Core Values of Development

When officials, especially government officials, give account of development in societies, they often tend to narrow their report to economic growth and infrastructural development.   Truly, there have been remarkable changes in human societies compared to previous centuries. Societies now boast of more schools, roads, hospitals, increased production, and improvement in science. Different regions of the globe are now more closely linked than they have ever been. This is not only in the fields of trade, commerce and communication, also in terms of interactive ideas and ideals. But how much of these have positively transformed the lives of members of the societies? Only a few can afford access to basic health care, pay tuition fees of dilapidating public schools let alone pay the exorbitant fees for private education.
We live in a world with remarkable deprivation, destitution and oppression. There are many new problems as well as old ones, including persistence of poverty and unfulfilled elementary needs, occurrence of famines and widespread hunger, violation of elementary political freedoms as well as of basic liberties, extensive neglect of the interests and agency of women and worsening threats to the environment and to the sustainability of economic and social lives. Many of these deprivations can be observed in one form or another in so-called ‘developed’ countries and ‘underdeveloped’ or ‘first world’ and ‘third world’ countries. It should however be noted that what makes a country more developed than others is a subjective notion. The fact that the United States is more technologically advanced may not mean the citizens are happy and have better quality of life.
Indeed, it has been realized that development is more than economic growth, modernization, social change or industrialization as the first model of development suggested. Even the Colonial Development Act of 1929 represents a narrow economic concept of development mainly geared towards...