Volume 3: International Conference on SVBD

Volume 3 : Section IV –   “Sustainable Development” Patterns


by William G. Moseley


In interviews conducted during the fall of 1992, the author examined the character of indigenous agroecological knowledge among the Bambara ethnic group in the Djitoumou area of Mali and the need for the incorporation of this knowledge into the development process. More specifically, the author looked at Bambara agriculturists’ perceptions of environmental change, awareness of the ecological impacts of human technologies, knowledge of the environment and strategies for managing agroecosystems, and attempts to cope with environmental change. The author also examined development practitioners’ perceptions of this knowledge and how these individuals’ development strategies differ with those of villagers. The research results suggest that the survival of local people afflicted by environmental change is not best promoted by totally new approaches and outside “expertise,” but by a more balanced process involving both international and local science.


by David M. Freeman


Critique of establishment approaches to economic and social development—whether in manufacturing or agriculture—has centered on concerns with: 1) high capital costs generating low returns to state and corporate treasuries which can no longer afford them; 2) concentration of wealth, centralization of power, and generation of massive inequality and inequity; 3) lack of meaningful participation of effected people who do not exploit opportunities in the way central planners hoped; 4) environmental destruction; and 5) erosion of local rural communities as people are forced to flee them and add to overcrowded and politically explosive central cities (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987; Kitching, 1989; Isbister, 1991).

The antidote has long been seen to be small-scale enterprise in the hinterland in which smaller operators compete to provide goods and services fulfilling important human needs organized in ways which support productivity, environmental quality, social equality, authentic participation (Schumacher, 1973; Korten, 1990; Ekins, 1992). The vision is a world of sufficiency, employment, social justice, and environmental sustainability, not of collectivism, state control, or rampaging plundering by political and corporate elites.

What kind of organizations can effectively mobilize local people—their knowledge, money, and loyalty—and empower them to provide important local infrastructure essential to successful development? What kind of organizations can provide vehicles for meaningful participation in social development, and constitute viable links between remote government ministries and local social-ecological niches in the countryside? What attributes must such organizations have that distinguish them from organizations that fail in these tasks?

It is the purpose of this paper to address these questions employing lessons learned from the study of local irrigation organizations (Freeman, 1989); most specifically, the ideas will be illustrated by materials drawn from a comparison of two irrigation systems in Nepal (Freeman, 1992).


by Mohamed Idris Mustafa


The conventional energy sources of the Sudan, like many poor, non-oil producing countries, are biomass, electricity and petroleum. A multitude of problems result from traditional energy use. Insufficient petroleum imports burdens the country with foreign debts. High prices and inadequate supply have resulted in agricultural and industrial inefficiencies. Dependence on biomass, in the form of fuel wood, cleared large areas of forests and consequently induced land degradation and lowered biological productivity. A huge resource exists in the country of unutilized agricultural and agro-industrial residues, animal wastes that can supply energy. Vegetation of the Sudd swamps is a potential renewable source of energy. Possible techniques to utilize available sources include gasification, fermentation, densification and pyrolysis. Implementation of new projects requires community participation which can be achieved only through effective information and demonstration systems by national educational, financial and production institutes.


by Arackal Fr. Mathew


This study is about the changes which have taken place in a tribal community, which moved from a socio-cultural and economic background, fully dependent on forest and its environment to a new environment which was quite different from the earlier. The sources of income, traditions, social background and attitudes underwent significant changes during this transition to a new location. The new location, which is near a tourist township with good potential for economic development, gave more opportunities for the tribal community to earn more income from agriculture and other sources like wages through employment.

This resulted in better living standards and levels of education. It also influenced their traditional value systems and social outlook. They were also exploited by outsiders due to their lower capability in managing their resources. The community is now in a state where they are caught in between the old traditions and compulsions of value systems and the new perceptions influenced by non-tribal external pressures.

The pathways of development followed by the tribals in the area are influenced by the conventional non-tribal models of development which often did not integrate well with the skills, capabilities and needs of the tribal community. As a result the process of development did not result in the desired levels of growth and sustainability.


by Eldad M. Tukahirwa, Peter G. Veit


Landlocked Uganda comprises 266,800 square kilometers and 18.4 million people (WRI 1990). The country sits atop the east-central African plateau, north of the Lake Victoria basin and between the Central and Eastern Rift systems; 84 percent of the land is 1,000-1,500 meters in altitude, sloping gradually toward the Sudan border (Muwonge 1977; University of Arizona 1982). As the plateau meets the two rift systems, the land rises to form mountain ranges and elevated peaks, including the Ruwensori and Bufumbiro ranges in the west and Mount Elgon in the east (University of Arizona 1982).

Uganda is in one of the African regions least prone to natural disasters. The country enjoys generally rich soils and a favorable climate for agriculture. Annual temperature variations are small, humidity levels are moderate, and rainfall over most of the country is adequate and well-distributed. In nine out of ten years, more than three-quarters of Uganda receives in excess of 800 millimeters of rainfall — considered the limit for reliable rain-fed agriculture (Muwonge 1977; University of Arizona 1982). The central plateau is marked by numerous rivers, lakes, and wetlands as well as by an extensive network of underground reservoirs.

Uganda’s economy relies on agriculture which in 1987 accounted for 76 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 98 percent of total export earnings. Coffee contributed almost 97 percent of the export total, and employed more than 80 percent of the working population (WRI 1990; World Bank 1990; UNDP/World Bank 1989).

Following independence in 1965 and through 1970, Uganda’s GDP expanded at an average annual rate of 4.2 percent in real terms. Between 1965-73, agricultural production grew by an average of 3.6 percent per year; the country was self-sufficient in food production and had surplus to export (World Bank 1989, 1990; UNDP\ World Bank 1989).

From 1971 to 1986, and especially during the rule of Idi Amin (1971-79), however, Uganda experienced a period of severe political, economic, and social upheaval. In 1971, nominal GDP began to decline; between 1973 and 1980, Uganda’s GNP fell, in real terms, at an average rate of 2.7 percent per year (agricultural and industrial production declined by an annual average rate of 2.3 percent and 11.9 percent respectively). During this same period, the population grew at an annual average rate of 2.8 percent, translating into an average drop in real per capita GNP of 6.2 percent per year (World Bank 1989, 1990; UNDP/World Bank 1989).

In 1979, after Idi Amin was ousted, Uganda enjoyed a brief period of economic growth; between 1979-83 real GDP grew by an average of 9.9 percent per year. But with new outbreaks of social unrest leading to civil war in 1983, further declines were recorded; from 1984 to 1986 GDP fell by an average of 6.1 percent per year. Despite Uganda’s early economic successes, its GDP performance from 1961-87—the independence period—ranks as the poorest of all sub-Saharan African nations—an average of minus 2.2 percent per year. In 1987, Uganda’s GNP of US $260 per person ranked it among the world’s poorest countries (World Bank 1989, 1990; UNDP/World Bank 1989; WRI 1990).

In 1986, the National Resistance Movement came to power and began to address such priorities as rehabilitating the agricultural and industrial sectors and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. These efforts contributed to an average growth in GDP between 1987-90 of more than 6 percent per year. (WRI 1990;UNDP/World Bank 1989). Although these improvements are beginning to reach the countryside, the decades of political upheaval and economic chaos severely degraded the living standards of the rural people—almost 90 percent of the total population (WRI 1990). By 1990, national GNP had only inched up to $280 (WE 1990).

This report presents the findings and policy implications of a case study on the driving forces behind an effective community-based initiative in resource management and socioeconomic development. It is intended for government policymakers and members of the development assistance community concerned with sustainable grassroots development.

From June 3 to June 8, 1990, four scientists from Makerere University’s Institute for Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Sociology, the Joint Energy and Environment Programme (a local nongovernmental organization), and the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C., conducted fieldwork in Nyarurembo Subparish, southwestern Uganda. The study examined the area’s terracing activities of more than 50 years to protect soil, maintain soil fertility, and stabilize agricultural productivity (see also Tukahirwa, E. 1991). The research team collected demographic, socioeconomic, and environmental data through farm visits and direct observations, interviews with key informants, discussions with special interest groups, and secondary source reviews.


by Daniel E. Jantzen


Two village-based renewable energy technologies are being built, installed and serviced in Nepal by private entrepreneurs. A program initiated by the Development and Consulting Services (DCS) of the United Mission to Nepal (UMN) in 1974 introduced micro-hydro turbines for grain milling and biogas plants for cooking and lighting. Today there are some 700 turbine-powered mills and 12,000 biogas plants, built mostly by private companies. This paper briefly describes the two technologies and how they were introduced, and examines the factors that contributed to successful technology transfer.


by Vinay Dharmadhikari


Most of us have been led to believe that Environment and Development are often mutually contradictory. However, it is argued in this paper that they don’t have to be so. It is the thesis of this paper that a science-based development approach, combined with entropy-conscious economics, and operated through the native IQ of networked-villagers empowered with knowledge, can fulfill all human needs and yet be environmentally friendly. That this is not only possible but, in the area of Agriculture, it has also been demonstrated in pockets in several places, and has been endorsed by independent researchers of diverse backgrounds.

It will be argued, with illustrations, that the conflict between environment and development in agriculture has been exacerbated by the agriculture “technocrats” mindlessly dispensing the oversimplified, pseudo-scientific packages-of-practices instead of fostering scientific-temper. What is needed is a system that provides all top-level knowledge and research via innovatively used electronic media. This knowledge input will empower rain-fed area farmers with “resource-literacy” so as to enable them to work out localized solutions to their complex individual problems, with an experimentation approach such as Prayog Pariwar’s (Dabholkar, 1990). This approach can remove the apparent contradiction between the development and the environment. This can lead to sustainable and environment friendly wealth creation—the “satisfaction of all needs, but not greeds,” to use Mahatma Gandhi’s phrase—in decentralized village-centered planning process called ‘P4’! The abundance created in the “village neighborhood”, through cumulative and networked self-experiments and symbiotic wealth-creation processes, leads to annihilation of ‘greed’ which has been fostered through apprehension of ‘scarcity’. This paper ends with the statement of the long-range Vision, inclusive of the challenges for the electronics development.


by Ajit Krishnaswamy


Forest degradation in India has accelerated impoverishment in a large number of village communities which depend on forests either for their livelihood or for their daily needs. In recent times, a grassroots forest protection movement has started appearing in a large number of villages. Faced with increasing hardship due to depleting forest resources, a few forest dependent communities decided to protect nearby forests from further degradation. This they did by taking control over the management of forests near their villages.

Due to village based forest management (VBFM), regeneration of forests is rapidly taking place. As forests regenerate, family income increases through consumption or sale of forest products. VBFM seems most suitable for the sustainable development of forest dependent villages. This paper examines the present structure of the VBFM model in India. It also discusses the role development agencies can play in order to make this model more effective and sustainable.


by Knut H. Kvalvagnaes


A major task is to reduce the classic conflict between the working places and the environment.Living in a rural area where the most important sources of income are agriculture and fishing, it is a major task to make the inhabitants think more environmentally in their doing. We must start where environment and profit have mutual interests.

Doing so, we have reached amazing results with three private enterprises:

  • A. Preplast Industrier (plastic industry)
  • B. Nordm¢re og Romsdal meieri avd. Elnesvagen (dairy)
  • C. Hustadmarmor (mineral industry)

In cooperation with A, we have developed a new method for renovating old and unsecure agricultural silos.

In cooperation with B, the municipality financed the building of a new factory making food products from the surplus whey from cheese production.

At the moment, the municipality works closely together with C on the challenge of reducing their outlets of powdered chalk to the fjord by finding other fields of use for this resource.


by Robyn S. Young


Aspirations know no boundaries of class, race, gender or culture. The aspirations of shantytown women—less work, more money, better housing, time to rest, more food, fair treatment, more opportunities for education, basic services, and time to enjoy life—are not very revolutionary. Seen in the context of a country intent on pulling itself into the ranks of “first world” nations,  the inequalities and oppression experienced by poor women stand in contrast to a modern, stream-lined, industrialized society.

Drawing on data from field research carried out in the shantytown of Tetela del Monte, Mexico, this paper confirms the women’s daily struggle for survival. It brings to the forefront the strategies they put in place to survive, and it raises questions around their workloads, status and future well-being.


by Nancy R. Dorsey


Sustainable development is impossible without the full participation of women. However, the task of reaching women with development continues to present special problems. Traditional social structures and cultural practices are often part of the problem. Although tradition can be especially oppressive to women, tradition has another side. It can also be a powerful resource. For example, African women have traditionally associated in women-only groups to further their particular interests. And, even when certain social situations required their silence, African women have devised powerful traditional ways of “speaking” through their folklore, i.e., songs, dance, drama. This paper shows how development planners can ensure the full participation of African women in the development process by providing mechanisms through which women can use their own cultural traditions for empowering themselves.


by Sr. Francina


Roles played by women in development are different in different societies. The contributions made by women often are not openly accepted and recognized in many countries due to many factors, both traditional and social. This is more apparent in developing countries with a poor resource base and low level of education. There is awareness among all countries that it is necessary to recognize the important role women can play both in the family and the society to achieve better growth leading to sustainability.

Three villages in the state of Kerala (India) were selected and studied to measure the level of development of the village and the contribution of women in bringing around these changes. Analysis of data collected from the families studied show that women with better education and social awareness were responsible in bringing more development to the family and the community. They not only helped to accelerate the change but also contributed to a value system which ensured the sustainability of the development in the village.

The case study has showed the value of women’s participation in village communities that are poor in resources and faced with many constraints.


by Yonglong Lu, Ru song Wang


Sustainable rural development has two major aspects: internally sustainable development and environmentally sustainable development. Without internal sustainability or environmental sustainability no real sustainable development would exist. In this paper, the characteristics of rural development are reexamined, and what internal and environmental sustainability mean and how to measure them are explicitly presented. Practical approaches towards internal and environmental sustainability, from an ecological point of view, are also given with some cases from China.


by Arun Wakhlu, Omkar N. Wakhlu


More than four decades of development has not eradicated acute poverty in some countries. At the same time, technological knowledge is being recklessly used in life-negating ways. Such contrasts are many. The prevailing paradigms of development appear either flawed or incomplete. There is confusion in thinking where there ought to be fusion.

This paper seeks to find the reasons for this imbalance in the light of human values. A new concept of “Wholesome Development” has been presented with a focus on the individual interacting with ecology, society and values in dynamic harmony. Practical implications of this paradigm are outlined emphasizing “Wholesome Development of People” (WDP) as a paramount need for facilitating human evolutionary processes in villages and urban complexes globally.


by Raanan Katzir


Agroecology is a term related to environmental conditions and problems prevailing in the rural areas and mainly in the field of agricultural production.

The main agroecological components refer to soil, water, crops, flora including forests, domestic and wild animals, plant pests and diseases, climatic factors and the human interaction. Apparently, this is an exhaustive list but practically we are looking at an integrated view and approach towards agricultural production measures.

Any activity implemented in favor of agricultural production carries also, to a certain degree, a potential risk in a negative or destructive direction: fertilization may cause contamination of underground aquifers or soil salinization; the use of heavy farm machinery will cause compactation of the soil; cultivation of slopes increases soil erosion and enhances deforestation; application of irrigation without proper drainage measures will entail soil acidity; monoculture leads to the loss of biological balance and causes a build-up of destructive pests and diseases; construction of dams and water reservoirs may destroy indigenous fauna and flora thus endangering the survival of rare botanical species, potentially valuable economically.

Every process of rural development and agricultural production exploits local natural resources aiming at producing food and organic raw materials. In the long run, this process might jeopardise the availability and quality of these resources.

Production through ecological agroecology makes it possible to consider agricultural means of an integrated analysis in order to decrease hazards.

In developing countries, most of the population still lives in rural areas, where resources are dwindling as a result of intensive cultivation. This in turn brings about rural exodus and urbanization with all its negative consequences.

The development of rural areas, conserving rural resources and initiating new agricultural development projects will enhance the stabilization of the rural population, the agricultural production, standard of living and might close the vicious circle of ignorance and regression.



by Purna B. Chhetri


Many development projects have failed to sustain their activities after the official termination of the project. These are the projects that fail to recognize clientele’s felt needs and their participation in planning and implementation of project activities. Begnastal Rupatal Watershed Management Project, a joint venture of CARE International and the Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management of Nepal is known as people participatory project in Nepal. The project is planned, managed and implemented with active participation by clientele. Such an approach has resulted in successful implementation of the project activities and sustained them. This paper describes salient features of BTRT that promoted peoples participation and in sustaining change efforts. Some of the key features are the use of local resources, use and mobilization of indigenous institutions, incorporation of women in planning and implementation of project activities, and adoption of appropriate communication. The project also had some weaknesses, especially the lack of an anthropologist whose presence might have made the project activities more equitable.


by Flemming Heegaard


In a recent memorandum to USAID staff, J. Brian Atwood, the agency’s new administrator stated that:

The strategic threats which now confront the United States are developmental in nature… we will pursue a mission of sustainable development, and we will concentrate on four areas critical to that goal: Economic growth; population and health; the environment; and democracy.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to spend seven weeks in Egypt, a country in which I spent 5 years during the 80’s, as a member of a team developing a project paper describing the structure of a new project intended to support the Shura and People’s assemblies with equipment, technical assistance and training.

This project is part of the new administration’s initiative in supporting democratization in a number of developing and NIS countries. “Democratization” is the newest and perhaps least well defined initiative of the four key areas mentioned by Mr. Atwood, and I thought that it might be useful to share and discuss some of the issues which arose in designing the project, in particular those which relate to sustainability, environmental concerns and economic growth.

In spite of the fact that most developing countries are now more than a quarter century beyond their struggle for independence, the development of participatory and egalitarian systems of government have been slow in realization.


by K.J. Joseph


The paper discusses the meaning of development and the relevance of sustained development in the context of Indian villages. Strategies are examined to understand the shortcomings in developmental approaches followed in the past, in a developing country background.

Characteristics of a village and its communities are analysed to understand their resource base compared to an urban situation. Factors contributing to development in these communities are discussed to bring out the importance of human resources, their skills and attitudes in selecting the right model for village development. The socio-economic setting and the culture of the community decides the type of change they want. A new approach in village development is presented.

The composition and structure of the family are then examined to understand its area of influence on the village society. Family is the basic unit of the community which constitutes the village. Family and family life can be seen as an ecosystem to understand the roles family plays in shaping the value system and attitudes in the management of resources of the village. Sustainability is best assured when development process takes into account the value systems of the people in the society.


by Muhammad Raihan Sharif


In view of the test of reflections of people’s aspirations, the records of realities of production and distribution of welfare are known to be sadly marked by tragedies and failures, both in political and economic management. Evidently, in the midst of misplanning and sparkling showpieces of urban glamour, people’s will—mostly in the villages—has been building four sustaining Pillars of Strength: (a) Top export-earning garments industry; (b) near-national food self-sufficiency achievement by farmers; (c) substantial expanding remittances by workers working abroad and (d) development of an extensive network of employment and income generation in the villages by Grameen Banks and NGOs. Yet the country’s socio-economic conditions are marked by dangers and doubts rendering the path and pace of development unsustainable for healthy and steady growth and progress. The danger signals tending to grow alarming are: (1) Politically, the basic condition of democracy’s success in understanding the rights and obligations as well as accountability do not seem to have been ‘internalized’ by the leadership structure and upholders in general; as a result, people can hardly be asked to remain ‘disciplined’ and contribute to ‘development’ when charges and countercharges are on about ‘indiscipline’ by Parties in power and others with unlawful use of armed youth. (2) Economically, ostentatious styles of living by the affluent urban society reflect ‘developed country’ consumption tastes favoring rapid increases in foreign imports and import trade rather than savings and investment. (3) ‘Market economics’ and ‘free economy’ are global cries of the West to suit their own interests, especially in the changed post-collapse Russian environment. And imposition of World Bank and IMF support policies are inconsistent and against Bangladesh interests. This paper intends, in the context of the above and other problems, to focus on indicative corrective policy measures towards maintaining sustainable village-based development for people of the rural areas.


by Doug Daigle


The threat of global climate change due to the buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide is only the most serious result of modern patterns of energy use. Acid precipitation from the burning of fossil fuels. increasing amounts of radioactive waste from civilian and military nuclear operations and the destruction of natural and agricultural lands by large hydroelectric projects also loom large over the world’s future as problems that demand to be addressed.

These problems have resulted largely from the development of the industrialized world. i.e. the market economies of the West and the Pacific Rim, and the now collapsed planned economies of the former Soviet bloc. The pending development of what was formerly called the Third World, accompanied by a possibly exponential increase in energy use, has yet to make its full impact. But it seems clear that the shape of the planet’s future will be greatly influenced by the kind of energy policies the developing world adopts.

There are various scenarios about what future patterns of energy use will look like. Under one scenario. if current trends of energy production and use continue, the less-developed countries (LDC’s) will consume overall as much energy as the more developed countries (MDC’s) over the next 20 years, (1) The 1989 World Energy Conference concluded that by 2020 the world would be using 75% more energy than it does now, and predicted that most of that would come from coal, oil, and nuclear power. (2) At the same conference, the World Bank estimated that LDC’s capital requirements for electricity alone will equal $1 trillion over the next decade, although funding agencies would be able to provide only $20 billion a year. The Bank’s projected result: capital demanded by LDC’s electrical sectors would exceed available funds by 4 to 5 times. (3)

None of these scenarios seems to be a sustainable one, either economically or environmentally. From the standpoint of an environmental ethic any path of development that is not sustainable fails on all fronts – environmental, economic, and moral. Yet if we stay with these scenarios. the only alternative to conventional energy policies seems to be attempting to block the development of the non-industrialized world, which is an option both problematic and improbable. Does an ethic of sustainability require that a higher quality of life be denied to the people of the LDC’s?

Philosopher William Blackstone, in a seminal essay on environmental ethics, claimed that fleshing out such an ethics would bring us a clearer and deeper sense of our obligations to other humans. It is obvious that the path of unsustainable development raises severe and pervasive ethical issues – as Lester Brown has pointed out, the effects of global climate change on the [world’s] poor are incalculable. (5) We need to search for alternative scenarios for future energy use and its impact on the planet.

Luckily a shift is occurring in both conceptions and applications of energy use that promises a path to sustainability as well as a way to meet the pressing human needs of a global society. Thus, in what follows we will explore how policies of energy development can be both sustainable and ethically sound – socially, economically, and environmentally. The focus here will tend towards the technical side of energy options to demonstrate that the obstacles to ethical policies is not so much conceptual or practical as political.


by Michael J. Simsik


Village reforestation projects have historically shown the potential to address many problems associated with deforestation. In the West African nation of Benin the effects of diminishing fuelwood supplies are especially noticeable in the densely populated southern portion of the country. To mitigate negative impacts brought about by the depletion of forest resources, the government launched a reforestation campaign in 1970 with the intent of increasing both the production of commercial timber as well as that of multiple-use trees and shrubs grown in rural communities throughout southern Benin. While the reforestation of commercial species has been relatively successful, the program has met with mediocre success at the communal level. This paper examines a number of factors which could help to explain why results from the project have been less than expected and concludes by proposing several suggestions which could potentially lead to improved results in the village reforestation program.


by Sayed Abdul Hye


1.1 Preliminary:
The overriding concern in Bangladesh, as in other less developed countries (LDC’s), is poverty alleviation. It has been estimated that more than two-thirds of the country’s population live below absolute poverty conditions. Most of these unfortunate people (YO% +) live in about 86,000 villages of the country.  These conditions persist overtime despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aids and loans for rapid development.

The emphasis so far has had been largely, on investment in modern industrial sector and agriculture. This has increased in a limited way though, the overall GNP and agricultural product ion particularly, rice crop production, benefitting only the better endowed top 10 to 20 per cent of the people. The poor have remained the poor and the unemployed the unemployed largely.

Any solution to this complex problem of poverty in Bangladesh and so also in other LDC’s must provide additional employment sufficient to absolve both increments into the Labour force (9.6 percent annually between 1974 and 1984 – BBS 1988l) and the backlog of already unemployed laborers including the surplus laborers in agriculture (38 percent – Robbani, 1966, and 33 percent – Hye, 1878).


by Kwame Ampofo, Dr. Richard Hosier


A major policy objective in LDCs is the promotion of rural economic development. One of the ways of achieving this objective is through the promotion of growth in rural industry as a support base for the agriculture sector. However, growth in rural industry comes as a result of technological progress that replaces traditional processes with improved technology. Such technological progress is usually accompanied by interfuel substitution away from wood, so that the demand for commercial fuels is increased sharply. These trends, which constitute additional stress on the energy supply system, are usually overlooked in the LDC energy planning exercise.


by Unmesh S. Kulkarni, Rashmi Ranade


Design fills gaps of obscurity where science begins and art ends. It neither deals with hard precise units of technology nor with abstract impressions of humanity as portrayed by art. In fact, Industrial Design middles somewhere between pure engineering design and pure styling. Engineering design is science put to use to create technology which performs a certain task and styling is art used to create an appropriate visual image around this technology. Industrial design intervenes to assimilate both these aspects into an entity which presents to the user an ordered set of components, with a tangible scale and a human form. Industrial design creates objects and products which satisfy the genuine needs of a large section of people.

The Industrial Designer is by and large a problem solver. He has a broad overview of a situation and possesses a degree of awareness which enables him to act as a catalyst in improving the quality of life of a vast majority of people through his work. The Designer draws upon technical assistance of engineers, planners, sociologists, environmentalists, economists, ergonomists etc.

During the course of his work, the designer poses several questions. Who is the end user of the product? Will the product ease his living conditions? How will he handle the product, use it, store it and discard it? Can the product be made in a rational cost effective manner? What if a million people had to use the product? will the design have enough latitude to cater to their diverse needs? What would be the environmental implication if a million people used and discarded several such products? A designer’s search is a patient search not for complete solutions but for small, sure steps in a continual sequence of efforts.

Victor Papanek in his radical treatise of 1972 ‘Design for the Real World’ stressed on the need for the designer to assume a moral and social responsibility of designing for the ‘true needs of men’ in view of the lack of basic utilities for the aged, handicapped and the third world. Papanek avers that much of modern design satisfies only ‘wants’ of fads and fashions, rather than devoting itself to the more difficult and less profitable ‘needs’ of economy, psychology, spirituality and technology. To this we may add the even less profitable ‘need’ of design for human survival and ecology.

Twenty years on, and we find that this line of thinking has not yet given rise to sufficient design inputs in these areas so as to a produce notable global effect. The design efforts especially for sustainable village based development in the Third World have been few and isolated. Design has not yet succeeded in generating excitement amongst planners, activists, economists and sociologists working in these areas.

A renewed and consistent effort on the part of designers to adopt a sensible approach and to produce a role model that will satisfy basic needs in a development programme, so that these villages do not turn into modern day cities is an immediate and urgent necessity. Design for sustainable village based development calls for design within a special, social, cultural and ecological context. It requires a complete and objective insight into the total village scenario.


by Mrs.Sangeeta D. Rangnekar


The development programmes in India have now acquired wide dimensions. Improving knowledge, skills, awareness and income of women has better impact on the family. While special programmes are taken up -for- women: their impact in underdeveloped areas is rather limited. The paper described crucial role of field workers/NGO in this regard.

Livestock has emerged as a major rural development programme and can be effective and sustainable only through proper involvement of women.

The results of studies and experience indicate need for radical change in extension and training approaches far benefit of women a few examples are discussed in the paper. The knowledge possessed by women and the traditional livestock management practices can form very good base for further development. Many of the rural women can be good resource persons for extension and training programmes.

Frequent discussions, socializing with women and taking learner approach is recommended for gathering desired information.

The paper makes passing reference of observations regarding women’s perceptions of literacy / education programmes and health and hygiene. An approach of non-formal functional literacy, related to their- day to day work and requirement, is recommend.

The resistance to change amongst under-privileged should be viewed in the right perspective – considering conditions faced by them.


by Anuj Sinha


Recognition of the important role that women play in development has not yet been translated into planning practice.  While reviewing the concepts presented recently this paper analyzes some of the unfavorable effects of technological intervention on the position of rural women since wage employment coexists with peasant forms of sustenance production in the developing world.

The efforts at empowering women using science and technology inputs are presented through selected case studies of income generating projects from rural India. The role of NGO’s and the government’s relations with them are examined and an approach is suggested for sustainable village-based development. Some significant considerations for preparing the Design Manual for the action phase are offered.


by C.J. Johny


The first science and technology (S&T) plan for the country made during 1973 has been and continues to be one of the major attempts by Indian scientists to project a self-reliant development. This I quote “the pattern of demand for such S&T knowledge as will affect the rural sector will depend very crucially on how well we orchestrate a whole gamut of policies concerned with rural sector”. The science and technological capabilities have already been demonstrated and established its viability in terms of products, technology and development models which have tremendous potential for addressing the rural problems. The planned development since independence has brought India to a great progress in many important facets of human concern. The improvement made in food, energy, industry and other commercial sectors including large increase in literacy and scientific activities are examples of India’s achievements. At one side India can be proud of all these developments, on the other side a large majority of its population is still living in darkness without any access to modern development. When one looks at the statistics of the conditions, it gives a shocking picture despite all the developmental efforts; for example:

  1. More than 200 million people in the country live below poverty line
  2. More than 200 million people have no access to safe water supply
  3. More than 500 million people have no access to proper sanitation
  4. More than 150 million people are without proper shelter
  5. More than 500 million people are illiterate and
  6. More than a million children die each year before they see their first birthday.

Under these prevailing conditions, one should analyze what role the science and technology can play in the development of various sections of the society. As is well known, it is a well accepted fact that science and technology is a powerful tool for development. On realization of this fact the Government of India has given much importance to application of S&T for integrated rural and village development. It is the growth of science and technology that has enabled man to produce wealth on a scale nobody could dream of earlier. It is technology which has made other countries wealthy and prosperous and it is through the growth of technology that one can become a wealthy and prosperous nation.


by E. G. Vallianatos


The publication in 1962 of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring is a warning that there is something fundamentally wrong with the culture and science of industrial farming in the United States. Farms are becoming factories in the field, huge, mechanical, monocultural with increasingly greater demands for synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, machines, nature and culture. Carson insists that American farmers rethink their dependence on hazardous pesticides. “The ultimate answer,” she says, “is to use less toxic chemicals. This system of deliberately poisoning our food and then policing the result is too reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s ‘white knight’ who thought of a plan to dye one’s whiskers green and always use so large a fan that they could not be seen.”

Conventional agriculture does in fact represent “the system” of deliberately poisoning our food and water while government organizations, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are trying to police the results of that massive experiment. The consequences of this deliberate toxic spray policy, dating back to at least the 1940s, are still largely unknown. Yet clues like finding of several pesticides in the ground water and surface drinking water in many areas throughout the country,  the incidence of adverse medical consequences for exposed human beings, particularly infants and children/ particularly farmers dying faster from cancer than non-farmers;  the frequent killing of fish and other wildlife from the application of agrichemicals, the rapid rise of resistance to pesticides by an increasing number of economically important insects and weeds; and the real danger of toxic sprays to threatened and endangered species, are ominous enough to challenge the entire conventional agricultural system and even raise global threats. As early as 1969 the Report of the Secretary’s Commission on Pesticides and their Relationship to Environmental Health, the federal government’s most comprehensive study of pesticides, suggested that “pesticides in the environment may adversely affect processes as fundamental to the biosphere as photosynthesis in the oceans. “


by Eric L. Hyman


The politics of foreign aid favor increased attention to environmentally sustainable, market-based approaches to poverty reduction through small- and micro-enterprise (SME) development. These enterprises provide employment and income for a major part of the population of less developed countries, and are especially important during periods of economic structural adjustment. Small-scale farms and food processing enterprises are also of vital importance in domestic food security. Small-scale producers are often most affected by natural resource degradation. In some cases, small enterprises can be significant sources of pollution in the aggregate because they lack information and financing to adopt alternatives that are less polluting and potentially more profitable. Common problems facing SMEs are discussed, including limited access to financing and the technology gap. Some implications of a small-scale producer strategy for the structure of development assistance programs are assessed.


by Mohan Dharia


Nearly 156 M. Ha. lands in India are waste or degraded lands. Yearly loss of 105 M.Ha. of green cover and 12,000 M.Tonnes of Top-soil, have threatened India’ s eco-system and has been the cause of droughts and floods. Though India is endowed  with rich natural resources like huge lands, temperate climate, water, shining sun, all sorts of fruits, vegetables, flora, fauna, wild life and the manpower, she has not fully harnessed these precious resources. While 50 p. c. lands are waste or degraded, 50 p. c. of the people are poor or below poverty line. With new science and technology it is possible to make both the lands and the people productive, generate huge assets and employment opportunities and take due care of environment. With basic policy decisions, Action Programme and Master Plan it is possible to develop wastelands within next 10-12 years through Peoples Movement.


Volume 3: Section V – Maintain A Dynamic Learning Process


by Jim Rugh


Many who assist Third World communities describe the purpose of their work to be the promotion of sustainable village-based development. Along with the philosophy of helping people help themselves,” they speak of encouraging the leadership of such communities to be responsible for managing their own programs. Yet, too often, when it comes time for evaluation there seems to be an attitude of “now step back and let the experts determine whether you’ve done a good job.” That attitude is inconsistent with a major purpose of evaluation — the process of gaining added perspective on how one has been doing, and using such findings to influence planning and management decisions for the next phase of one’s work. If community people are to be empowered to take control of their own development process, they need to be empowered to conduct their own evaluations.

For project participants, classical evaluation too often feels like outside experts coming and examining them through a magnifying glass. The function of facilitating participatory evaluation, in contrast, is analogous to the use of a mirror. There is a role to be played by an outsider in helping participants gain a better perspective on themselves than they may have done completely on their own. But the process involves helping them to better discover themselves, not judging them or simply telling them the outsider’s opinion.

Participatory evaluation does not need to be “soft” or “sloppy.” There are simple tools and techniques which can help community participants do a credible job of evaluation. If well done the results can be valid and serve the needs of outside funding partners, as well as community leaders.

The author has learned much from “grass-roots” people and persons working with them during his experiences of promoting community-based development for over three decades in Africa, India and Appalachia, including his on-going work as an independent evaluation consultant. This paper is based on a manual he wrote for community-level leaders entitled Self-Evaluation: Ideas for Participatory Evaluation of Rural Community Development Projects, published by World Neighbors.


by Andrew Kang Bartlett


Planning and evaluating non-conventional development approaches require non-conventional indicators and measures. This paper presents twenty-four key principles and measures used to evaluate alternative rural development, emphasizing organizational sustainability primarily, and economic and environmental sustainability secondarily. The indicators and measures are potentially useful as reference points when planning or monitoring development programs. Whether they are used by intermediate organizations or by grassroots organizations themselves, the principles and measures require tailoring in order to fit each local context. A diagnostic guide, found in the appendix, was developed from these indicators and applied through field investigations to several alternative development programs in three Central American countries.


by Andrew Kang Bartlett


This paper presents a thesis that the fundamental element lacked by impoverished. Third World people is power – the type of power that will help them leap over the barriers trapping them in poverty. Obtaining such power is dependent on the development of grassroots organizations made up of individuals who understand the importance of organization. Diverse groups of poor Third World people are experimenting with approaches that place a premium on conscientization, organizing and mobilization toward common goals. Examples from Central America are presented to illustrate such efforts.

Ways of multiplying the small-scale successes of self-reliant development at various levels, from community to national, are explored. Organizational development is key and accountability to the grassroots must be firmly established. In the face of daunting obstacles, grassroots and mass organizations need to pool their resources together to engage in coordinated campaigns and other activities.

Northern development experts and organizations have important roles to play in facilitating such alternative approaches, roles that may require drastically different strategies and styles of operation than have been employed in the past.


by M.Kabir, Rahul Amin


The village-based development programs have been designed to improve the socio-economic conditions and to bring changes in the reproductive behavior of the rural poor women. These programs provided opportunities to bring women together in a forum outside  the traditional family and allowed group members to learn first hand about women’s problem and concerns. The village based women’s’ program created income generating opportunities for women in informal sector that brings some low or irregular income. Analysis of the data indicates that women acting on behalf of the family are seen as agents of change in virtually every aspect of population and development policy. However, Women can not bring about the demographic change alone, given the existing family structure and gender relations. There is little effort given towards sustainability of the program. Members of the group has little idea on root causes of poverty. This indicates that with a sound conceptual base and accordingly developed strategies would help to ensure sustainable impacts of program a activities in future.


by Patrick W. Cardiff


A Household Expenditure Survey (HES) can be the best source of national economic data for a developing country. With the wealth and variety of information collected – on income, expenditures, demographic characteristics and household inventories – an HES is invaluable for revising a consumer price index to measure inflation, and can accommodate the statistical requirements of an overall national economic development plan. Household expenditure data provides the basis for many policy initiatives of central governments: price and revenue policies, income distribution, agricultural production, stabilization and inflation control.

This paper explores the potential of an HES to show the prevalence, depth and severity of poverty. It poses the question: “What can one year’s worth of cross sectional data on income and expenditures tell us about the relative endowments of households in individual. regions?” Mainstream poverty analysis suffers from a limited approach. The problem is that too many assumptions have to be made when information is lacking. To the extent that poverty is experienced by individuals, effective comparisons of poverty rely on detailed economic information about individuals, a focus of analysis typically reserved for small-scale surveys. Yet an HES design is preferred for measuring expenditures, and often the special concerns of local areas can be easily accommodated by modular additions to the survey questionnaire. The solution, then, is to advocate a distinctly micro-economic approach in the design of national surveys by providing for the integration of national and local data.

To illustrate the need for both precision and variety, well-known methodology is applied to investigate poverty in Belize using the 1990-1991 HES. The choice of Belize as a case study is appropriate for its small population because its separate areas resemble developing villages. Poverty rankings based on total household expenditures, total household incomes, and individual incomes show the potential, and the pitfalls, of using national expenditure data for empirical analysis.