Beginnings are always the hardest. Rumi says, “Come again to the Sema…even if you have broken your vows a thousand times, come again. For ours is not a caravan of despair”.
This is a great starting point for my approach to the work of development and poverty alleviation. The post-World War II history of development has been a complicated narrative at times built on foreign policy strategy, at times on human rights, and at times on pure spite. Recently we have come to view the work of development as our vow to fulfill a tryst with our brothers and sisters in the world community who are most disenfranchised and oppressed. While steady progress has been made in some serious respects, there have also been some truly terrible mistakes along the way. But we ask ourselves and others to come again and again to this work – because ours is not a caravan of despair.
With this blog, I want to explore the current state of development, the interventions and mechanisms that are being deployed on a micro and macro level, and the implications experienced by actual people and communities.
- I want to focus on South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), although India will be of personal interest to the author as it is his ancestral homeland and love
- I will start with a focus on three specific development areas
- Women’s empowerment – issues of women’s rights and justice, reproductive health, and economic empowerment
- Early childhood education – issues of primary school education and remedial education
- Hunger and malnutrition – issues of nutritional intervention policies, agricultural policies, and the link between food-based interventions and health implications
The course is uncharted, and my ambition is to remain loose, open, and malleable as this blog progresses. I will also try and incorporate guest bloggers and writers when I can to provide alternate perspectives on issues. My hope for this blog is primarily two-fold: first, to create a space for myself to reflect on the complicated and important world of development and second, to raise and continue the level of discourse in the online community about development.
Without further ado, let’s start the show.