5. Human development and sustainability.
In: Proc. of the Seventh Agric. Sector Symposium - Sustainability Issues in Agricultural Development - The World Bank, 1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20433, U.S.A., 1987, pp. 80-91
Sustainable development requires the necessary human skills, attitudes, motivation, understanding, leadership, organizations, policies, plans, and administrative and financial systems for whatever activities are involved - as well as the necessary infrastructure, funds, and physical inputs.
Despite all the resources and dedication that have been applied to development, shortcomings in "institution building" and "human resource development" remain, and a great many well-intended projects and programs have failed to be sustainable as a result.
A better understanding of the reasons for this persistent difficulty in development would be half way to its solution.
This paper addresses this issue and draws together the separate conclusions of authorities in a variety of relevant fields. They show the reason to be simple, but the solution to affect some of the underlying assumptions and philosophies on which development assistance has been based.
The paper considers findings in the agricultural sector; it touches on economic theory; examines the learning process on which human development depends, and how this has been approached in "development"; and it describes an underlying cause of a pervasive problem.
The paper summarizes that one can view the human development required for sustainability first in the context of what is needed within the agricultural sector, and in the context of what is needed for the total universe of learning on which development depends and then concludes within agricultural sector:
- that the staff profile, skills, language, and perceived role of the sector have led to great emphasis on the technical/physical, and economic/financial dimensions of agricultural development, but excluded equal attention to the human dimension;
Beyond the agricultural sector there are other essentials, ingredients of sustainable development on which the sustainability of agricultural development depends. These include particularly the extent to which development approaches deriving from the technical sectors now in place are unable to deal with the whole spectrum of adult learning needed for development. The addition of the organizational structures, expertise and resources needed to achieve this whole spectrum of adult learning offers new opportunities for investment and for success in development.
But it calls for a move toward holistic systems approaches and away from the reductionist thinking styles which have dominated development assistance to date.
1136 92 - 5/112
Review, book, sustainable development, human life, sustainable society, ecological diversity, carrying capacity, integrated systems, nature conservation, energy, agriculture, forestry, water, industry, implementation strategies
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