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Human Development. "The basic purpose of development is to enlarge people's choices. In principle, these choices can be infinite and can change over time.

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Presentation on theme: "Human Development. "The basic purpose of development is to enlarge people's choices. In principle, these choices can be infinite and can change over time."— Presentation transcript:

1 Human Development

2 "The basic purpose of development is to enlarge people's choices. In principle, these choices can be infinite and can change over time. People often value achievements that do not show up at all in income or growth figures: greater access to knowledge, better nutrition and health services, more secure livelihoods, security against crime and physical violence, satisfying leisure hours, political and cultural freedoms and sense of participation in community activities. The objective of development is to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives.” Mahbub ul Haq

3 Three critical concepts in this approach: Capability refers to what people are actually able to do or be - unlike traditional development approaches which focus on how much resources they are able to command. Functionings imply circumstances that allow people to achieve their capability “capability is thus a kind of freedom: the substantive freedom to achieve … the freedom to achieve various lifestyles)’’ Amartya K. Sen

4 How do we make that judgement? How do we compare one thing to another? We need some criteria For comparing development approaches, I suggest three criteria Justice Difference Agency

5 Justice: does the framework have a clear notion of justice? (think of modernization as an example. Is it just? Why or why not? Difference: does the framework talk about inequality between different groups of people (divided by race, gender, caste, religious groups etc.?) Agency: who is the agent of change? Who brings about development? (the state, individuals, international organizations, elites?)

6 Distributive paradigm of justice Enabling or transformative paradigm of justice Distributive paradigm talks about how to distribute rights and resources Enabling/transformative paradigm goes deeper Looks at the institutions which produce a certain distribution

7 Cages. Consider a birdcage. If you look very closely at just one wire in the cage, you cannot see the other wires. If your conception of what is before you is determined by this myopic focus, you could look at one wire, up and down the length of it, and be unable to see why a bird would not just fly around the wire any time it wanted to go somewhere.

8 Furthermore, even if, one day at a time, you myopically inspected each wire, you still could not see why a bird would have trouble going past the wires to get anywhere. There is no physical property of any one wire, nothing that the closest scrutiny could discover, that will reveal how a bird could be inhibited or harmed by it except in the most accidental way.

9 It is only when you step back, stop looking at the wires one by one, microscopically, and take a macroscopic view of the whole cage, that you can see why the bird does not go anywhere; and then you will see it in a moment. It will require no great subtlety of mental powers. It is perfectly obvious that the bird is surrounded by a network of systematically related barriers, no one of which would be the least hindrance to its flight, but which, by their relations to each other, are as confining as the solid walls of a dungeon.

10 It is now possible to grasp one of the reasons why oppression can be hard to see and recognize: one can study the elements of an oppressive structure with great care and some good will without seeing the structure as a whole, and hence without seeing or being able to understand that one is looking at a cage and that there are people there who are caged, whose motion and mobility are restricted, whose lives are shaped and reduced (Frye, 1983:18).

11 The Three Approaches At a Glance HD as enhancement of capability HD as protection of the most vulnerable HD as changes in the matrix of social power

12 The capability approach Main distributive, as associated with capitalism, with minimal liberal regulations, so as to give individuals better access and rights The human face approach Focuses on economic inequality, especially inequality amongst nations.

13 The capability approach Speaks at length of gender, sporadically of ethnicity and religion; but always within the framework of distributive justice, particularly the distribution of access and opportunity for individuals The human face approach Largely silent; its focus is on groups such as women and children who are most vulnerable

14 The capability approach The goal is to develop individual agency; in the interim, the state and international institutions are to be the agents which create conditions for the development of individual agency The human face approach The goal is to develop the capacity of international institutions as agents; it also emphasizes the role of the state, and policy-makers as agents

15 Basic ideas: Development is about unequal power relations between collective entities Gender, race, class, nation etc. Inequality between these entities is Structural and require changes in the structure

16 The question of power is central to human development. Human development cannot be seen as a sum of a number of strategic tasks disembedded from an overall structure of power It is therefore important to think of human development as a reconfiguration of power rather than discrete policy measures Institutions are as much a problem as a potential solution for human development

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