This volume starts from the premise that development policy is about interventions involving institutional arrangements. Such arrangements impact on socio-economic processes, but differentially so, thus often creating 'winners' and 'losers'. By implication this causes many development interventions to become contested terrain. Sponsoring agencies, intermediaries and different categories among the 'target' groups all have different stakes in institutional interventions, and as such they may perceive them in highly contrasting terms. Patterns of differentiation have been basic to the formulation and engineering of innumerable organizational forms, resource allocation structures, rules of access and other institutional innovations. This calls for an unravelling of the ways in which institutional designs may give shape to socio-political relationships and processes, define the parameters for coping with conflicting demands, or privilege specific client categories through key selective criteria. In short, this book's concern is with the political element in the design of development institutions and interventions.