Expressions such as barefoot doctorW (a concept originating in China in around 1965) and more recently (but more rarely) barefoot architect, barefoot engineer and similar terms refer to professionals in the majority world who live in, and generally originate from, the culture that they are serving.
This approach can be contrasted with much of foreign aid, which involves highly paid consultants from the developed world, who often do not know the language or culture well, if at all.
The Chinese program of barefoot doctors ended officially in 1981, replaced with a system of doctors and village health aides.
In 2003 Bunker Roy, the founder of the Barefoot College, Rajasthan, India, won the St Andrews Prize for the EnvironmentW for bringing solar energy to remote Himalayan villages, using "barefoot engineers".
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- Walking Barefoot With Gandhi WorldChanging.com, March 26, 2007 - about the Barefoot College.
- The Barefoot Approach Beyond India WorldChanging.com, March 26, 2007
- Research for Planetary-Learning Management - Strategies for poverty reduction - includes several references to barefoot practitioners of nursing and other skills.