Development (Perspectives on Development) Generally speaking, development describes a process through which the potentialities of an object or organism are realized until it reaches its natural complete full-fledged form. In other words, development is progress, in both qualitative and quantitative. The term ‘Development’ is a very vague one. There is no precise definition of it. Thus it is defined, interpreted and accepted in different ways by different authorities. For example, economists argue that economic development is the basic indicator through which the development can be measured. Likewise, politicians are of the opinion that in order to have speedy development in the country there should be political freedom. Similarly, behaviorists believe in promoting social-cultural development. Therefore, all these dimensions should be analyzed properly in order to understand the concept of development. It is a reminder that development is a multidimensional process. But in sociology, development is a process of social change. The efforts of development are to provide “opportunities for the qualitative living standard “. The means of development may be different but recipients of the development are the people of the lower standard of living. To describe development in etymological sense, we can take the Nepali Dictionary published by Nepal Pragya Pratisthan in which development implies ‘the condition continuously growing or improving.’ In this way, the social change or condition that comes in a new stage is development. The following aspects of changes or positive social  changes in any nation or society denote development and they are also known as indicators of development. Indicators of Development
  1. Change in technology
  2. Better Social Environment
  3. Growth in income
  4. Growth of New skill
  5. Expansion of Employment
Some Definitions of Development Former American President Harry Truman had used the word ‘ Development ‘ for the first time in January 1949 A.D. Since then different scholars and development experts have described , analysed and defined development in their own way. But the definition without controversies cannot be found. Some definitions of development can be mentioned as follows:
  • Development must be therefore, conceived  as multidimensional process involving changes in structure, attitude and institution as well as the acceleration of the economic growth, the reduction of inequality and eradication of absolute poverty”. – Micheal Torado
  • Development is a process of channeling investment of public and private account to increase production in various fields, buildings up its economic infrastructures and expansion of social services with the objectives of augmentation, diversification and dispersal of employment. – S.K Sharma
  • Development is both spontaneous and discontinuous change in the channels of the circular flow; disturbance of equilibrium, which for alters and displaces the equilibrium state previously existing. – J.A Schumpeter
  • “Whatever the geographical location, cultural and historical stage of development of a society, there are at least three basic elements which are considered to constitute the ‘true’ meaning of development’.
  • People have certain needs without which it would be impossible or very difficult to survive. These basic necessities include food, clothes, shelter, education, health care and security. When any of these are absent or in critically short supply we may sate that a condition of absolute underdevelopment exists. Provision of these life sustaining requirements to everybody is a basic function of development.
  • The new economic view of development considers reduction or elimination of poverty, inequality and unemployment as an important index of development. If one or two of these central problems have been growing worse, especially all three have, it would be strange to call it as the result of ‘development’ despite per capita income being doubled. – Dudley Ceers
  • Development must be appropriate culturally, socially, economically, technologically and environmentally. – Hugo Slim
  • Development is not a commodity to be weighted or measured by G.N.P statistics. It’s a power of change that enables people to take change of their own destinies and realize their full potential. It requires building up in people the confidence, skill assets and freedom necessary to achieve this goal.- Hugo slim
Emergence and Progress of Idea of Development
  1. New Awareness that poverty is not the inevitable fate of the majority of the mankind.
  2. The context of cold war
  • Various renaissance in third world countries after 1950 A.D
  1. The large number of countries being independent after the Second World War
Dimensions of Development Process
  1. Economic Development
  2. Social Development
  • Human Development :
Four pillars of Human development
  1. Equity
  2. Sustainability
  • Productivity
  1. Empowerment
  2. Equitable Development/Equity
  3. Participatory or People Centered Development
  1. Participatory Planning
  2. See the people as the source of knowledge and skill
  3. People are active actors
  4. Development is by people not for people
  5. High possibility of participation and equity
  6. Bottom up approach
  7. Sustainability
  8. Role of state as facilitator, not as an interventionist
  9. Women and Development
  10. Women in Development(WID)
  11. Woman and Development (WAD)
  12. Gender and Development (GAD)
  • Environment and Development
  1. The issue of overpopulation
  2. Consumption patterns
  3. Energy, environment and global warming
  4. Market failures and policy distortions
  • Inclusive Development
  1. Self- reliant or Sustainable Development
  2. Human Right and Development
Underdevelopment Countries / Underdevelopment
  1. According to report of UNO entitled “Measures of the economic development of the underdeveloped countries, 1951”
“The term underdeveloped is appled to those countires in which per capita real income applied, to those countries in which per capita real income is low when compared with the per-capita real income of the United States of America, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. In this sense and adequate synonym would be ‘poor countires.”
  1. According to the Dicitonary of Social Science :
“ The term underdeveloped areas denotes areas in which the light of given criteria , the development of a) natural and b) human resources is below criteria level.”
  • According to Baur and Yomey ( Economist of Underdeveloped Countries):
“ The term ‘underdeveloped countries’ usually refers loosely to countries or regions with the levels of real income and capital per head of population which are low by the standards of North America, Western Europe and Australia.”
  1. According to Dr. Eugene Staley:
“An underdeveloped country can be defined as one characteristics by mass poverty which is chronic and not the result of some temporary mass poverty which is chronic and not the result of some temporary misfortune and by absolute methods of production and social organization, which means that the poverty is not entirely due to poor natural resources and hence could presumably be lessoned by the methods already proved in other countries.” Based on the definitions given above , we can conclude that the underdeveloped countries are those countries which have no good economic condition, no proper utilization of natural resources and means and which have very low per capita income in comparison with developed countries like America, Canada, Australia etc. Characteristics of underdeveloped countries
  1. Poverty
  2. Agro-based economy
  3. Demographic features
  4. Underdeveloped natural resources
  5. Economic backwardness
  6. Poor condition of trade and industry
  7. Lack of good governance
  8. Dependency on foreign aid
  9. Absence of unemployment
  10. Mixed Economy ( Capitalist and Socialist)
Contemporary Development: (Ideology and practices in Nepal)
  1. State-led Development Strategy
  2. Market-led Development Strategy
  • NGO/INGO led Development Strategy
  1. Community-led Development Strategy
(Source: Harihar Ghimire, 2070, Perspectives on development, A sociological and Anthropological Analysis)