Introductory assignment

Joakim Jakobsen

1. Discuss briefly different meanings and approaches to development and poverty.
Development can be defined in various ways, depending on whom you ask. There are different
approaches to what the term Development should include. A common interpretation is to talk
about development as an improvement of living conditions for the better. Whether this applies to
individuals or society. Development is often set in the context of economic growth. But
development is more than just a transition from poverty and rural living to better economic
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has defined development as a process
and expands people's choices and live a dignified life, with prospects and opportunities. Which
include the right to a healthy life, education and political freedom. (UNDP 2013) The definition of
what should be considered as "good" development has many different approaches. In the
aftermath of World War II countries have in a larger scale been divided into different groups
ranked as developed or less developed.
Considering that most of the world's population live in countries that are defined as the Global
South (World Bank, 2009) it will be impossible and not particularly desirable, to have as a goal
that all should attain a Western standard of living. Instead, it should be emphasized achieving
the UN's goals for eradicating extreme poverty, and increase standards of living, relating to as
large number of population as possible.

When is a person considered to be poor? As for development, the definition of poverty has a
wide range of interpretations. It is often easiest, and most practical to measure poverty in
monetary means. The World Bank has drawn up a number of poverty lines, used to assessing
poverty. These methods of measurement can be used to figure out how many individuals or
families, in a country or area that lives only with the bare minimum of means to survive. This
approach however, does not cover the whole picture. A great number of people, have no income
what so ever, but base their supply of food and other necessities of what their small farms give
in foods, and sometimes even some surplus they can trade. Others may not be living in a state
of what defined as below the bare minimum or extreme poverty at the moment, but constantly
live with the risk off fall into poverty, if small changes in their life occur. This can be a situation
that would not be considered life threatening, or even not such a great issue in the Global North.


This involves in particular the migration of the country's inhabitants from rural parts. or the need of medical treatment. How would you portray the difference in viewpoint between: academic writing on development (Allen & Thomas.Like loosing a job. But there also are examples of countries that have experienced little growth or negative economic progress in the same period. and potential poverty. which is term we can use for western development. and emphasize that we must move away from thinking classical development aid. focusing on the way forward for countries that have experienced strong growth. and Willis) reports from the UN. and reports written by the World Bank? Allen & Thomas (2000) reviewing previous strategies for development as unsuccessful. but vulnerability for change is high. (1997) These believe that previous attempts and strategies for development is strongly influenced by the US and the countries of the Global North and that it is wrong to use these countries' living standards as a template of what we should define what is good results for development. 2. (Allen & Thomas. and cities where prospects of higher income and increased standards of living are to be found in employment at large factories. Allen & Thomas (2000) describes the mindset of supporters of the "post-development" school. These drivers of development are: A proactive developmental state. where the needs necessary for survival are covered. Poverty like this. to densely populated areas. such as Sachs and Esteva. 2013) Allan & Thomas also refers to the difference between progress and immanent development. where agriculture have been the main source of income. 2 . is defined as absolute poverty. (UNDP. But emphasizes underlying factors that have been decisive for development. As efforts. It also explains the importance of how other countries in greatest possible extent takes measures and benefit from its neighboring countries growth. 2000) The UNDP 2013 report highlights many of the same questions as Allen & Thomas (2000). and determined social policy and innovation. tapping of global markets. and has had a tremendous economic growth rate such as China. and intentional development. This report has a more analytical character. and rather see development strategies in light of the current situation. Statistic data also shows what kind of changes. aimed to achieve higher levels of performance in predefined goals. typically have taken place in regions experiencing domestic growth. Allen & Thomas (2000) makes clear that there are several good examples of countries that have had a major development in terms of economic and social parameters for the last 20 years.

and destroy ecosystems that are both important today and in the future. This report. our generation has a huge responsibility not to excessively consume natural resources. In 1987 the UN offspring organization The World Comission of Enviroment and Development published a report commonly known as the "Bruntland report" That described the term sustainable development as "Development that meets the needs of the presented without compromising the storability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Willis 2011) In other words. Despite this. like the UNDP publishment use economic theories to help identify what the impact of equality between genders can result. Up and coming economies will have ever more influence in both economic questions and international policymaking in the years to come. A Western standard of living is not sustainable in the long run. 3. Therefore it is important to focus on how we can limit emissions from both the Global North and countries that are placed in different stages of development. so that future generations will have the same conditions as us. and how greater gender equality in a society will improve the economic conditions when women to get access to areas such as education. Although the focus on the environment has gradually become a more important subject in international 3 . clean drinking water and consumables. nations all over the world face great challenges as the world's population increases. power and influence will be distributed worldwide. to be part of development. The report also emphasizes the importance of reducing the gender gaps in our time. and more people will have the need for an access to food. the environmental pollution is reaching new heights. so that future generations will experience increased opportunities in both social and economical terms. technological innovations and research facilitated that it is now possible to grow crops more efficiently and also require less labor and land for the cultivation of ever-larger quantities of food. All this is necessary to live a safe and proper full life. During the past century. The World Bank's World Development Report 2013 stresses the importance of the work for gender equality. A growing number of people are given the opportunity and take for granted to live on a diet with high levels of meat and other foods less sustainable than what have been consumed in the past. How can we understand and promote sustainable development? The world’s population is increasing. labor markets and economical opportunities. As an increasing number of the world’s inhabitants are becoming major consumers of power and use fuel-driven means of transportation.The UNDP Human Development Report explains a change in how wealth. This is a massive challenge.

to the annoyance of countries in the Global South. How to divide responsibility.politics. less than 10 meters above present sea level. and be part of an developed society loaded with abundance. will be the first ones to face the consequences. In a country like Bangladesh. These countries. and certainly does not know the concepts of international boarders. The Global South are also the countries that initially will recognize the effects of climate change as a result of the Global North and their generations of environmental degradation. The transition from an overuse of the earth's resources. This can be achieved 4 . Not only this. it requires great efforts to try limit. and promote the necessity for more eco-friendly solutions in international policymaking. because they must deal with constant new setback as a result of natural disasters. and even a greater awareness of greenhouse gas emissions in countries in the Global North. are both unavailable and associated with higher costs in many parts of the world. almost half the population are currently inhabited in lowlying parts of the country. Another key element is to agree on international guidelines. This can be issues like the deforestation of our rainforests or use of coal instead of introducing more ecofriendly alternatives. whom is responsible for a large portions of global emissions and waste. like oil and coal must be made a priority in both education. and food shortages as a result of flooding and failed crops. or when major changes in sea level occur. Changes in the environment. and international climate agreements. require major changes in everyday life. renewable energy is an asset which are seldom available in developing countries. or reverse already unsustainable operations. and for the Global North in particular. and off course be a focal point when nations meet to make new policies. will have little effect if major new economic superpowers like that of China does not participate heavily. have been a subject of great debate. One result will probably be environmental refugees in the millions. where key actors like the US refused to ratify the agreement. to use less. It will require changes in all social levels. are in addition very unfair. (Willis 2011) Climate change will have an impact on everyone. Green. private and public institutions and businesses. and urge private companies. Energy from such as wind and hydropower. they also get less opportunity to develop them self. For a large portion of the world population. to become more climate-friendly. A well known example of disagreement between nations is the Kyoto agreement. those who have not been given a chance to take part in economic development. In order to keep the concept of sustainable development on the agenda. has greater political and economic challenges which will exacerbate problems when climate change leads to a more unpredictable climate and natural disasters. drought and less will to establish new jobs and invest in areas affected by climate change. (Willis 2011) The consequences can be fatal for these countries if. The long term effects of issues such as global warming and excessive draining of natural resources.

World Bank (2009) World Development Report 2009 Overview: Reshaping economic geography. and develop more sustainable methods of transport of those products. Oxford: Oxford University Press P. An essential element in the task of raising awareness of these issues is to confront criticism of global warming.: The World Bank P. will be a part in the move for a better future.186. Literature: .Allen & Thomas (2000) Poverty and development into the 21st Century. to make products that are more eco-friendly. or "it's not our problem" state of mind. Pages 178. Also by raising public expectations towards private sector. 27 . 6 + P. New York: United Nations Development Programme. and not allow decision makers to be caught up in a business as usual.C.Willis (2011) Theories and Practices of Development.182. (UNDP) P. like offer subsidies from public sector in order to make industry less harmful for the a number of ways. 379 . Washington D. 4 .UNDP (2013) Human Development Report 2013 Overview: The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. London: Routledge. with solid knowledge. 5 .