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Key Readings

  1. Dorward A (2009) Integrating contested aspirations, processes and policy: development as hanging in, stepping up and stepping out. Development Policy Review 27(2) 131-146.

Conceptualises development in terms of 'hanging in', 'stepping up', and 'stepping out'. Relates to Section 2.3 in particular. Quite a technical paper that deals with some concepts with which you may not be familiar, but which will be examined in more detail in later units of this module. Don't worry if you can't understand all the details - try and get the general gist. You can also listen to a presentation of the paper by the author, with PowerPoint slides, explaining aspects of it in more detail. This is available from the 'Multimedia' section of Unit 1.

  1. Kay J (2004) The Truth about Markets: Why Some Nations are Rich, but Most Remain Poor. Penguin Books, pp. 12-19.

Extract from a popular book on markets and development. Easy to read discussion of what distinguishes livelihoods in rich countries from those in poor countries. Provides real world examples of material discussed in all sections of this unit, but especially Sections 1 and 2.

As you read try and relate the ideas and concepts that are presented to

  • the goals of development and the characteristics of 'developed' countries that we discuss in Section 1 of this unit
  • the livelihood framework and various components that we explore in Section 2 of this unit

What does the author consider to be the fundamental ingredients of development? What distinguishes the lives of people living in poor countries, not just in terms of their material well-being, but also in terms of the economic and institutional environments in which they live?

  1. Melamed C, Scott L (2011) After 2015: Progress and Challenges for Development. ODI Background Note, Overseas Development Institute, London.

This reading reviews the MDGs and considers what might be done when the original 2015 deadline for their achievement is reached. As you read, reflect upon both development goals and development processes and what lessons may have been learned in relation to these.

  • In what way might the goals and priorities for development be different now from what they were at the MDGs' inception in 2000?
  • Think about how the MDGs might have influenced the processes of development, in particular, the processes that drive efforts to achieve development goals. Some argue that the process has been excessively top-down, leaving too little room for countries to set their own goals and pace for achieving them. Others highlight the value of global goals for uniting the international effort in the fight against poverty. What do you think?

If you live or work in a developing country, you may want to consider what the experience of your country has been.

  1. Todaro MP, Smith SC (2008) Economics, institutions, and development: a global perspective. In: Economic Development, 10th edn. Pearson Education Ltd, Harlow, pp. 2-22.

Introductory chapter in the tenth edition of this classic textbook on economic development. Looks at many of the issues covered in this unit and is relevant to all four sections. You could read this either at the end of the unit, or beforehand. Either way, try and relate the frameworks that we have presented in the unit guide to the various topics covered by this reading.

Note the point which is made about economies being social systems and that understanding development depends upon understanding how these systems work (p. 13). Also note the following points relating to what development is:

  • traditional economic measures (p. 14)
  • the new multi-dimensional view of development (p. 15)
  • Sen's capabilities approach (p. 16)
  • three core values of development: sustenance; self-esteem; freedom (p. 20)
  • the central role of women (p. 22)

To what extent do you think the Millennium development goals (Section 1.1 in the study guide) reflect the above points?