Thursday, April 18, 2013

Meaning of Development

by Alan S. Cajes

We take development as human development. UNDP defines human development as “the expansion of people’s freedoms to live their lives as they choose.” This definition implies at least three aspects:
  • In order for people to live their lives as they choose, their level of awareness must be raised up to the point that they could decide for themselves how they could best actualize their existence and realize their potentials.
  • To increase their level of awareness, people must have options on how they could best create the conditions that are conducive for individual and collective self-realization.
  • To provide options, people must have an enabling space or environment by which they could fulfill their fundamental human needs.
Development interventions, therefore, should result in an improvement of such enabling space or environment. One example of a desired result is “increase in income”. Such result could help people in fulfilling a fundamental human need – subsistence.

Further reading

Sabina Alkire. Human Development: Definitions, Critiques and Related Concepts. UNDP: June 2010

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