This book is meaningful contribution to the discussion about effectiveness of Public Work Programs (PWPs) in recent humanitarian and development work. It summarizes the key design elements of PWPs and matches them with different assignments that donors expect them to entail. Author is neither disputing the social effect of PWPs nor the potential of such program to create assets. The core of the book is how well could these objectives stay together. The answer is about trade-offs that needs to examined. Anyone who is interested in design of various mutations of top-down PWPs should not miss the opportunity to get familiar with them.