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motion for debate

Discussion / motion for debate

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Endogenous development is no different from other participatory development approaches

Explanation of the motion
The main difference between endogenous development and other participatory approaches is its inclusion of spiritual aspects in the development process. ED is based on local strategies, values, institutions and resources. Key concepts are: local control of the development process; taking
cultural values seriously; appreciating worldviews; and finding a balance between local and external resources. The next issue of the Endogenous Development Magazine will be devoted to
methods used in ED.
In anticipation of this we asked Wolfgang Bayer, an independent advisor on livestock systems development, for his view on whether there is any difference between ED and other participatory development approaches.

'Thirty or so years ago, development paradigms were almost exclusively top-down. Governments, donors and investors determined what 'development' was. Many projects were not in line with local peoples' aspirations, demanded investments beyond their means, or failed for other reasons. When some 'developers' started looking into what local people were already doing despite 'development', participatory approaches emerged. Local people were initially only allowed to participate in outsiders' initiatives but, over time, gained a bigger say in many small-scale projects. A range of concepts and terminologies for 'participatory development' were coined, endogenous development being a relatively late addition. In my view, the main difference between ED and other forms of 'participatory development', such as Participatory Technology Development (PTD), is that ED stresses the internal motivation in development, whereas PTD stresses the processes of interaction of multiple stakeholders with differing interests. ED is based on a notion of a homogeneous community, whereas PTD recognises and tries to involve
different interest groups from within and outside a community. According to many development practitioners, however, the differences between ED and PTD are very small when compared with the still dominant paradigm of top-down, large-scale development approaches. And we must admit that neither ED nor PTD has thus far had major impact on mega-projects such as industrial schemes, dams, large-scale irrigation and other major infrastructure development. So we still need to promote participatory and endogenous development as much as possible, without trying to differentiate too much between them.'

Join the debate
We invite readers to respond to the motion Endogenous development is no different from other participatory development approaches.
A selection of the responses will be published in the INteracting section of the next issue of ED Magazine. Please restrict your contribution to not more than 200 words.

Post your views

If you would like to see the discussion on the third motion:
Western notions of democracy stand in the way of endogenous development, click here.

If you would like to see the discussion on the second motion:
Spirituality alone cannot fill stomachs, click here.

If you would like to see the discussion on the first motion:
The Millennium Development Goals give poor people false hope
, click here.



Ekpenyong Edet, Nigeria

Endogenous development is not so different from other participatory development approaches, but it is better than other participatory development approaches because the initiative, innate skills and talent are being extracted from and developed through local people's aspirations. This is different from ‘planted development’ where ideas and methods are set and infused into local people. As long as people are allowed to do what they know best without much training and supervision, the height of perfection is certain; and our society would experience a lot of paradigmatic developments if endogenous development were applied. The fact is that our local people have very many untapped initiatives that border on development. In summary, endogenous development should be the mantra of our local people.

Maheswar Ghimire, Nepal

ED considers the intricate relationship between physical, social, cultural and other elements, whereas PTD has a more limited focus within a given process, being more results orientated. I do not mean that ED is not looking for results. Within the present context of climate change, social unrest, poverty, antipathy and so on, ED has much to offer as it encompasses the multidimensional sphere of society where people can live in harmony. This is possible not only through co-existence in the social sphere, but also through developing technology that can be accessed by the resource poor. ED can enhance the ‘spiritual connection’, which can drive material development.

A. Akingboye Kazeem, Nigeria

Endogenous Development(ED)is closely related to Participatory Development Approach(PDA). Every PDA must have direct bearing on the recipients or else it will be rejected; it has to blend with their socio-cultural norms, values and tradition. PDA should be cheap, environment-friendly, practicable and results-driven. … PDA is directed primarily at solving local problems by upgrading local knowledge/indigenous practices to achieve acceptable standards.

Kobina Esia-Donkoh, Ghana

Currently, top-down approaches to development have given way to bottom-up or participatory approaches to development. Endogenous Development (ED) is however different from other participatory approaches because it makes room for spiritual aspects. Some people have questioned the development orientations and processes of numerous NGOs especially in the northern parts of Ghana. This is because, irrespective of their immense activities over decades to address issues including poverty, these parts still remain the most poor and least developed. This is probably due to a number of factors, including participation of local actors being pushed to the periphery. Hence, project sustainability is usually short-lived. There are also instances in the south, where markets constructed to enhance the socio-economic activities of the people have remained unused because they were sited near river deities or cemeteries. These are evidence of neglect of spiritual and cultural aspects in the development process. In general, participation of the people in such development processes has always remained at the level of tokenism. ED however addresses these lapses and challenges, hence, its distinctiveness among other participatory development approaches. I must however indicate quickly that this assertion can only be vindicated with time and further research.