This is a response to a previous article - "Some Notes on Development Research and Ethics" by Terje Tvedt, published in 'Forum for Development Studies', No. 2, 1998. It attempts to nuance some of Tvedt's sweeping statements, while agreeing with his general point that the positive and the normative should be kept apart. It is argued that the dominant position of aid authorities as a funding source does not necessarily translate into control over the orientation and values of development research. It is suggested that policy research, provided the respective roles of researchers and decision-makers are observed, may serve as a useful vehicle for legitimising development research.

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