Development and Debate

Today, I want to talk about three books on development. I think these are good one to figure out the both the history and the current trend of the development.

①    Jeffrey Sachs. (2005). The End of Poverty

I could say that international organizations reflects on his view. Sachs headed the United Nations Millennium Project, putting focus on 8 Millennium  Development Goals, two of which are about education (universal primary education and no gender gap)
Sachs argues that the developed world can afford to raise the poorest countries out of extreme poverty; he agrees with the MDG’s calculation that 0.7 percent of the combined gross national product of first-world countries would be sufficient to achieve that goal.

②    William Easterly. (2006). The White Man’s Burden

He criticized Sachs by claiming that big plan has not been working as it had planned. He addresses that planner uses top-down approach whereas searcher seeks for bottom-up and relevant way to solve the problem. The former tends to fail since it lacks of evaluation and accountability while the latter tends to have both which is the key for success.

③    Alvin So. (1990), Social Change and Development

This is more like a guidebook to understand various theories on development.
For example, Easterly often mansions about the Rostow’s “take off” theory in which developing countries will take off toward the development (Western path) through aid.
In my view, Both Sachs and Easterly make sense, but I take Easterly’s side rather than Sacks’ given that I am starting to believe less in BIG things, which I originally wanted to do when I decided to go for developing career.

Since I started living in the U.S. I realized the importance of debating skills.The material which made me want to improve debating skills is “The Great Debaters”

“Debate is combat, but the weapons are words!”


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