Under the presidency of Robert McNamara, the World Bank adopted a "basic human needs" approach to its development lending. In rich countries, some people thought this unbankerly; in poor countries, it was often seen as political intervention that might conflict with growth. All over, objective observers stressed the conceptual and practical difficulties of defining objectives, finding methods and measuring results. That these observers were right is borne out by this thoughtful and clear study in which one who was engaged in the process works out standards, tests results and suggests improvements. Three chapters are devoted to Nigeria and one to Tanzania.