Argues that the role of local government administrators is a crucial one. If the administrators are well motivated, the administration is able to function properly, even when the resources are limited. If the administrators are not given incentives and recognition, their work is likely to develop towards a counterproductive direction. Argues that the (donor and central government) developmental practice exhibits a certain kind of instrumentalism where lower administrative cadres are seen as a technical means for reaching some predetermined aims. The target group -oriented administrative and project planning methodologies tend to see local administrators as a necessary evil which need to be tolerated but not given any independent role. The administrators have been loaded with various demands and they have experienced this instrumental role as less than satisfactory. The history of local administration can thus be seen as a history of disillusionment in its own role.