DED 1101 INTRODUCTION TO DEVELOPMENT STUDIES ASSIGNMENT QUESTIONS CAT ONE 1
DED 1101 INTRODUCTION TO DEVELOPMENT STUDIES
1. Discuss the role of science and technology in development (9mks)
Innovations and Communication skills are really paramount in any endeavours due to the benefits accrued through it. Because of the fact that technology has been greatly adored nowadays because of the easy and cheaper ways of working, each and every aspect today depends entirely on technology for easier, fast and efficient undertakings. Information technology is generally making use or putting in practice the modern communication tools, gadgets techniques approaches e.tc as regards to processing and insemination of information in any institution, entity or organization. In all aspects of life as well as our daily dealings in business matters Information Technology plays a very paramount role as far as information needs are concerned and overall decision making process. Poulisse, N., & Schils, E. (1989).
Science and Technology have in a great way affected human beings in business and other spheres of life as they have the ability of enabling ways and approaches to control and adapt to their natural environments. Therefore the recent technological developments, including the printing press, the telephone, and the Internet, have lessened physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale as far business is concerned.
Although there is much positive aspects played by technology to human race in business information, not all technological issues has been used for peaceful purposes for instance; the development of weapons of ever-increasing destructive power has progressed throughout history, from clubs to nuclear weapons to constant wars that have led to mass destruction of life and property rather than enabling a peaceful co-existence amongst the business partners and entire population at large.
Additionally, Science and Technology has in a great way affected society and its surroundings in a number of ways in that it has helped develop more advanced economies and has allowed the rise of business class as well as the improvement in communication. Therefore modern information technological advancement in one way or the other has been very critical as far as communication is concerned.
Role of science and technology
Developments in science and technology are fundamentally altering the way people live, connect, communicate and transact, with profound effects on economic development. To promote tech advance, developing countries should invest in quality education for youth, and continuous skills training for workers and managers. Science and technology are key drivers to development, because technological and scientific revolutions underpin economic advances, improvements in health systems, education and infrastructure.
The technological revolutions of the 21st century are emerging from entirely new sectors, based on micro-processors, tele-communications, bio-technology and nano-technology. Products are transforming business practices across the economy, as well as the lives of all who have access to their effects. The most remarkable breakthroughs will come from the interaction of insights and applications arising when these technologies converge.
Through breakthroughs in health services and education, these technologies have the power to better the lives of poor people in developing countries. Eradicating malaria, a scourge of the African continent for centuries, is now possible. Cures for other diseases which are endemic in developing countries are also now possible, allowing people with debilitating conditions to live healthy and productive lives.
Access and application are critical. Service and technology are the differentiators between countries that are able to tackle poverty effectively by growing and developing their economies, and those that are not. The extent to which developing economies emerge as economic powerhouses depends on their ability to grasp and apply insights from science and technology and use them creatively. Innovation is the primary driver of technological growth and drives higher living standards.
As an engine of growth, the potential of technology is endless and still largely untapped in Africa and other developing world regions across the globe. Less developed countries not only lack skilled labour and capital, but also use these less efficiently. Inputs account for less than half of the differences in per capita income across nations. The rest is due to the inability to adopt and adapt technologies to raise productivity. Computing for example, through unlocking infrastructure backlogs and managing integrated supply chains, can transform economic performance by enabling affordable and accessible services in education and healthcare. The combination of computers and the Internet, and mobile devices and the “cloud”, has transformed human experience, empowering individuals through access to knowledge and markets, changing the relationship between citizens and those in authority, as well as allowing new communities to emerge in virtual worlds that span the globe.
However, the continued and equitable expansion of Information Communication Technology (ICT) depends on electricity. The real divide over the next 20 years will be between those who have access to reliable electricity to power these devices and those who do not. Other technologies under development are interventions for cognitive enhancement, proton cancer therapy and genetic engineering. Revolutionary inventions include small underground nuclear power units called nuclear batteries that will be ultra-safe and maintenance-free; new types of photo-voltaics that will make electricity from sunlight cheaper than that from coal; and myriad nano-technologies, some of which lower the cost and increase the reliability of many products – even in the poorest areas of the developing world.
Managing technological revolutions poses challenges. Certain innovations and discoveries will raise fraught bio-ethical issues, as genetic modification of food crops and cloning of human embryos has already done. There is a risk that their cost, particularly in the early stages of development, will worsen the present inequality by limiting access to wealthy individuals. This already happens in health care in certain countries, where the demand for very high-cost diagnostic equipment and surgical interventions enabling longevity and better quality of life for older wealthy people overstretches public health care budgets, and lowers service quality in poor neighborhoods. Finally, resource-intensive technologies, focused on satisfying high consumption demand, like holidays abroad in costal resorts, wilderness areas, or iconic cities, increase carbon emissions and environmental damage.
To promote technological advances, developing countries should invest in quality education for youth, continuous skills training for workers and managers, and should ensure that knowledge is shared as widely as possible across society. In a world in which the Internet makes information ubiquitous, what counts is the ability to use knowledge intelligently. Knowledge is the systemically integrated information that allows a citizen, a worker, a manager, or a finance minister to act purposefully and intelligently in a complex and demanding world. The only form of investment that allows for increasing returns is in building the stocks and flows of knowledge that a country or organization needs, an in encouraging new insights and techniques.
Adopting appropriate technologies leads directly to higher productivity, which is the key to growth. In societies that have large stock and flows of knowledge, virtuous circles that encourage widespread creativity and technological innovation emerge naturally, and allow sustained growth over long periods. In societies with limited stocks of knowledge, bright and creative people feel stifled and emigrate as soon as they can, creating a vicious circle that traps those who remain in a more impoverished space. Such societies stay mired in poverty and dependency.
The investment climate is crucial, as are the right incentive structures, to guide the allocation of resources, and to encourage research and development.
Successful countries have grown their ability to innovate and learn by doing, by investing public funding to help finance research and development in critical areas. Everyone is involved – big and small, public and private, rich and poor. The benefits that are certain to flow from technological revolution in an increasingly connected world and knowledge-intensive world will be seized by those countries and companies that are alive to the rapidly changing environment, and nimble enough to take advantage of the opportunities. Those that succeed will make substantial advances in reducing poverty and inequality.
2. Using Kenya as an example discuss obstacles/challenges facing Gender Mainstreaming (6mks)
Gender mainstreaming is integral to a country’s sustainable development. Development progress of any country is also pegged on access to optimal use of resources for both men and women. Gender mainstreaming of policies and programs in both the public and private sector is important if gender equality and equity for all citizens is to be achieved. Gender mainstreaming also results in more effective service on the part of operation, power and resources. Kenya as a country has made great efforts to mainstream gender in its activities but there have been challenges that have derailed the process. The main objective of this article is to determine the challenges facing gender mainstreaming in the public in Kenya.
It is evident that although the government of Kenya has taken a lead in making sure that gender mainstreaming is achieved, a lot needs to be done before the process is successfully implemented. some findings show that the main institutional barriers affecting the gender mainstreaming process include lack of political goodwill from the government, the slow pace of developing gender policies by various ministries, lack of sensitization of staff on gender related issues, lack of adequate budget and technical staff and lack of proper training on gender related issues.
Essentially socio-cultural factors are the main external barriers that hinder the gender mainstreaming process in the public sector of Kenya. Factors like patriarchy, gender stereotyping, socialization and lack of societal awareness on issues pertaining to gender have been seen as the major barriers of gender mainstreaming. Others include the literacy disparities between men and women and the belief by many people that gender rnainstreaming is all about women.
The other challenges to mainstreaming of gender in Kenya include but not limited to;
• Economic empowerment: women have a huge potential to energize the economies of the countries, but many times gender discrimination frustrates these expectations. Often women end up performing non-remunerated and unsafe jobs, and continue to hold less executive jobs in companies. In addition, their lower access to financial systems limits their participation in the economic life. In this front, it is important to promote the creation of more financial products to increase financial literacy among the population, and the creation of entrepreneurship programs to provide income independence.
More political representation: although the share of women in parliamentary seats in the region reaches 24 percent -the highest in the world- there are still cultural and economic barriers that prevent a higher representation of women in public positions. The representation of women in the national legislative increased from 15 percent in 2000 to 23 percent in 2012, but several countries of the region have very low percentages. In countries such as Brazil, Panama, and Barbados, women represent less than 10 percent of the total number of legislators. These figures show that women continue to lag with respect to their political representation and, more so, if the fact that women represent a majority of the region’s population is taken into consideration.
• Work and salary equality: despite great advances in past years, the economically active population is significantly lower for women compared with that of men (54 percent and 72 percent, respectively). In addition, men continue to earn more than women when doing the same job. Women tend to have jobs in the services or domestic services sectors and not in the areas of high technology or qualified jobs. In Chile, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru, professional males may earn up to 25 percent more than females. To improve this scenario, it is necessary to have public policies that encourage the participation of women in the labor force, and the increase of women in decision-making positions in the private sector.
• Mitigate gender violence: In 2014, more than 1,678 women died simply because they were women. A total of 20 American and Caribbean countries currently have laws to protect women from violence, although only in eight of these countries specific resources are assigned in their national budgets. Fourteen countries have defined the crime of femicide, and two have established it as an aggravated homicide for gender reasons. Almost all the countries of the region have laws against domestic violence, and in coming years efforts should be aimed at applying these laws.
• Strengthening of institutions and legislation aimed at gender issues: It has been estimated that in the past fifty years, restrictions to the property rights of women, as well as the legal obstacles that prevented women to fully participate in public life, have been reduced by 50 percent. Laws are essential to achieve real equality between men and women. For example, they could require an increase in the gender quotas of electoral lists; provide stronger punishment for sexual harassment and gender violence; grant maternity leaves in accordance with labor reality; or guarantee the representation of women in public institutions.
To curb the challenges, the public sector of Kenya should take all the necessary steps to deconstruct the socio-cultural factors that have been seen to be the main challenge facing gender mainstreaming in Kenya by holding workshops and seminars, to sensitize the society from the grass root level on the importance of gender mainstreaming. The government should also take the necessary steps to ensure that all ministries have working policies and that all the objectives of these policies are achieved. the government should also work towards ensuring integration of gender perspective in the budgetary process and aim at the provision of funding for specific progragmmes that will address challenges facing gender mainstreaming.
1. Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) were policies/measures that were advocated by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in support of development in developing countries. Discuss the effects/impacts these policies had especially in Africa countries development (15mks)
The IMF and the World Bank are institutions in the United Nations system. They share the same goal of raising living standards in their member countries as far as economic development is concerned. Their approaches to this goal are complementary, with the IMF focusing on macroeconomic issues and the World Bank concentrating on long-term economic development and poverty reduction. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were both created at an international conference convened in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States in July 1944. The goal of the conference was to establish a framework for economic cooperation and development that would lead to a more stable and prosperous global economy. While this goal remains central to both institutions, their work is constantly evolving in response to new economic developments and challenges.
Despite the fact that the examination of the record of IMF and World Bank performance in developing countries shows that, far from being the solution to global economic instability and poverty, these two international institutions are a major problem to the same. For one thing, their lending practice deters growth because the money they loan removes incentives for governments to advance economic freedom, and breeds corruption. For these reasons, the vast majority of recipient countries have been unable to develop fully after depending on these institutions for over the last four decades.
Moreover, The IMF has given too little attention to improving financial structures in developing countries and too much to expensive rescue operations. Its system of short-term crisis management is too costly, its responses too slow, its advice often incorrect, and its efforts to influence policy and practice too intrusive.
The problem is not so much that the World Bank and the IMF are ineffective as it is that they create disincentives in the countries they are trying to help. Sending money to countries with misdirected policies and weak rule of law increases the recipients’ debt without visible economic growth. Nevertheless, no significant reform of these international institutions has taken place.
The impact of the policies advocated by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Africa are under increased scrutiny. African scholars and international NGOs concerned with Africa’s development have asked whether the policies imposed by the World Bank and IMF in Africa have actually helped or hindered the objective of increasing living standards for the majority of Africans. The international call for cancellation of Third World debt has grown steadily over the past few years, highlighting the question of whether IMF policies have contributed to increasing the external debt burden of African countries. Critics of the World Bank and IMF have argued that policies implemented by African Countries, intended to control inflation and generate foreign exchange to help pay off the IMF debts, often result in increased unemployment, poverty and economic polarization thereby impeding sustainable development.
Despite the IMF and World Bank claims of SAP successes, it is widely acknowledged that SAPs have failed to achieve their goals. They have not created wealth and economic development as unregulated markets did not benefit the poor and failed to protect the delivery of social services. The IMF/World Bank believe that the elimination of protective tariffs will make domestic industries more competitive. In reality, domestic manufacturing often collapsed and imported consumer goods replaced domestic production. Other results of SAPs were:
• Privatization allows international capital to buy state enterprises at very low costs.
• Tax reforms under SAPs (like VAT) place a greater tax burden on middle and low-income groups while foreign capital receives generous tax holidays.
• Deregulation of the banking system leads to very high interest rates which makes most goods unaffordable to the majority.
• Elimination of subsidies and prize controls, covered with devaluation lead to price increases and reduce real earnings in the formal and informal sectors.
• Free movement of foreign exchange allows foreign companies to repatriate their profits. It also allows the ‘laundering’ of ‘dirty money’ from offshore banking accounts.
• Cost-recovery programmes in the health sector increased the inequality in health care delivery, reduced health coverage and increased the number of people without access to health care. Diseases like cholera, malaria and yellow fever are on the increase again.
• Various NGOs funded by international aid agencies have gradually taken over government functions in the social sector.
• Cuts in public sector employment coupled with bankruptcies of local companies has led to large increases in unemployment.
• Liberalisation of the labour market leads to the elimination of cost of living adjustment clauses in collective agreements and to the phasing out of minimum wage legislation.
• Export orientation in agriculture is eliminating subsistence crops and accelerates the exodus of the unemployed towards the cities.
Ecomomic policy and development issues, particularly Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) have dominated African women’s concerns because they have been implicated in the rise of poverty, especially of women, in Africa. SAPs, designed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), have been the framework for economic and social policy in most of the South since the early 1980s. No less than 34 African countries have implemented SAPs. They have been cited as one of the factors responsible for the non-realisation of most of the provisions of the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies. Without a fundamental rethinking of SAPs, African economies have no chance of reversing their present circumstances.
The opposition to SAPs gained some ground during the Copenhagen Social Summit, which accepted that SAPs have to be reformed based on the recognition of the centrality of people in development. Though limited, this recognition is nonetheless an important advance which must be built upon.
Essentially, SAPs in Africa have combined an IMF stabilisation loan with conditionalities for a longer term Structural Adjustment Programme overseen by both the WB and the IMF. The Stabilisation package which addresses monetary and fiscal issues typically attempts to address inflation, reduce the government’s budget deficit and balance-of-payments problems. This is done with measures to reduce domestic demand, both government and private.
The longer term Structural Adjustment Programme is aimed at the promotion of production and resource mobilization through the promotion of commodity exports, public sector reform, market liberalisation and institutional reform. The programme seeks to limit the role of government in the economy, promote private sector operations and remove restrictions in the economy and ensure market determined prices. The freeing of prices does not however, extend to labour with wages tightly controlled, leading to dramatic drop in real wages in some cases.
The roles of World Bank and IMF to the developing countries in matters Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs)
Poverty alleviation in member countries
In order to fulfill the dream of alleviating poverty in member countries, the World Bank employs over 10,000 people in more than 100 offices around the world with an annual budget of $1.5 billion. Despite such monstrous display of resources, according to the Index of Economic Freedom, the Bank’s money has not done much to improve economic freedom in recipient countries. On the other hand, The International Development Association (IDA) is the branch of the World Bank Group that lends money to the world’s poorest countries. In an overall sense therefore World Bank through its subsidiary branches has been effective up to that instance.
High-level of coordination and collaboration
The IMF and World Bank collaborate regularly and at many levels to assist member countries and work together on several initiatives. In 1989, the terms for their cooperation were set out in order to ensure effective collaboration in areas of shared responsibility.
During the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IMF and the World Bank, Governors consult and present their countries’ views on current issues in international economics and finance. The Boards of Governors decide how to address international economic and financial issues and set priorities for the organizations.
Moreover, a group of IMF and World Bank Governors also meet as part of the Development Committee, whose meetings coincide with the spring and Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. This committee was established in 1974 to advise the two institutions on critical development issues and on the financial resources required to promote economic development in low-income countries.
The Managing Directors of the IMF and the President of the World Bank meet regularly to consult on major issues. They also issue joint statements and occasionally write joint articles, and have visited several regions and countries together.
The staffs of the IMF and the Bank collaborate closely on country assistance and policy issues that are relevant for both institutions. The two institutions also often conduct country missions in parallel and staff participates in each other’s missions. IMF assessments of a country’s general economic situation and policies provide input to the Bank’s assessments of potential development projects or reforms.
Similarly, Bank advice on structural and sectoral reforms is taken into account by the IMF in its policy advice. The staffs of the two institutions also cooperate on the conditionality involved in their respective lending programs.
The 2007 external review of Bank-Fund collaboration led to a Plan on World Bank-IMF Collaboration (JMAP) to further enhance the way the two institutions work together. Under the plan, Fund and Bank country teams discuss their country-level work programs, which identify macro-critical sectoral issues, the division of labor, and the work needed from each institution in the coming year. A recent review of JMAP implementation underscored the importance of these joint country team consultations in enhancing collaboration.
Reducing debt burdens.
The IMF and World Bank also work together to reduce the external debt burdens of the most heavily indebted poor countries under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). The objective is to help low-income countries achieve their development goals without creating future debt problems. IMF and Bank staff jointly prepares country debt sustainability analyses under the Debt Sustainability Framework (DSF) developed by the two institutions.
In 1999, the IMF and the World Bank initiated the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) approach—a country-led plan for linking national policies, donor support, and the development outcomes needed to reduce poverty in low-income countries.
Monitoring progress on the MDGs.
Since 2004, the Fund and Bank have worked together on the Global Monitoring Report (GMR), which assesses progress needed to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The report also considers how well developing countries, developed countries, and the international financial institutions are contributing to the development partnership and strategy to meet the MDGs.
Assessing financial stability.
The IMF and World Bank are also working together to make financial sectors in member countries resilient and well regulated. The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) was introduced in 1999 to identify the strengths and vulnerabilities of a country’s financial system and recommend appropriate policy responses.
In any capitalist society, the third world debt would be wiped out. The Banks who have made the risky loans would have to accept the losses, and the dictators and their entourage would have to repay the money they embezzled. The power structure in society however, prevents this from happening. In the west tax payers end up assuming the risk while the large banks run off with the high profits often derived from high risk loans.
In the third world, the people end up paying the costs while their elites retire. It is important to realize that the IMF and World Bank are tools for powerful entities in society such as trans-national corporations and wealthy investors. The Thistle believes that massive world poverty and environmental destruction is the result of the appalling concentration of power in the hands of a small minority whose sights are blinded by dollar signs and whose passions are the aggrandizement of ever more power. The Thistle holds that an equitable and democratic world centered around cooperation and solidarity would be more able to deal with environmental and human crises.
Conclusively, although many challenges have befallen the IMF and World Bank, have really tried to embrace their contribution towards economic development in developing country but still there is much to be done for the same to be fully embraced.