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Write an essay either supporting or doubting the value of economic development for communities in the developing world.

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Write an essay either supporting or doubting the value of economic development for communities in the developing world Over the past fifty years, vast sums of money have been given by Western governments to try and solve problems of underdevelopment and improve human well-being. Economic development looks to bring about 'directed social change' by for example, improving methods in agriculture to produce higher yields and in turn, increased profits. Development should improve the state of affairs in the developing world but is often seen to make things worse-it should aid cultures to escape poverty-but are they disregarding the home culture and in turn lining their pockets with cash? The notion of development is an idea of progress. It is commonly welcomed by those in developing countries who look to maximise their economic potential and improve their quality of life. Developers use western experience and scientific knowledge to improve practices but in so doing hope to contradict the traditional arrangements as little as possible. It is generally a well-intentioned and gratefully accepted practice.????????? Lawrence Harrison argues that the creative ability of human beings is at the heart of development. ...read more.


The knowledge and culture of the developed is often ignored or treated as an obstacle to development. This ignorance, and failure to try and understand the home culture means that when development happens it is not well accepted. There are several difficulties in the development process that further hinder its usefulness. Most projects fall seriously short of the goals they set out to achieve. For example, in the drought prone Sahel region in Africa, for every five thousand hectares brought under irrigation, the same area of land is turning into salty desert because of poor drainage (Hobart, 1995: 3)-it's not improving the situation. Furthermore, in Timor, Indonesia six large dams were built to bring water to arid regions (the country only sees three months of rain, the rest of the time it is dry). But these dams were so positioned that there was no-one within miles-again seeming a rather pointless project (Hobart, 1995: 3)s. Yet these dams were positioned by a road meaning that if people did migrate from the far off regions, the government would be able to keep a much better eye on them. ...read more.


Whereas the development officer had been able to run the coop shop with authority-which the young women who took his place did not have. They should have had the power to refuse the purchase of items if the customer could not afford it-but because young women lack authority in Inuit culture, they were unable to uphold their position-this obviously led to financial problems. Then on top of this expensive items were not sold in the shop but by elected leaders-who would set the prices and payments. These should be at a level such that that shop would make a profit. However, the make up of peasant society meant that ordinary people have control over leaders-and those who received the expensive items such as snowmobiles were not the rich but those closely related to the leadership. They persuade leaders to lower the price of retail goods and raise prices for goods sold to the coop. The outcome was that the coop fell into severe debt and within a year the development had to return to the community (lecture 30/10/03). At the heart of development is a desire to see life improve. ...read more.

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