Author / Copyright Holder:
Unicef / Mahesh Patel
There have been three major development paradigms in the post-war period. Each has kept the core content of its predecessor while adding additional concepts. The first emphasized economic growth. The second achieved the inclusion of social development, often formulated in terms of basic needs, on an equal footing in terms of importance. The third is currently in process. It is generating an inclusion of concepts related to the realization of human rights and covers issues such as empowerment, justice, accountability and governance. Economic and social development objectives are integrated and redefined as rights. Goals become mechanisms or instruments to ensure benefits to which people have legitimate claims.
Redefining the objectives of development in a broader human rights paradigm also, and more subtly, results in a quite different positioning of ‘process’ as an objective in itself, rather than just a means to an end. Process was previously assessed primarily in terms of its effectiveness and efficiency. In a rights paradigm, process is also assessed in terms of its quality. Progress in some of these domains may necessarily be defined in qualitative, rather than quantitative terms. So, positioning rights as the primary goal of development brings a range of new and different issues and concept structures into play....