Presentation on theme: "Concepts of Development for Poverty Reduction Edward Webster The Irish-African partnership for Research Capacity Building. Maputo, Mozambique. 11 May 2009."— Presentation transcript:
Concepts of Development for Poverty Reduction Edward Webster The Irish-African partnership for Research Capacity Building. Maputo, Mozambique. 11 May 2009
DEFINING DEVELOPMENT What is development? Expansion of capabilities. the expansion of the capabilities of people to lead the kinds of lives they value – and have reason to value ( Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom, 2007) Become known as the capability approach and is associated with Amartya Sen The goal is to increase the possibilities for more people to realize their potential as human beings through the expansion of their capabilities Freedom is not only a goal it is also the means by which development is reached
MEASURING DEVELOPMENT the capability approach has become very influential in development theory and practice where `the state must offer a program of skillful support for health care, education and other relevant social arrangements(Sen, 1999:66) a Human Development Index (HDI) has been developed to measure a countries social and economic well-being containing three equally weighted indices: Life expectancy Educational attainments Income security
WEAKNESS OF THE CAPABILITY APPROACH Sens faith in free markets, free speech and reasoned social progress warrants a skeptical response He abstracts freedom from power relations and focuses on individual actors giving a false promise to the poor and excluded Concentrated power, centred on both global and national markets, must also be challenged
WEAKNESS OF THE CAPABILITY APPROACH How free is `free trade, for example, when more than a third of world trade takes place between branches of globally integrated transnational corporations? Or when international trade rules permit ostensibly free-trading industrial countries to impose tariffs on the agricultural and manufactured exports of developing countries that compete with local production? Will growth through market exchange alone vanquish mass poverty, or will its elimination require a concerted attack upon power structures protecting the privileged?
NO DEVELOPMENTAL STATE, NO DEVELOPMENT BUT HOW DO WE BUILD THE 21st CENTURY DEVELOPMENT STATE? Peter Evans argues for what he calls a CAPABILITY DEVELOPMENT STATE Such a state, Evans argues, would focus on the kinds of capability expanding services that are required for expanded growth – housing, public transport, health and, above all, mass lower and higher education A capability approach, Evans argues, cannot be done through the 20th century state- capital alliance that defined the Korean and Taiwanese developmental state
NO DEVELOPMENTAL STATE, NO DEVELOPMENT BUT HOW DO WE BUILD THE 21st CENTURY DEVELOPMENT STATE? An alliance with capital will be applauded by local private elites and global policy makers but it is a politically attractive pitfall Instead the 21 century developmental state must create effective state-society linkages by co- producing capability services with its `recipients in the communities themselves In sum, for Evans, Realizing the potential of the 21st century developmental state will require avoiding the twin pitfalls of blind `top-down relations with communities coupled with capture by capital. (Evans: 2008:28)
ACCOUNTABILITY A recent report by the World Bank, titled Accountability in South Africa makes a similar recommendation as a way of making politicians and service delivery more accountable. The report suggest a triangle of accountability where accountability is increased by seeing citizens as not only having a voice in making politicians accountable but also using their powers as users of services to make the service providers accountable, e.g. parents involvement in school governing bodies.
Accountability mechanisms in public services (Source: World Bank, 2008, Accountability in Public Services in South Africa)
RECLAIMING OUR RIGHT TO OUR OWN KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION Nabudere argues that this involves –Acknowledging the contextual validity of African knowledge –The need for researchers to understand how people create their own meanings and life worlds –The need to empower through knowledge production the marginalised –The researcher should be conscious of the relationship between theory and practice –It is vital that the researcher discuss with the community the USE to which the research will be put
Research Capacity Development requires A supportive environment where emerging scholar/researchers/development activists can find their voice Their mentors, ideally familiar, or at least comfortable with the interns exploring African lifeworlds even when they challenge, often in obscure ways, Western notions of science Peer support is essential and most effective when there is a critical mass of four or more interns
Research Capacity Development requires Diversity within research entity including generational diversity Research training needs to be linked to practice and fieldwork
If the Irish-African partnership is to become a thought leader in the evolving knowledge and development discourse and practice in Africa it should follow the advice of Nabudere when he says:
The knowledge produced from the community is a joint/collective property of the researcher and the community. This approach will dispose of the prejudice held by the Eurocentric view point that African cultures are an impediment, detrimental to development, since, in this case the social transformation will result from knowledge production in which they were recognised and respected as subjects rather than objects to be known and then developed through a civilising mission. Nabudere, 2006:50
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