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I, the CitizenUnraveling the Power of Citizen Engagement$
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R. Balasubramaniam

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501713514

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501713514.001.0001

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Understanding development

Understanding development

(p.23) Understanding development
I, the Citizen

Dr. R Balasubramaniam

M N Venkatachaliah

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the different facets of development and what it means to different people and agencies. The debate on development has intensified over the last three to four decades, gathering much momentum after the United Nations made the grand announcement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Rethinking and redefining development goals is needed, but it must also be accompanied by a rethinking of how these goals shall be achieved. The chapter then argues that development needs to be seen, interpreted, and assessed not from the dimension of the agency, but from that of the community. This is because people's interpretation of poverty and their problems are often different from the conventional standpoint of the government and its enforcement machinery. Ultimately, the chapter is embedded with questions and perspectives that can help critique the current paradigm of development and provide a better understanding of the phenomenon.

Keywords:   development, Millennium Development Goals, development goals, community, government, United Nations, poverty

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