of the Faculty and, in government, the Founding Director of the Saudi Arabian Meteorology and Environmental Protection Agency (MEPA) 1977 – 1983.

    Mexican National Science Foundation

    Scientific Research Team Director Center for Eco-Development,(Centro de Eco-desarrollo, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología).(Sept. 1977 – June 1979)

 

Downing has completed projects throughout the world

 

STRENGTHENING THE RIGHTS OF ARIZONANS WHOSE HOMES AND PROPERTY IS FORCIBLY TAKEN BY EMINENT DOMAIN. 

Arizona Capitol

Ted’s research on Arizona eminent domain laws revealed that people whose property is taken by eminent domain are not fully compensated due to a flawed model of what is lost in a taking.   Ted also discovered that rights of the displaced in Arizona depended, illogically, on which government agency was taking the property. The more extensive rights of due process found in the Federal Relocation Act were not extended to those displaced by government  projects that were not financed with federal funds. Ted brought this inconsistency and injustice to the attention of the Arizona State Senate. With the help of the Orange Coalition, they drafted a major change in law that extends  the definition of acquiring agency to include any other person or entity with eminent domain power.  Second, the new law (sb1366 2nd reg. 2010)  requires an acquiring agency to adopt relocation assistance rules and regulations that are not in conflict with the rules of this state and that provide, at a minimum, the level of relocation assistance prescribed in the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition program included in the federal transportation code. Ted received recognition from the Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Gray  for his research and advocacy. Arizona, 2010.

 

BUJAGALI II DAM (UGANDA). FACT-FINDING FOR THE INSPECTION PANEL COMPLAINT (WORLD BANK)

A request for inspection was filed with the Inspection Panel, the accountability of arm of the World Bank’s Board of Directors, alleging that the Bujigali II Dam along the Nile in Uganda. They Requesters claim that the involuntary resettlement has been improperly done, as per World Bank standards (World Bank OP 4.12). Claims are also made that those displaced have been under compensated and critical cultural spiritual considerations have not been made. Ted conducted fact-finding for the Panel. His findings are reported in Chapters VII and VIII of The Bujagali Report September_2_2008_of The Inspection Panel. A special report on Spiritual Significance in Busoga Culture is listed as Annex C, page 220. Ted suggests a link to a third party video of the spiritual medium’s ceremony next to Bujagali falls. Client: The Inspection Panel (reporting to the World Bank Board of Directors) Place: Uganda 2007 –2009

The Jaja Bujagali – Spritual leader of the Basoga People (Uganda)

WEST AFRICA GAS PIPELINE. FACT-FINDING FOR THE INSPECTION PANEL COMPLAINT (WORLD BANK)

A request for inspection was filed with the Inspection Panel, the accountability arm of the World Bank’s Board of Directors, alleging that the West African Gas Pipeline project (WAGP) will cause irreparable damage to their land and destroy the livelihoods of their Yoruba communities. Specifically, the Requesters believe the Bank failed to follow its involuntary resettlement policy (OP 4.12). Ted conducted the fact-finding for the Panel that lead to significant increases in compensation for the Yoruba displaced peoples. See report on local level impacts. His analysis is found in the Panel’s Investigation Report on the West African Gas Pipeline Project. Client: The Inspection Panel (reporting to the World Bank Board of Directors) Place: Nigeria 2007 –2008

 

 

A Yoruba discusses the loss of land along the West African Gas Pipeline Right-of-Way (Nigeria). He is standing on a dirt mound.

EXPERT TESTIMONY TO THE ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK BOARD ON INVOLUNTARY RESETTLEMENT

Asian Development Board President Kuroda and Ted Downing, Madrid 2008

As the Asian Development Bank Board of Directors proposed advising their involuntary resettlement project, forced displacement experts Thayer Scudder and Ted Downing presented their expert testimony   to their Board of Directors. Ted attended the ABD Board meeting  and stated their opposition. Their intervention was partially successful. March 2008 in Madrid, Spain.

INVOLUNTARY RESETTLEMENT AND MINING – GLOBAL REVIEW

Under contract to the International Institution on Environment and Development (UK), Ted and his wife, Carmen, completed a global analysis of the impact of mining on forced displacement (involutary resettlement). This review was co-sponsored by majors in global mining and the major international environmental organizations in the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Project Client: MMSD-IIED Scope: Global Review 2001-2

INTERNATIONAL REVIEW PANELIST OF EXPERTS ON YACYRETA DAM FOR THE WORLD BANK GROUP

As one of three members, Ted reviewed technical resettlement issues for the Entidad Binacional Yacyreta at the Yacyreta dam on the Argentina-Paraguay border. This 12 billion-dollar investment will ultimately require the resettlement of over 40,000 people, including the commercial center of Encarnacion. Client: The World Bank Region: Argentina and Paraguay government 1996

DESIGN AND SUPERVISION OF THE INVOLUNTARY RESETTLEMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH ZIMAPAN AND AGUAMILPA HYDROELECTRIC PROJECTS

Initial design and supervision of resettlement of peasants at the Zimapan hydroelectric project and indigenous peoples near the Aguamilpas hydroelectric projects constructed by the Mexican Federal Electrical Commission (CFE). Ted later supervised CFE compliance to World Bank operational involuntary resettlement policies. A student/colleague, Dr. Inga-Lill Aronson and Ted continue to periodically monitor post-displacement changes at the Zimapan site. Client: The World Bank (IBRD) Region: Mexico 1987, 1993-1995, and sporadic visits until the present.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND MINING

Contracted with the MMSD (see above) through the International Institution on Environment and Development (IIED-UK) for a second industry-wide, global review, this time on the strategies and tactics that develop when mining is on or near indigenous peoples. Client: MMSD-IIED Scope: Global Review. 2001- 2004

CO-FOUNDED and PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL NETWORK ON DISPLACEMENT AND RESETTLEMENT www.displacement.net

In 2000, at the Tenth World Congress of Rural Sociology in Rio de Janeiro organized by Michael Cernea, Shi Guoquing (Hohai University, China) and Ted organized an ad hoc meeting of 60 resettlement specialists from over 20 countries. They formed the International Network on Displacement and Resettlement (INDR). The INDR provides a virtual, global communications network of scholars, practitioners, and policy makers attempting to prevent development-induced impoverishment through its website atwww.displacement.net . Ted has serve as its President and principle patron. Client: Primarily Ted’s Compnay: Q5 Inc., with generous donations from Thayer Scudder, Susanna Price, and Michael Cernea. Scope : Global via internet with occasional meetings. President 2000 – present

The Three Gorges Dam forcefully displaced cities and 1.5M people (China).

Founder and First Director of Scholars for Mexican Rural Development – ANTHAP1.  1993-1999.

The internet was in its infancy when, in 1992, the Mexican government radically transformed its agrarian reform laws.  With the technical assistance of James Dow, Ted initiated anthropology’s first internet discussion group, ANTHAP1, for communications on the changing state of rural Mexico.  Later, he transferred the directorship to Gerardo Otero.

Policy Kiosk – opening global social-environmental policy making.  1996 – 1999.

In 1996, The World Bank began revising its “safeguard policies” for mitigating the social and environmental impacts of its projects. Bank employees selectively filtered stakeholder for the Bank’s management and Board, notably those public comments that, if accepted, would have redefined workloads. Moreover, stakeholders were unaware of others comments. Ted Downing created a method for accountability by encouraging stakeholders to post a copy of their comments on the internet. He owned and maintained www.policykiosk.com. This gave all open access to the “raw feed” coming into the policy-making process. Two years later the Bank Information Center and, to a lesser extent, the Bank changed the structure of their policy-making, adopting the method that Downing pioneered.  At that point, the policy kiosk was superfluous. The website remains inactive, awaiting future challenges.

Social Geometries:An examination of social dislocation, Mexico, July 1989 – present, Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries

An examination of how cultures organize time and space by investigating how they reestablish and reconstruct temporal and spatial order after their social and physical environments are unexpectedly disrupted. Focus is upon social disruptions associated with involuntary relocation. See publications on forced displacement work.

Diaz Ordaz Project, Oaxaca Mexico, August 1966 – present, Various funding sources.

Founder and director of a long-term study of the cultural uses of space, communal lands, agro-ecology, and inheritance of land, and related topics. Over 25 years of social history has been collected on a Zapotec-Spanish speaking Indian community by dozens of investigators.

Social impact of electronic mail on a university campus, United States, August 1985 – August 1986, University of Arizona

Designed and directed an experiment to supplement the traditional media for faculty-student interaction by using electronic mail. Results indicated that students overwhelmingly prefer electronic mail to supplement their interactions with the faculty, that electronic mail improves the quality of instruction, and that it saves faculty time and resources.

Models of regional pastoral development, Saudi Arabian Bedu, January 1983 – June 1983, Consortium for International Development & King Abdulaziz University

Directed a research team which developed a microcomputer simulation model of migratory pastoralism using a systems dynamics approach. The model permits assessment of the environmental, social, and economic impact of different patterns of resource utilization. I also gathered primary, field information in the Hail region of Saudi Arabia for use in this model.

Alternative strategies for food production on arid lands, Cross-cultural Survey, September 1980 – January 1983, Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance & U. S. Dept. of the Treasury

Directed a research team which completed a literature survey of food production systems in arid lands and identified the constraints on arid land food production. The information was used to develop a data base system on information on nomadic food production.

Development of the Institute of Meteorology & Arid Lands King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah Saudi Arabia, September 1980 – January 1983, U.S. Dept. of the Treasury

Directed a staff which designed and implemented the development of a college within King Abdulaziz University to train Saudis for solving environmental problems. This work included development of internal structure, courses, curriculum, hiring and staffing faculty and technicans, purchasing of scientific equipment, and reviewing of instructional material. I established a successful scientific research program, modifying U.S. National Science Foundation programs to fit the Saudi cultural context.

Strategies for the ecological development of coffee, Mexico national survey, Sept. 1977 – June 1979, Instituto Nacional Mexicana del Cafe & CONACYT (Mexican NSF equiv.)

Directed a large interdisciplinary team which completed a national survey of coffee producers. Using this information, we developed alternative strategies for improvement of an industry faced with the threat of a major coffee disease.

Desertification and ethnicity: a cross-cultural view of land degradation, Arid lands cross-cultural, 1976, Institutional development grant AID-211 to University of Arizona

Developed a data base system on alternative uses of arid lands. Information was collected from academic and government sources which would permit managers to rapidly review alternative uses and their associated problems and potentials.

Socio-economic determinants of migration, Mexico & United States, Sept, 1974 – Sept. 1975, National Science Foundation Grant

Co-directed a team which studied the socio-economic conduct of Mexican migration, both within Mexico and from Mexico to the U.S. Using indirect indicators of population movement, we developed a computer simulation model which would indicate migration flows during inter-censal periods. The results of this research have influenced subsequent federal commissions reporting on Mexico to U.S. migration.

Ethnohistorical & applied legal research on Pyramid Lake Paiute case, Nevada Pyramid Lake Paiute,Sept.-Dec. 1974, U.S. Dept. of Justice (contract)

Co-directed an ethnohistorical information was collected, sorted, evaluated, and annotated concerning the Pyramid Lake Pauite’s (near Lake Tahoe) historical use of water. This was used to prepare expert-witnesses for a U.S. Justice Department defense of the Pauite’s water claims.

Business management & political organization of seven Arizona Indian reservations, Ak Chin, Camp Verde, Cocopah, Havasupai, Hualapai, Ft. McDowell, Payson-Appache,Sept. 1973 – Feb. 1974, U.S. Housing & Urban Development (contact)

Co-directed an investigation to determine the causes of inefficiencies in the management of seven Arizona indian reservations. An office procedures manual was prepared specifically geared to the educational and cultural level of tribal office staffs and recommendations made for improvement of the business management of seven reservations.

Social pathologies & their environmental correlates, Douglas, ArizonaAnglos & Mexican Americans, June 1971- Dec. 1973, U.S. Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare (contract)

Co-directed an elaborate research project to determine if engineering surveys of the exterior conditions of houses and yards indicate socioeconomic conditions of their inhabitants. Cultural differences proved significant, with the exterior surveys of Mexican-American neighborhoods and houses proving to be highly unreliable indicators of the status of their inhabitants.

Water and waste management: a test of a planning inquiry system, Pima County, AZ Suffix County, New York, 1971- 1972, U.S. National Science Foundation (contract)

Assisted in a two county comparison of the socio-economic similarities and differences in water use. This information was used in subsequent planning for upgrading of the water treatment facilities to meet expected future needs.

Zapotec Indian Inheritance & Economics, Oaxaca, Mexico Zapotecs, 1971- 1972, U.S. National Institute of Mental Health Predoctoral Fellow

Designed and conducted tests to determine the social and economic consequences of property inheritance in a Zapotec indian community. Extensive case studies provided adequate information to permit the development of models to determine the impact of different inheritance rules on the distribution of wealth and social solidarity.

Markets & Economy, Oaxaca Mexico, June 1967 – Jan. 1968, National Science Foundation

Team member on a marketing survey of an indigenous market system and collected primary data on consumer and producer uses of regional and local markets.

Stanford Summer Ethnographic Field School, Oaxaca Mexico, Summer 1966, National Science Foundation

Collected primary field information on household composition and demography in a rural Zapotec indian community.

Rural squatters in peasant agricultural systems, Costa Rica national survey, May 1964- August 1965, National Science Foundation & Associated Colleges of the Midwest

Directed a national survey of a rural land tenure problem in rural Costa Rica, personally conducting over 100 interviews with land owners and claimants to these land owners’ properties. The information was used to establish a national policy to solve this problem.

Countering Development Creating “New Poverty”

Valuable infrastructure development need not require the people who are in the way to pay the cost. Over 15 million people a year are forcefully displaced by development projects – through eminent domain, compulsory acquisition or forced resettlement. These innocent people who are in the way risk loss of livelihoods and communities for the sake of another’s development. For almost twenty years, Ted has worked with a small community of scholars and human rights advocates to identify and alleviate the impoverishment that is risk when peoples are involuntary resettled or displaced by development projects. His theoretical contributions to understanding what happens to societies who are forcefully displaced is internationally recognized, especially the distinction he draws between routine and dissonant culture. He helped organize and is President of the International Network on Displacement and Resettlement (INDR) the only global network.

Projects on forced displacements of peoples in Uganda, Nigeria, Argentina-Paraguay, Mexico, the US, and more…

STRENGTHENING THE RIGHTS OF ARIZONANS WHOSE HOMES AND PROPERTY IS FORCIBLY TAKEN BY EMINENT DOMAIN. 

Arizona Capitol

Ted’s research on Arizona eminent domain laws revealed that people whose property is taken by eminent domain are not fully compensated due to a flawed model of what is lost in a taking.   Ted also discovered that rights of the displaced in Arizona depended, illogically, on which government agency was taking the property. The more extensive rights of due process found in the Federal Relocaion Act were not extended to those displaced by government  projects that were not financed with federal funds. Ted brought this inconsistency and injustice to the attention of the Arizona State Senate. With the help of the Orange Coalition, they drafted a major change in law that extends  the definition of acquiring agency to include any other person or entity with eminent domain power.  Second, the new law (sb1366 2nd reg. 2010)  requires an acquiring agency to adopt relocation assistance rules and regulations that are not in conflict with the rules of this state and that provide, at a minimum, the level of relocation assistance prescribed in the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition program included in the federal transportation code. Ted received recognition from the Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Gray  for his research and advocacy. Arizona, 2010.

 

BUJAGALI II DAM (UGANDA). FACT-FINDING FOR THE INSPECTION PANEL COMPLAINT (WORLD BANK)

A request for inspection was filed with the Inspection Panel, the accountability of arm of the World Bank’s Board of Directors, alleging that the Bujigali II Dam along the Nile in Uganda. They Requesters claim that the involuntary resettlement has been improperly done, as per World Bank standards (World Bank OP 4.12). Claims are also made that those displaced have been under compensated and critical cultural spiritual considerations have not been made. Ted conducted fact-finding for the Panel. His findings are reported in Chapters VII and VIII of The Bujagali Investigaion Report of The Inspection Panel. A special report on Spiritual Significance in Busoga Culture is listed as Annex C, page 220. Ted suggests a link to a third party video of the spiritual medium’s ceremony next to Bujagali falls. Client: The Inspection Panel (reporting to the World Bank Board of Directors) Place: Uganda 2007 –2009

The Jaja Bujagali – Spritual leader of the Basoga People (Uganda)

WEST AFRICA GAS PIPELINE. FACT-FINDING FOR THE INSPECTION PANEL COMPLAINT (WORLD BANK)

A request for inspection was filed with the Inspection Panel, the accountability arm of the World Bank’s Board of Directors, alleging that the West African Gas Pipeline project (WAGP) will cause irreparable damage to their land and destroy the livelihoods of their Yoruba communities. Specifically, the Requesters believe the Bank failed to follow its involuntary resettlement policy (OP 4.12). Ted conducted the fact-finding for the Panel that lead to significant increases in compensation for the Yoruba displaced peoples. See report on local level impacts. His analysis is found in the Panel’s Investigation Report on the West African Gas Pipeline Project. Client: The Inspection Panel (reporting to the World Bank Board of Directors) Place: Nigeria 2007 –2008

 

 

A Yoruba discusses the loss of land along the West African Gas Pipeline Right-of-Way (Nigeria). He is standing on a dirt mound.

EXPERT TESTIMONY TO THE ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK BOARD ON INVOLUNTARY RESETTLEMENT

Asian Development Board President Kuroda and Ted Downing, Madrid 2008

As the Asian Development Bank Board of Directors proposed advising their involuntary resettlement project, forced displacement experts Thayer Scudder and Ted Downing presented their expert testimony   to their Board of Directors. Ted attended the ABD Board meeting  and stated their opposition. Their intervention was partially successful. March 2008 in Madrid, Spain.

INVOLUNTARY RESETTLEMENT AND MINING – GLOBAL REVIEW

Under contract to the International Institution on Environment and Development (UK), Ted and his wife, Carmen, completed a global analysis of the impact of mining on forced displacement (involutary resettlement). This review was co-sponsored by majors in global mining and the major international environmental organizations in the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Project Client: MMSD-IIED Scope: Global Review 2001-2

INTERNATIONAL REVIEW PANELIST OF EXPERTS ON YACYRETA DAM FOR THE WORLD BANK GROUP

As one of three members, Ted reviewed technical resettlement issues for the Entidad Binacional Yacyreta at the Yacyreta dam on the Argentina-Paraguay border. This 12 billion-dollar investment will ultimately require the resettlement of over 40,000 people, including the commercial center of Encarnacion. Client: The World Bank Region: Argentina and Paraguay government 1996

DESIGN AND SUPERVISION OF THE INVOLUNTARY RESETTLEMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH ZIMAPAN AND AGUAMILPA HYDROELECTRIC PROJECTS

Initial design and supervision of resettlement of peasants at the Zimapan hydroelectric project and indigenous peoples near the Aguamilpas hydroelectric projects constructed by the Mexican Federal Electrical Commission (CFE). Ted later supervised CFE compliance to World Bank operational involuntary resettlement policies. A student/colleague, Dr. Inga-Lill Aronson and Ted continue to periodically monitor post-displacement changes at the Zimapan site. Client: The World Bank (IBRD) Region: Mexico 1987, 1993-1995, and sporadic visits until the present.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND MINING

Contracted with the MMSD (see above) through the International Institution on Environment and Development (IIED-UK) for a second industry-wide, global review, this time on the strategies and tactics that develop when mining is on or near indigenous peoples. Client: MMSD-IIED Scope: Global Review. 2001- 2004

CO-FOUNDED and PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL NETWORK ON DISPLACEMENT AND RESETTLEMENT www.displacement.net

In 2000, at the Tenth World Congress of Rural Sociology in Rio de Janeiro organized by Michael Cernea, Shi Guoquing (Hohai University, China) and Ted organized an ad hoc meeting of 60 resettlement specialists from over 20 countries. They formed the International Network on Displacement and Resettlement (INDR). The INDR provides a virtual, global communications network of scholars, practitioners, and policy makers attempting to prevent development-induced impoverishment through its website atwww.displacement.net . Ted has serve as its President and principle patron. Client: Primarily Ted’s Compnay: Q5 Inc., with generous donations from Thayer Scudder, Susanna Price, and Michael Cernea. Scope : Global via internet with occasional meetings. President 2000 – present

The Three Gorges Dam forcefully displaced cities and 1.5M people (China).

Sample of Writings on Forced Displacement

  • Downing, Theodore E.   Investigation Report on the Bujagali Dam.

Ted’s investigations for the World Bank’s Inspection Panel on the Bujagali dam are reported in Chapters VII and VIII that examines the forced resettlement of people in Uganda at the Bujagali dam, see The Bujagali Investigaion Report of The Inspection Panel. The report includes The Spiritual Significance in Busoga Culture is listed as Annex C, page 220.

  • Downing, Theodore, Carmen Garcia-Downing, Jerry Moles and Ian McIntosh. 2003. Mining and Indigenous Peoples: Stakeholder Strategies and Tactics. IN Finding Common Ground:Indigenous Peoples and their Association with the Mining Sector. World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the International Institute for Environment and Development (UK). P. 11-46.
  • Downing, Theodore E. 2001. On a Short Fuse: A revised World Bank Indigenous People’s Policy awaits public comment . Society for Applied Anthropology Newsletter. Fall.

Downing, Theodore E. Methodology for the Participatory Evaluation of the Pehuen Foundation(IFC2067). 1996

 

A lifetime commitment

Ted’s commitment to indigenous people’s reaches back into his late childhood when his mother married George Downing, nearly full blood Cherokee. Ted still holds the original family Indian allotment land, a lovely hay meadow, in NE Oklahoma. Ted and his wife, Carmen, a Zapotec-Indian from Oaxaca, have worked as a team for many years and in many countries, specializing in training local indigenous peoples in computer, advocacy, evaluation, and research skills.

They have focused on the rights of indigenous peoples who find themselves in the path of so-called development projects in Mexico and Guatemala. At the beginning of the age of microcomputers, he used his Fulbright Academic Program Award to train Latin American indigenous peoples to repair and use micro-computers for writing in their own languages.

In Tucson, Carmen organized The Talking Medicine Circle in 1993, a support group for Native American students who are interested in studying, are studying or have graduated in the health related professions. The ceremonial circle continues. For more information, contact cgarciad@email.arizona.edu

Ted and Carmen have spent over 40 years fighting to protect indigenous peoples rights through scholarship and advocacy. Be it among Zapotecs in Oaxaca, Mexico or Pehuenches in the Alto Bio Bio of Chile, they have trained local indigenous peoples in research methods, thereby empowering peoples. Their cultural knowledge is helped by Carmen being a native-language speaker (Zapotec). Review their projects and a sample of their writings. Much of their collective knowledge is summarized in Plan B; What’s going to happen to my people? published in Cultural Survival.


PROJECTS

ARIZONA NATIVE AMERICAN ISSUES – HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

As a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, Ted co-sponsored numerous bills focused on improving the conditions of Arizona Indians.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND MINING

In 2002, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the International Institute for Environment and Development asked Ted and his team (Carmen Garcia-Downing, Jerry Moles and Ian McIntosh) to review the dynamics of the encounters between indigenous peoples and mining interests. Contracted with the Mining Minerals and Sustainable Development initiative MMSD through the International Institution on Environment and Development (IIED-UK) for an industry-wide, global review of the strategies and tactics that develop when mining is on or near indigenous peoples. Funded by Mining Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD-IIED), 2001-2.

EVALUATION OF A PRIVATE SECTOR BENEFIT-SHARING PROGRAM FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Evaluated a private sector initiative by the International Finance Corporation (World Bank group) to indigenous development and mitigate the impacts of the 450 megawatt dam in Southern Chile on the Pehuenche tribe (~ 4000 transhumant organized at the band level). Analysis included estimation of environmental impacts, including deforestation, review of NGO governance and management standards, advanced ethnographic method, funded by the International Finance Corporation. 1995 – 1996.

DESIGN AND SUPERVISION OF THE INVOLUNTARY RESETTLEMENT ASSOCIATED WITH ZIMAPAN AND AGUAMILPA HYDROELECTRIC PROJECTS

Initial design and supervision of resettlement of peasants at the Zimapan hydroelectric project and indigenous peoples near the Aguamilpas hydroelectric projects constructed by the Mexican Federal Electrical Commission (CFE). Ted was to identify and propose mitigation of impoverishment risks known to occur in forced displacements. Later Ted supervised CFE compliance to World Bank operational involuntary resettlement policies for the Bank. A student/colleague, Dr. Inga-Lill Aronson and I continue to periodically monitor post-displacement changes at the Zimapan site. Consulting contract with The World Bank (IBRD). 1987, 1993-1995, and sporadic visits until the present (self-funded follow ups). Work coordinated with Inga-Lill Aronsson, University of Upsala, Sweden.

Pehuenche families are being forcefully displaced by a series of dams in Southern Chile.

POVERTY ASSESSMENT OF GUATEMALAN AGRICULTURAL SECTOR

As part of a project preparation for an agricultural sector reform loan, Ted identified relevant government agencies and their policies, procedures, programs, and plans for indigenous peoples in the agricultural sector, then he designed ways to increase beneficiary participation, particularly among women; resolve land tenure issues, and avoid environmental damage. and interest rates and 2) identified inequities in land ownership and access and tax and credit policies that encouraged capital-intensive or extensive use of land and thus limit employment creation. Consulting for The World Bank (IBRD). 1993.

APPLIED LEGAL RESEARCH ON PYRAMID LAKE PAIUTE CASE, NEVADA PYRAMID LAKE PAIUTE.

In 1974, the Pyramid Lake Paiutes sued 13,000 defendants, including many residents of Reno, Lake Tahoe, Nevada and California for recovery of their lost water rights. Contracted with attorneys in the US Justice Department to document the Paiutes historical uses of water, including highly profitable commercial fishing, before and after their water was diverted for irrigation and urban use. Thousands of documents were collected and certified for court evidence and use in the case. Contract with the United States Department of Justice. Sept-Dec 1974.

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT & POLITICAL ORGANIZATION OF SEVEN ARIZONA INDIAN RESERVATIONS: AK CHIN, CAMP VERDE, COCOPAH, HAVASUPAI, HUALAPAI, FT. MCDOWELL, PAYSON-APPACHE.

Co-directed an investigation to determine the causes of inefficiencies in the management of seven Arizona Indian reservations. An office procedures manual was prepared specifically geared to the educational and cultural level of tribal office staffs and recommendations made for improvement of the business management of seven reservations.Funded by the US Housing and Urban Development. Sept 1973-Feb 1974.

INHERITANCE & ECONOMICS, OAXACA, MEXICO ( ZAPOTEC INDIANS)

Designed and conducted tests to determine the social and economic consequences of property inheritance in a Zapotec indian community. Extensive case studies provided adequate information to permit the development of models to determine the impact of different inheritance rules on the distribution of wealth and social solidarity. Funded by a National Institutes of Mental Health Predoctoral Fellowship. 1971-72. This project continues as a monitoring of socio-economic change in the community of Santo Domingo del Valle (Villa Diaz Ordaz) to present.

MARKETS & ECONOMY, OAXACA MEXICO

A team member of Prof. Ralph Beal’s (UCLA) marketing survey of an indigenous market system, Ted collected primary data on consumer and producer uses of regional and local markets. Funded by the US National Science Foundation and Univ. of California at Los Angeles. June 1967-Jan 1968


Writings (a sample)

 

      • Common Resource Use in a Zapotec Community . Carmen Garcia-Downing. 1989. Master Thesis, School of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson.
      • Sutro, Levingston and Theodore E. Downing. 1988. A step toward a grammar of space in Zapotec villages. In: House and Household in the MesoAmerican Past. Richard R. Wilk and Wendy Ashmore (eds.). Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. pp. 29-48.
      • Sutro, Levingston D. and Theodore E. Downing. 1986. Changes in the Use of Zapotec Domestic Space. MEXICON 4(8):73-76. (July).
      • Downing, Theodore E. 1985. The crisis in American Indian and non-Indian farming. Agriculture and Human Values, Summer, pp. 18-24.
      • Downing, Theodore E. 1984. Los problemas de la riqueza dentro de las comunidades MesoAmericanas. (The problems of wealth distribution within MesoAmerican communities). In: Estratificacion etnica y relaciones interetnicas , Margarita Nolasco Armas (ed), Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. pp. 61-72.
      • Downing, Theodore E. 1979. The social consequences of Zapotec inheritance [land tenure]. In: Social, Political and Economic Life in Contemporary Oaxaca.Aubrey Williams (ed.). Nashville, Tennessee: University of Vanderbilt Anthropology Series, pp. 75-193.
      • Downing, Theodore E. 1977. Partible inheritance and field fragmentation in a Oaxaca village. Human Organization 36(3):235-243, Fall
      • Downing, Theodore E. 1974. Irrigation and moisture sensitive periods: A Zapotec case. In:Irrigation’s impact on society. Theodore E. Downing and McGuire Gibson (eds.).Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press.
      • Weaver, Thomas, Theodore E. Downing, et al. 1974. The tribal management procedures study. Report of the seven reservations project. Tucson, Arizona: Bureau of Ethnic Research, University of Arizona.
      • Weaver, Thomas and Theodore E. Downing. 1974. Office procedures manual for seven Arizona indian reservations. In:The tribal management procedures study. T. Weaver and T. Down ing (eds) . Tucson: Bureau of Ethnic Research, University of Arizona.
      • Weaver, Thomas, Theodore E. Downing, and Sanford C. Newmark. 1974. Summary of the tribal management procedures study. In:The Tribal Management Procedures Study. T. Weaver and T. Downing (eds.). Tucson: Bureau of Ethnic Research, University of Arizona.
      • Downing, Theodore E. 1973. Zapotec Inheritance. Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms. [Land inheritance in a Oaxaca village, including a computer simulation model of wealth distribution.] Downing, Theodore E. 1968. Agriculture in a Zapotec community. Stanford University: The Oaxaca Archives