Development is a social, cultural and political process and not merely
a set of economic investments. It
must address the root causes of poverty and deal with the urgent demands
of fundamental human rights, the natural environment and the peaceful management
Development must give primacy to the needs and aspirations of the poorest
and most marginalized of the world’s people.It
should promote social justice through the equitable distribution of power,
wealth and access to resources.
Development aims to empower all people to determine their own future.It
must address ways of eliminating all barriers to an individual’s ability
to determine their future, whether those barriers are based on gender,
age, race, class, national or ethnic origin, or religion.This
must include people’s right to self-determination and cultural integrity.
Development should be environmentally and economically sustainable and
should not jeopardize the well-being of future generations.It
should foster an attitude of stewardship toward the environment.
Development is a process of change.Solutions
must be appropriate for the particular circumstances, as determined via
the full and equal participatory dialogue of all local people involved,
with all other partners (such as the First World NGOs, scientific researchers,
General Strategies in a Complex World
section is a partial list of attempted efforts by the developmental community
in general. There is no single
solution, no single set of steps to achieve a people’s well-being.Each
strategy has its strengths and inadequacies; in isolation any strategy’s
success may be either limited or of short duration.
Capacity-building in general: Within a local context, this is an attempt
to provide a comprehensive solution allowing communities to develop the
education, skills, and interactions necessary for their own development.Capacity
development comprises three levels:the
development of local human resources capable of designing and implementing
programmes (micro);the provision
of administrative support in order to ensure transparent management of
in the definition and setup of policies and of an appropriate legal framework.
Blockage can occur at any level although it may be influenced by internal
or external advocacy, international governmental pressure, or multi-national
corporate reconsideration of their policies for the area.
Micro-credit and micro-enterprises: Part of development can be the ability
to allow persons to use their entrepreneurial motivation and abilities
to advance their living conditions.Potential
problems:It may be of limited
value to those who are not entrepreneurial-minded.Also,
in isolation, that is, without taking into account local politics and power,
ecological issues that may in fact degrade the situation, and so on, micro-enterprises
may have limited scope and perhaps even negative results.In
such cases, it may not necessarily address the more fundamental issue of
Women in Development: Focusing on the social and economic empowerment of
women has had dramatic effects in some areas. This is a valuable
insight, but needs to be placed within the larger context of believing
that each gender must take responsibility and have the full freedom and
opportunity to achieve his or her own development and to establish respectful
relationships with the other gender. However, due to the long-standing
history of subordinate roles and systemic barriers to women’s full and
meaningful participation, at times there is a need to strategically concentrate
efforts on women to remove these barriers and alter attitudes. Major
problems: Long standing cultural steaotypes of both genders;
misplaced relativistic ethics.
Sustainable Agriculture: One aspect of development is food security. It
is an economic issue for small producers and actively encourages environmentally
sound agricultural practices. Limitations:
it does not address the full spectrum of society.
Global education and engagement of North Americans: One component of development
is the raising of awareness among North Americans of global conditions,
how our attitudes and lifestyles impact it and how we can appropriately
and effectively be engaged as agents of change. Major
challenges: it is difficult to impact the strong pull of consumerism
or to counteract misleading or simplistic but powerful media images; it
can be difficult to make one’s voice heard among all other voices vying
for attention and/or asking for donations, plus the various voices can
lead to confusing and mixed messages.