Saturday, November 30, 2013

1. Conference Theme & Purpose

How does a society, a nation, or a community become “developed”?

The practice and debate on development interventions during last few years have adequately shown that top-down interventions alone, while increasing numerical growth indices (e.g., GDP, per capita income, etc.), fail to adequately impact the lives of people and their environs. There is, therefore, a need to also look at alternative “grounds-up” models and approaches to development.

Such models of development will be characterized by a more integrated effort comprising some of the following:

  • Community-led, empowered self-governance systems (development / facilitation of participative/democratic and transparent local institutions for decision-making, planning and execution, which also include socially and economically weaker section of the community)

  • Sustainable and equitable use and regeneration of local natural resources (e.g., rain-water harvesting, composting, land-leveling, etc.)

  • Strengthening the capacities, confidence and skills of the community to solve their own problems, and create/ engage in livelihoods and income-generation activities.

  • Application and innovation of environmentally sustainable and ‘appropriate’ technology to solve local developmental problems (e.g., low-cost housing, local medicinal plants, renewable energy sources, etc.)

  • Overall well-being of the community, reduction in poverty and inequality, and development of local economy, etc.

  • This conference aims to bring together some of the practitioners of such developmental models and to provide opportunity to discuss, learn and co-create solutions which are more sustainable and inclusive outcomes.

    Correspondingly, the theme of this conference is:

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