of the most famous artists in Post-Development theory. In 1992, in his famousarticle “The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power”, Sachs stated: “The last 40years can be called the age of development. This epoch is coming to an end.
The time is ripe to write itobituary” in his book ” The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power”. Until now, inthe overwhelming trend of Development all over the world, Sachs’s statement is still being remindedand consulted by Development studier to figure out the difficulty in fulfilling Development in reality.Sachs is not alone in criticizing Development, we can also mention several names as: Gustavo Esteva ,Arturo Escoba,…. In their main tenets of Post-Development Theory, there are several reasons theyusually used to defend their own standpoint against Development :There is the ambiguity definition of Development itself. It is not easy at all to have a clear, exact andbeing accepted by everyone what specific the development is. Development is extremely simple andconcise in wording but grandiose in semantic term. It’s used in many fields from economic, medical toeducation, culture merely base on the assumption that Development is a favourable change, movingfrom inferior to superior, from worse to better,… but all of this judgement is very subjective.
Nobodycan assure what is better for him is also better for anyone else. There are many definition has beenraised, in 2008 Andy Sumner and Michael Tribe have proposed an idea of Development in”International Development Studies”. As their opinion, there are three definitions of Development, inlong-term “Development is a process of structural societal change”, in short-to-medium term,Development occur when ” a set of short-to-medium term performance indicators-goals or outcomeswhichcan be measured and compared with targets” and “Development as a dominant discourse ofWestern modernity” of Post-Development. It’s very complex to define what development is that can berecognized by different senses of concern and commitment from all over the world. Until now in 2016,despite thousands of result when looking for development definition on Google, there is no definition isapplicable for all. However we are moving forward to a more completed definition of Development byrealizing its complexity and separating it into many smaller aspects as “Human Development”,”Sustainable Development”, “Community Development”,…. It can help us in creating a more preciseand objective development policy in the future.
The second tenet of Post Development theorist is they believe we are making development in acompletely wrong procedure. On 20 January, 1949 in his inauguration speech, presidentHarry.S.
Truman has declared the Southern hemisphere as under-developed area and state that the United States of America “making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progressavailable for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas”. Since then, with the label ofUnder developed stuck by an American President, many countries in Asia, Africa are thought to be inneed of help and the interference from Western seem to be ineluctable. However, is it correct to judge atraditional, non-industrialised lifestyles is underdeveloped ? Is industrializing, urbanizing is the onlyway to become developed ? The Western model of Development cannot be generalized all over theworld with 194 different nations, about 4200 religions and many different lifestyles. This kind ofdevelopment will lead to the loss in social diversity when the traditional lifestyles is considered asunderdeveloped and need to be changed. On the other hand, industrialization and urbanization isdestroying the environment. Over exploitation in nature sources is not only hardening world pollutionbut also push the Earth to the exhausted verge. This kind of development is also hardening inequality insociety when the difference between the classes is stretching. I am from Vietnam, a developing countryand this kind of problems is not rare at all.
It’s like an exchange between pollution, inequality,environment destruction,… to develop. In my opinion, to aim at development is a goodwill, howeverwe should make it in a more precisely and regionally to be suitable with each country rather thanassume the Western direction is the only way.The third reason for Sachs and many Post-Development Theorists raise criticism against Developmentis many indisputable failures of Development policy in the world. There are many examples for suchfailure, in his article, Sachs had mentioned ” in 1960, the Northern countries were 20 times richer thanthe Southern, in 1980 46 times”. Development seems is not of much help in shortening distancebetween countries. Another failure example is an education program in India, in 1996 after a researchconducted by economist Jean Dreze and Indian activists they conclude that state of learning andteaching in India is very poor and in rural area absences among teacher are 48 percent. Then in 2001the government of India launch a nation-wide program to support states to improve the quality ineducation.
However in 2008 when they assessed the result of the program, they figured out almost nosystematic increases in the actual basic literacy and mathematics competencies children possesses.From all above assessment, I see that Wolfgang Sachs’s statement is somewhat true in Developmentprocedure. His statement reminds us about the difficulty in conducting a development program, how faris it from our expectation and the final outcomes. However, recognizing these problems is not to giveup faith in development but to make it in a different way.
In my opinio