shekawat - Rethinking Development and Well-Being and a...

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Rethinking Development and Well-Being and a Search for New Indicators Prahlad Singh Shekhawat, Director: Alternative Development Centre, Jaipur, India Writer, Freelance JournalistSouth Asia Coordinator: International Development Ethics Association. Theme: Research domain: ABSTRACT Mere economic growth is not development. Development and human development normally defined is not well-being. Well-being should include quality of life, subjective well-being and happiness. There is a huge scope for redefining development in terms of well-being, human development, sustainability and happiness. Alternative approaches, criteria and indicators are being suggested as measures of all round development, well-being and progress .Yet there are unresolved issues related to the need for a alternative, integrated, and composite framework and measures which provide for minimum cross-cultural consensus. Even when goals and values can be defined the search for indicators can be elusive and yet one measures what one values and values what can be measured Introduction: Indicators of development like gross national product and other purely economic criteria are increasingly seen as insufficient. The need for higher GNP leads to productive systems and consumption patterns that are not in harmony with the carrying capacity of the environment and our planet. GNP does not measure the fair and equal distribution, unpaid labour, social sector indicators like employment, health and education. By emphasizing only economic value the prevailing paradigm transforms skills into lacks, man and women into commodities and labour, tradition into burden, wisdom into ignorance and autonomy into dependence.(1) The proposal for Action of the first UN development decade (1960-70) suggested that development is growth plus change in all aspects including social, cultural, qualitative and quantitative. The key concept must be improved quality of people's life.(2) In 1974 the
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‘Declaration of Cocoyoc’ emphasized the development of man not of things and stressed the need for diversity and for following different roads to development to achieve goals like self-reliance.(3) Similarly the call for “Another Development” in 1975 focused on human-centered development. UNESCO emphasized a total multi-relational process that includes all aspects of the life of a collectivity, of its relationship with the outside world and of its own consciousness.(4) The Brundtland Commission has more recently prescribed sustainable development for our common future. However it is feared that sustainability may have been co-opted as a catchword in mainstream hermeneutics to sustain economic development rather than a process to support the flourishing of natural and social diversity. After decolonization the western model of modernization was proposed for poor countries. Then
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shekawat - Rethinking Development and Well-Being and a...

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