This paper analyzes projects of improvement and continuities of neglect found in two peripheral regions in the rural south of Jordan. These areas have been framed as poverty pockets and singled out for special attention. Yet, despite the multitude of improvement projects targeting them since 1990, they have remained on the periphery. I argue that this has resulted from certain dynamics found within current strategies of intervention. These put people in their place as “locals” and render their concerns inferior to “national” or “global” interests. Accordingly, the transformations witnessed are best described as a socio-spatial re-fragmentation of governing strategies.