A book is never finished ... but at some point it goes off to the printers, and the writing process stops for a while. But this is not the end ... the ideas are new and they need refinement ... this comes from feedback and attempts to use the ideas in a diverse set of situations. There is lot to learn ... and especially from failure.
Most of what the media and global leadership wThe first challenge is to get the reader to understand the scale of the failure of development. First, absolutely in terms of the total population that are affected by development failure. Second, relatively in terms of how some have progressed and other have not. Discussion of some of the big facts that have to be faced: famine and hunger, war and refugees, poverty and concentration of wealth.
An overview of the problems that are causing development failure. Too many people. Not enough development resources. A dysfunctional development process and institutional framework. No information for the management of relief and development resources. This chapter moves beyond the symptoms to the underlying problems and gets at the root causes that are the underlying reasons for development failure. This chapter identifies systemic factors. This chapter goes beyond the conventional wisdom and the NORTH's simple perception of development as commonly portrayed in the media to a view that more completely reflects a SOUTH view.
The proposition is that there is a new way to think of development and make it practical and win win. There are resources for success, but they need to be organized in a value adding manner, and for this there needs to be adequate management information. The mindset of money constraint is changed to one where all resources are used to maximize potential. It is a technical analysis, rather than an economic analysis, and the information is management information rather than aggregate economic data. The focus is on people and community, and getting rid of organizational and process constraints. There is also a focus on excellence in transparency and accountability so that resources are best used for good progress.
Community Centric Sustainable Development (CCSD) ... Is community a good way for relief and development to be organized? Is community the best entity to think about development and progress. Would community centric development be a better way of managing development resources than donor centric development. What does the community have that makes it the ideal entity for planning for development progress?
Resources that are available can be used in the best possible way. How can resources be used for best results? What incremental resources are needed and where are they going to come from. How to ensure that the community gets to use resources for its priority works. How are community resources going to be used to achieve maximum economic value adding and progress towards the goal of success in development. Is community the key to success? Local people often know what they need, but don't have all the resources to do what needs to be done.
The chapter describes the essentials of the process ... a systems approach:
Plan: Use available information and knowledge to determine priority needs and figure out the best way to satisfy these needs based on available people and resources.
Organize: Get the resources lined up to do the work. Organize is not just in terms of human resources, but in terms of all resources including the mobilization of financial and other material resources.
Implement: Do the work. Generate the benefits. Pay the bills. Do the accounting.
Measure: Measure what was used and what was done and what was accomplished. Measure so that excellence can be seen and used to attract more resources.
Feedback: Use the measurements. Figure out how to do better. What went wrong? What went right? Get the information to decision makers that can change performance.
A systems approach built on top of a community centric mindset can deliver a dynamic process with multiple parallel tracks all progressing to success in the best possible way. It is not one single dumbing down of a process to one average for the whole world that makes no practical sense for anyone. It is process built on engineering and accounting rather than policy and economics. It is a process that respects individuals and family and community, and tries to make community better, one community at a time, but bringing to bear everything that might be helpful.
They get depleted without adequate thought to the future. The solution is to use natural resources to help improve the neighborhood economically and sustainably
What can agriculture do?
Two key resources
This chapter highlights the two key resources, the human resources and the natural resources. Both abundant, but rarely used effectively for success in development. The chapter describes all the other resources that go into a successful comprehensive success. The chapter shows how external resources should be used to complement local available resources to achieve maximum value adding.
Solutions – making the best use of resources
Why does the prevailing process waste resources? What results can be achieved when available resources are best used? Resources are not just money and financial resources. They also include human and natural resources which are often abundant and valuable when used well:
People. What is the human potential? What is needed so that people can do the maximum that they are capable of?
Organization. What are the capabilities of existing organizations? What is needed so that they can do the maximum that they can do? What professional organizations are there and what can they do?
Infrastructure. What is there? What is the best way to improve the infrastructure so that it can support the highest level of activity? What is the status of the roads, the communications, the clinics and hospitals, the transport systems, etc, etc?
Natural resources. What natural resources are there? How can local resources be used as an economic driver for the area? What is the natural economic potential of the area? What can agriculture do? Are their other local resources that have economic potential?
Machinery and equipment. What production capacity is there? Does business have what is needed?
Working capital. Does business have access to the working capital and liquidity it needs. What needs to be done to satisfy working capital needs?
Money. What money and financial services are available? How can salaries and suppliers be paid? What is the business model to generate positive cash flow? What are revenues? Is it market driven? Is it government budget? Is it grant based? Is it fee based? Is it mixed?
Knowledge. What knowledge is there? Is everything known that needs to be known. How to stay up to date. How to train new people. How to update knowledge and be in the global knowledge community.
Problems with the process
How the process for development over the past forty years has ended up as development failure. How is it that economic value destruction has become the prevailing development process. How is it that development interventions and investment have removed wealth from developing countries rather than creating wealth in these countries. Why did the “project” form of organization come to dominate ORDA interventions. What is wrong with the conventional ways for implementing relief and development. Why is it that there has been more economic value destruction than value adding? Why is so much of the poor world in catastrophic shortage in a world that has potential for surplus in almost everything? Relief and development has been anti-developmental. How can the process process be made to work for people and be done by people and deliver on sustainable development and improved quality of life. How can process must make best use of available resources. How can economic value adding help create development success out of everything that is done.
Often good people are beaten by bad systems and bad processes and ineffective organizations. Institutional constraints are normal, but can be resolved with new organizations and competitive pressure. Large scale World Bank, UN and donor initiatives need to be scaled down and replaced with a new organizational structures. Instead of approaching development by reaching down from Washington of London or Paris, start by working up from the community wherever it is. Instead of putting more and more resources at the disposal of governments, put more in the hands of people, and families and communities.
An increase in population should be a positive for development success rather than being a negative that reduces wealth. Recent development thinking has people as liabilities and users of scarce resources rather than being human assets that help produce and create wealth. The chapter challenges some of the issues about people that are used to explain development failure but which are more about the way organizations and societies fail people. It raises the question about people's wasted potential, lack of opportunity and disorganized organizations. It takes up the issue of how organizations with ineffective systems and processes destroy the potential of good people to do great work.
Make the very best use of people
How can people be put at the at the center of development. How to get people to be more important than institutions. How to get people in every corner of the development process? When people have opportunity they can make better use their abilities for good benefit. But people have more power as a team so that leads to the question of how teams should be established and how people can organize to get things done. What are the incentives that motivate people? What way to organize for success at every level, while keeping the priorities of people, and the enthusiasm of people so often lost in the humdrum of a typical large organization. How to keep people informed so that they are able to participate in priority setting and decision making and making accountability a factor in development performance.
What money and financial services are available? How can salaries and suppliers be paid? What is the business model to generate positive cash flow? What are revenues? Is it market driven? Is it government budget? Is it grant based? Is it fee based? Is it mixed? Many of the problems of development are blamed on lack of money and financial resources. What ways can money and liquidity be created to support development progress. How can money get where it is needed in the best possible way. What about transparency and accountability?
Machinery and equipment. What production capacity is there? Does business have what is needed? Do the people have access to machinery so that big jobs can be done by small people. Poor countries have little production capacity. What is the best way to get more horsepower into the hands of people. Does business have access to the working capital and liquidity it needs. What needs to be done to satisfy working capital needs? Business can only function if there is inventory and enough financing for the business to operate. These component of progress are sadly missing for poor businesses serving poor people and communities
Health and human services
Is it a facilitating environment or a constraint on success? What would help the community to progress? What are the ways forward so that peace and prosperity wins over war and mayhem?
What is there? What is the best way to improve the infrastructure so that it can support the highest level of activity? What is the status of the roads, the communications, the clinics and hospitals, the transport systems, etc, etc? What is the best way to improve the infrastructure so that the society and the economy is the most productive.
Social sector: health
Social sector: education
Economic sector: banking and insurance
Information – lots of it, but not much use
Much of the information that is available about development has an enormously high cost, but dramatically smaller value. Value destruction at its best. Why is this information not help much in making good decisions about development. Why is so much data good for economic analysis and good material for journalists, but little use in the effective management of development resources. Where is the information to drive transparency and accountability?
Information – useful, independent, reliable, universal
How data can be converted into information, knowledge and wisdom? What constitutes good “management information”. How valuably is it? How does important data disappear from public view, and how can this be fixed? What are the needs, resources, uses and results from good public data? How can information be made useful, independent, reliable and universal. How can data be used for achieving development excellence and economic value adding? How much value does this have? How should data be organized, what is the metadata and the best information architecture now that amazing modern technology can be used. How does data get used for management of development resources and how does information get distributed? How can information be kept independent and be reliability. How can the problems of errors, insecurity, hackers, fraud and incompetence be managed? How can information be best used to make good plans, to get well organized, to get funding, to implement well and provide excellence in transparency and accountability?
The information dimension
Modern information and communications technology (ICT) can get information instantly anywhere in the world where there is Internet infrastructure. How can Internet infrastructure become universally accessible. What is slowing down deployment of modern ICT? Who cares enough to ensure that information access becomes available for everyone? What are the possible solutions that can be implemented? Is community centric communication a way to start? How can this become a part of the universal global Internet infrastructure?
The ORDA community is responsible for around $50 billion of fund flow for relief and development. How can these resources which are used inefficiently be displaced by private fund flows that are used efficiently? Fund raising outside the ORDA framework needs to be established, and the right sort of information made available so that it can be scaled up from millions to billions. This is entirely possible with the effective use of information.
Knowledge. What knowledge is there? Is everything known that needs to be known. How to stay up to date. How to train new people. How to update knowledge and be in the global knowledge community. How to get knowledge so that is used in the most valuable way?
Science and technology
A lot of what is described in the book is actually being done by the Transparency and Accountability Network. This section describes the progress being made and the problems being confronted. A lot of initiatives have been started and need scaling up. A lot of information is available, but it is not yet efficiently managed. Funding is weak, but improving. Everything that Tr-Ac-Net needs to do has already being done successfully, but not on a big enough scale. Relatively little help in the right places is already making an enormous difference.
The text being discussed is available at