Unit 2 Human Development and Capability

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Unit 2 Human Development and Capability

  1. 1. Today’s program • Discuss the importance of value judgments in debates about the meaning and choices in Development • Discuss Assignment: The Story of Stuff, part 1 • And part 2 in class (if we have time) • Form group of 3 and brainstorm over a future development dilemma that you want to use for your change agents project
  2. 2. “The word development has many meanings as there are listeners*” * cited by Alkire and Deneulin, 2009 • What do you understand by the word ‘development’? • The more we reflect on it, we discover that the term is ambiguous and value-laden
  3. 3. Regardless of any particular framework, many would view development as follow: • Development as a multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral process, involving social, economic and political change aimed at improving people’s lives. Development processes use and manage natural resources to satisfy human needs and improve people’s quality of life. • Those who hold these views, may still range from Marxist to Neoclassical Ideologies
  4. 4. Different views of what is development: Two examples: 1. A country is considered developed because its inhabitants command higher incomes per capita and because investment and employment rates are higher than in other regions • Economic growth and productive investments are considered indicators of development here
  5. 5. Different views of what is development (2): 2. In an other view concerns for people’s health and education are important key indicators of the development of a country • In this example health and education are as key indicators on the foreground of what development means
  6. 6. “Limitations to the GDP”, extracted from a speech given by Robert Kennedy on January the 4th, 1968: • “ (….) The GDP of the US is the largest in the world. Truly we have a great gross national product, almost 800 billion dollars, but can that be the criterion by which we judge this country? Is it enough? For the gross national product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and jails for the people who break them. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife and television programs, which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. And the gross national product, the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither wit nor courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our duty to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile (…).” • Trackback: http://www.commonwealthclub.org/archive/20thcentury/68-01kennedy-speech.html
  7. 7. Legitimating development on 3 levels of analysis: Development legitimately involves different kinds of analyses: 1. Normative approach: development debates and policies are normative or ethical. Based on value judgments in that they clarify how groups ought to behave in order to create improvements • Not value-free, but instead ideological • Herein lies the rationale/motivation behind choices and actions in terms of policies,
  8. 8. Legitimating development on 3 levels of analysis (2): • Positive approach (empirically based): It requires learning from the past and analyzing existing data. This approach refers to the empirical study of development: data studies, hypothesis testing, and other kinds of description and analysis E.g. • http://www.censo2010.aw/images/stories/results/percentage%20of%20popul ation%20with%20diploma%20after%20primary%20education%20by%20count ry%20of%20birth.pdf
  9. 9. Legitimating development on 3 levels of analysis (3): • Development is predictive: analysis must be able to predict how a situation could change over time in certain ways • E.g. by applying techniques of scenario planning and trends analysis • Although different in approach, normative, positive and predictive approaches are all interconnected
  10. 10. Normative, positive and predictive approach to development are all interconnected • One needs to have a positive (empirical) and predictive analysis in order to make any normative assessments and vice versa • Yet normative analysis is fundamental and in some ways prior to predictive and empirical analysis. • Let’s look at an example: defining poverty
  11. 11. E.g. different definitions of poverty may influence how we measure poverty and the actions we take in terms of policies* “ Definitions of Poverty A variety of ways to define urban poverty are available, each with their own strengths and deficiencies: • income-based definitions: This approach seeks to specify a level of income per capita in a household below which the basic needs of the family cannot be satisfied. It shares the difficulties of the next class of definitions of imposing an official's or observer's view of necessities. It does not acknowledge variation in costs of similar goods for different consumers. The vital importance of non-market household production and non-monetarized exchanges in poor families is not counted. • basic needs approaches: A set of minimal conditions of life, usually involving the quality of the dwelling place, degree of crowding, nutritional adequacy and water supply are specified and the proportion of the population lacking these conditions is used to estimate the degree of poverty. The advantage of this approach is that different conditions can be specified appropriate to different settings. However, this reduces comparability of estimates in different sites. Similarly, it does not take into account the willingness of people to accept various tradeoffs deliberately (e.g., a lower quality dwelling for reduced transportation time and expense to work) • participatory definitions: In this approach, respondents from communities are themselves invited to identify their perceptions of their needs, priorities and requirements for minimal secure livelihood. Some sacrifice of comparability of estimates in different communities or at different times is traded for better information on the identified demands of the individuals themselves. At times such analyses supplement and reinforce the more quantitative measures; at other times they reveal a very different experienced reality. A study in Rajasthan, India, identified 32 conditions which individuals felt necessary for a satisfactory minimal lifestyle. Comparison of interview results over a decade revealed that despite reductions in income of the residents, and little change in living conditions of the kind generally surveyed in basic needs estimates, significant improvements had occurred in experienced quality of life.” *UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund
  12. 12. The normative approach of development affects choices and actions • Normative approaches to development are central to the shaping of policies, but not enough to create it • Normative approaches affect policy decisions (some examples): – They shape the data we collect – They influence our analysis – They give certain topics greater or less political salience – They feed or hinder social movements – They are ethical and philosophical credible and CONTESTED! – They influence the trade-offs we make in terms of development
  13. 13. Bottom-line • Ideas about what development should be, matter. • Different ways of understanding what development should improve lead to different policies and consequences. • Conflicts of values and interests are common on the level of trade-offs and choices and actions to be taken: – E.g. how will the policy decision affect economical progress? versus – how will the policy affect people’s quality of life?
  14. 14. Assignment: The Story of Stuff, part 1 www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLBE5QAYXp8
  15. 15. Assignment, part 1 • Let’s take a look at your reflections after studying the video
  16. 16. Assignment, part 2 • Read the following article that was a reaction on the story of stuff: • http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/f eatured_articles/20090515friday.html • What do you think of the different reactions the documentary got?
  17. 17. Reactions to the article
  18. 18. Reactions to the article
  19. 19. Change agents project • Form groups of 3 • Brainstorm on possible themes for your change agents project

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