1992 What is Development! ? Wha That is development? For a time, many equated development with new roads and tall buildings. These were the observable signs of an increasing gross national product, the gauge of a nation’s wealth. It didn’t take long for them to realize that an increase in GNP didn’t exactly mean development That was in the 1960s. Since then, many theories, many definitions, and many measures of development have been forwarded. These theories, definitions, and measures have their own individual mer- its. From a development communication perspective, however, the true measure of development is man. of development. A Poem on Development As we look at all the roads, schools, hospitals, wells, tractors, that are appearing here and there and all the fuss made about them, we may wonder is this development? If this is not, then what is? A village gets a tractor or builds a well. Many people rejoice, here comes development, the productive forces are expanding! But someone says, development of people, not of things! Ten years of well digging. road building, tractor importing, give no guarantee against ten following years of indolence, corruption, injustice and stagnation Chapter 3 23 Unit 1 Development, if any, is to be found behind the well; the way it was decided and built, how credit was fought for, in the discussions that went on during its construction The tractor behind its shiny exterior, surrounded by smiling villagers and illustrious potentates. Does it represent growing indigenous capacity for production and organization or growing desire and ability to get what one needs from the Government or other agencies with the least effort and at the sacrifice of independent thought? The tractor could represent many lies told and as many truths withheld.
To judge how much development a thing represents, We have to look at the people who brought the thing about, and how and why. – G. Belkin Canadian Hunger Foundation Report ASIA FOCUS, Volume VIII, Number 1, First Quarter, 1973, pp. 40-41 First Quarter, 1973, pp. 40-41 Definitions and Measures The First Development Decade Much has been said, much has been written about development and many scholars feel that this much is enough. There is no longer any need to belabor it some more. However, it was only after the Second World War when people began applying the term â€œdevel- opment” in the context of nations and societies. In fact, before John Maynard Keynes the term was more frequently applied in bi- ology than in economics. Scanned by CamScanner Introduction to Development Communication 24 Among the first to employ it were economists from the victorious Allied countries, dons from Oxford and Harvard who, along with political scientists and strategists, were engaged by their respective governments to establish the foundations of a post-war interna- tional economic order. Development was the desired goal or end- state for countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, all with agri- culture-based economies and post-colonial histories, some of which were ravaged by the war. The term soon became a buzz word for diplomats, planners, and policymakers. It was institutionalized as a fashionable adjunct to the newly-formed national and international agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development and the United Nations Development Programme. A surge of activity promoting development soon ensued internationally with the Western nations as the donors and countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America as the beneficiaries. These focused on infrastructure and agricultural productivity. The 1960s became the First Development Decade. There was no question about the so-called yardstick for develop- ment in the 1960s. The most accurate measure of development was the gross national product (GNP), the total money value of the goods and services produced by a country in a given year. Econo- mists argued that there was a direct correlation between develop- ment and the growth of the GNP. In the 1960s, a country such as the Philippines whose GNP was increasing by five percent and above was undeniably on its way to development. It was during this decade that the word underdevel- oped was substituted by its more acceptable euphemism, develop- ing. Henceforth, underdeveloped countries in Asia, Africa, and South America became known as developing countries. It was also during this decade that international financial institutions such as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank began investing heavily in development programs in the developing world. Chapter 3 25 Unit/ During the First Development Decade, several feasibility studies which formed part of technical assistance grants for World Bank loans were conducted.
Many of these studies concluded that it was as feasible to invest in human resource development or in educa- tion as in infrastructure in developing countries. In fact, it was pro- jected be more profitable in the long term. Another enhancement was the involvement of multi-disciplinary teams of engineers, economists, and sociologists in these studies. It became quite apparent to the latter, particularly during field visits, that in spite of recorded increases in GNP there seemed to be very little improvement among the poor. If the GNP was divided by the country’s total population, then the resulting number, an increasing per capita income, gave a misleading picture since the majority of the developing country’s population remained poor. Economists argued that, eventually, a trickle down effect would spread the benefits of economic development to every stratum of human so- ciety including the â€œpoorest of the poor.” In the international arena, the debate subsequently assumed a po- litical flavor with the unavoidable comparison of the Western aid model of development to the Chinese model, which became a com- munist showcase in Asia during the 1960s. The latter boasted of equal distribution of wealth, participation, and agrarian reform, al- though in hindsight, the Chinese themselves began having secret misgivings about their model. These debates, however, sparked a serious rethinking of the use of the GNP as a single aggregate yardstick for development Towards the end of the 1960s, the development and underdevelop- ment dichotomy gave way to a three-way categorization. To distin- guish the communist countries (or countries with centrally planned economies) from the developed or industrial-commercial countries, the latter became known as the First World and the former as the Second World. The developing countries from Asia, Africa, and South America made up the Third World. Introduction to Development Communication 26 The Second Development Decade Thus, the 1970s ushered in what the United Nations calls the Sec- ond Development Decade with an obvious paradigm shift in per- spective from the economic to the humanistic. Development was no longer defined as economic growth measured by the gross na- tional product. The term began to assume a deeper meaning, the improvement of the quality of life of the individual. Man him- self became the measure of development. Foremost among the new development thinkers was a German named E.F. Schumacher and an Englishman named Dudley Seers. Schumacher, an economist by profession, was deeply influenced by Buddhist philosophy. His unique brand of Buddhist economics became the subject of a very influential book in the mid-1970s entitled Small is Beautiful Economics as if People Mattered. Seers, on the other hand, was the Director of the Institute of De- velopment Studies at the University of Sussex. Like Ghandi, he believed that development should provide the necessary conditions for the realization of the potential of human personality.” The presence of these conditions determines whether a country is developed or not. The following conditions should serve as indicators for devel- opment: 1. enough food, clothing, footwear, and shelter 2 meaningful employment 3. equality 4. education Hence, the relevant questions to ask according to Seers are: Is the supply of food increasing is the employment rate increasing? Is equality increasingAre educational opportunities getting more and more available to everybody? If the answer to these questions are in the affirmative, then there has been a period of development for the country concerned.” Unit Chapter 3 27 Taking the cue from Seers, the Development Academy of the Phil. ippines launched the Social Indicators Project in October 1973 to develop a comprehensive measure for development, a “national social accounting system” in the words of its project director, Mahar Mangahas. From a preliminary list of nine areas of concern, the project isolated 30 elements, cach a measurable, quantitative indi- cator. The indexes are as follows: 1. Health and Nutrition 2. Education and Skills 3. Income and Consumption a.
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