Development Cooperation Handbook/Issues/Do developed and developing nations agree on the road map for global development?

Issue 5
Do developed and developing nations agree on the road map for global development?

Episode 3 - MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
playlist on YouTube

Relevant chapters in this handbook
Defining Development

Article on Wikipedia ⇒ International development; ⇒ The Sustainable development Portal
Article on Global issues ⇒ Sustainable development
Article on New Zimbabwe ⇒ Rethinking the African economic model
Al Habtoor Research & Studies ⇒ Islamic economics alternative to globalization



"Development" is one of the most commonly used words. But this does not mean that there is a common perspective of what "development" is.

It is a concept that sometimes facilitates consensus and other times polarizes divergence. Different perspectives of development often generate political oppositions and divisions.

When proposing a strategy "to develop" a community through professional international cooperation, there is a need to clarify "what kind of development", due to the fluctuating and varying definitions of the term development.

Etymologically the term "development" means the process from the "possible" to the "factual". In development cooperation, we first need to arrive at a common understanding at what are the opportunities that exist "in potency" and what are the actions that we have to take in order to realize these potentials and make them "into facts". That requires dialogue, participation and the overcoming of cultural stereotypes that hinder reciprocal understanding.



We asked different stakeholders to explain their views about development and about their experiences in promoting development cooperation dialogue.

We also want to compare the cultural aptitudes of different nations in assuming responsibility for global development and inter-cultural dialogue.
Below are the answers we collected. The work is in progress and you are welcomed to contribute.
Click on the name of the contributor to go to the page with the full interview.

Indifference is growing in those who get the benefits of uneven growth - Ita Mehrotra

Let's get out and ask the definition of development to those for whom development plans should be - Ita Mehrotra

Julian Parr - What is your perception of aid coming from an other culture an an other country

" What is your perception of aid coming from an other culture an an other country?

It's a challenge, isn't it. You have to be very sensitive on how much you challenge and how much you assist countries to achieve MDGs. I think it is how you approach... is about dialogue, about communication, it is certainly not taking a dictatorial or accusatory attitude towards any country or nature.

Come superare lo stereotipo delle paure occidentali ed essere vero - Francesco Brancatella - F.Brancatella - Dialogo con i giornalisti di Konu, Sierra Leone  
Perche' i media occidentali danno una immagine cosi' negativa della realta' africana? - F.Brancatella - Dialogo con i giornalisti di Konu, Sierra Leone  

Less affluence and less technology does not mean a lower cultural standard nor a life less worthy
Our way of implementing democracy is different from yours, because we have to function in a different context
We value differently, but the Western judgments are stereotyped and Western media is unable to appreciate the difference

Development Education - Internal team conversations at Sofia

The failure of integrating fhe MDGs - Pachauri

The importance of economic empowerment of women as a civilization issue - S.Kumar

What are the linkages between economic prosperity and the improvement of the life of the people?

C.B. Rao UN Officer

Tapping the idealism of the young generation - C.B. Rao

Solutions cannot be imported from outside - Manoj Kumar

e can take international donor funds if these are in coherence with our vision and mission - D.Kumar    

Taking or not taking funds from foreign donors has always provoked debates and discussions among social workers like us. Our team, for instance, finally decided that we would take money only if we could put it to good use and if we could utilise it to achieve our vision and mission. The foreign funds receive really help us in making the social and economic changes we had always dreamed about. In fact, our efforts to bring positive and lasting changes among communities in 26 villages of our state were successful only because of the donor funds we received for contributing to the achievement of the MDGs.

What is "growth" - Development Education Conference
What can and what cannot grow - Development Education Conference

European NGO confederation for relief and development, Brussels, May 2011, Organized by the European NGO confederation for relief and development

If the economy does not grow we will be depressed; if it grows we will be destroyed - Sadhguru

Political and spiritual freedom: a comparison between Egypt (and the Arab spring) and India (and its new spiritual quest after its rapid and unbalanced growth - Sadhguru

Growth is a means - Human development is an ends - J.Drèze

Growth is a means, is not an end in itself or thought sometimes there is the tendency to start to treat it as an ends in itself. And people and the human development is the ends, even though there is a tendency, as you said, sometimes to treating it also as a mean, rather than as ends. Now it is true that human resources can also be a means and…we learned a lot of useful things in development economics about the importance of human resources for growth, and not just for growth for development in generally, and in particular about the role of education, whether you talk of growth, whether you talk of improvement of health or public participation in democracy, for all these things education is very important, so these human resources have an important instrumental role.

But I think, what is more important than that is to think of them as ends of development and to think of them as wellbeing of people and also as rights of people. You know, in India we have very clear road map, in the form of the Constitution, which is very progressive in many aspects and clarifies, without any doubt, that every citizen has basic rights to education, to health, even to employment, to living with dignity, and we have to, I think, keeping view these are as the ends of development. That is not to deny that growth can be important, and you pointed out that growth generates also can be used, in particular trough welfare functioning public services, to improve people’s health, education and nutrition and so on. So growth can be important, but it is a means and the ultimate objective is people well being and people’s rights, as (spelt) out in this case, I would say, to a large extent in the Constitution.

Growth centrality when it becomes a means for the power game amongst Nations- J.Drèze

I would also say growth, as I said, it is an important means, but it can also be quite problematic, particularly in environment’s consequences, I think it has to be looked out. In India this is now a very big issue, because the past 10/20 years have been extremely destructive, in terms of environmental consequences. Very rapid growth of inequality and creation of life style (for humanity) of the population, which I think are becoming increasing difficult to replicate for everyone else, without further pressure on the environment and all the public resources. So, you know, there are a lot of questions that have to be addressed, without denying that growth can be an important instrument for transforming the life of people.

So I think these priority have to be clear and there is a very serious confusion, at this time, about the growth being an important thing in itself, and you know, if you ask why is the Indian elite so obsessed with growth, why, as you said, it is becoming a kind of overriding object in itself and there is the tendency to view anything that stand in the way of growth as an irritation that has to be done away (within) something or the other, whether is the environment, whether is equity or anything. I think the obsession with growth is not so much this believe in the trickle down, what you has describe as the idea that people will follow. It is not so much the trickle down theory, part of the trickle down theory, but I think it is also a last (four) power in the world and for becoming a big power on the world stage. And I think that is where growth become very important in the mind set of the Indian…and rightly so, if you really aspire to become a so called civil power on the world stage, than obviously you will have to become a much richer Country and it will take a lot of economic growth.

The Earth is Female - Vandana Shiva

What’s your concept of Development? My concept of development is that it must be defined by the people for whom it is supposed to be, it cannot be defined by Washington or by the politicians. It has to be defined by the community, and if the community feels that letting the river flow is development, then they let the river flow. If the community feels building a dam is good then they can build a dam, but it shouldn’t be that they are told you have no rights to decide.

Development and role of women - Vandana Shiva

What about the balance between the power of the multinationals and the power of common people? Is it possible to arrange the right balance when there is such a big difference of power among the actors? Yes, if you recognize the rights of the local people. I’ll give you a very simple example. In the Constitution which gives the right to local communities to decide what they will do for development, they have the right to say no to a highway, and they have total right. That right has been taken away by the power of the cooperation. So it’s not the case that you have development, you have destruction. So, in the area where there has been dam it’s the area where we have the new Maoism, a violent extreme movement, armed struggle.