International development which is also referred to as Global development is defined as a concept that provides states with an opportunity to develop itself positively and thus achieve better quality life for its citizenry.
Generally, this is a concept that defines the process of human development which was developed during the industrialization period in the 19th century, a time during which the world poverty rate was very high resulting in many people living below the world poverty line. Global poverty continues to be a tremendous problem today even as hundreds of billions of dollars from international development assistance trickles in.
International Development concept was developed as a means of alleviating poverty with the aim of improving the lifestyle of people living in the third world countries. It is a concept that involves provision of foreign aid for healthcare, education, infrastructure, economics, and initiating relevance to gender equality, disaster preparedness and issues dealing with human rights and other related issues.
According to Scott (156) “international development projects may consist of a single, renovation projects that are used to address a specific problem or a great number of projects targeted at several facets of the society.
Development involves reducing deprivation or broadening choice. Since its implementation, the sector has been used to shape up the society in terms of coming up with new changes in policy and framework for both economic and political sectors. Before, the colonial societies were the ideological bases for development commonly known as foreign policy. By early 20th century, the idea of development resurfaced and that is where the name international development was born.
At that time the world was in dire need of peace and reconciliation which was driven by the efforts of the industrialized countries in the West hence, industrial development set its priorities to support those countries that were in need of assistance in their development efforts that is why the international development industry helps through fostering supportive measures to ensure that these countries will come to realize their goals. The main aim of international development is to provide long term solutions to problems concerning development in various countries.
This industry’s main goal is to provide the essential facilities needed to provide sustainable and practical solutions concerning developmental problems. International development comes up with developmental projects that are able to be carried on indefinitely without the need of international help either financially or in any other way.
Therefore, International development mainly focuses on the one goal that seems to be a problem in the third world countries like those in Africa, this is poverty, their main duty is to ensure that the poverty eradication measures are put in place in the respective countries both at individual and societal level in order to make sure that they are on a path that gives them an opportunity for sustainable growth and development and also provide these countries with an opportunity to participate in the world’s economic and political fields.
The projects that the industry is concerned with are based on the determination of the people in third world countries especially countries in Africa to free themselves and their continent from apprehension of under development and segregation by participating in a globalizing world.
Alleviating poverty and ensuring that a country is attaining a positive mark in guaranteeing that there is sustainable growth in their countries, development must involve economic and social policies in many fronts which they pose as a challenge. For example, over the last decades, the Sub Sahara Africa (SSA) income growth has hardly kept pace with the growth in population.
In the 1970s, the sub Sahara region was able to record a moderate increase growth per capita income which remained below 2.5% per annum both in the 1980s and 1990s.This mark on the other hand improved after the millennium but is still below 10%. Even though there are efforts to ensure speedy recovery, it has been proved that most projects are short lived and long term growth developments are below the levels required to meet poverty alleviation targets.
Development impacts are also slow in SSA due to immense changes in income distribution for example, the poorest populations experience steep declines in their per capita incomes than the economy as a whole. Adjustment policies that include trade and financial liberalization, privatization and retrenchment of public sector have played a very significant role in increasing the middle class who have become a prominent feature of income distribution in many developing countries.
The international development industry provides policies that are meant to reduce poverty leading to rapid and sustained growth and job creation opportunities (Obioma 78).
It is valuable to take note that the economic growth of a country may not automatically trickle down to the poor and that’s exactly why the international development industry emphasizes on helping the developing countries in coming up with policies that make it easy for the poor to access vital support structures such as human, physical and financial assets’ to improve their earning capacity hence this is why particular attention is paid to public provision of education and health services (Scott 98).
The structure of the international development sector is defined by the specific member organizations policies. Although this is the case, the concerned governments and private sectors are encouraged to partner together to speed up development in Africa. Nevertheless, focus on International development sector as a dependent industry begun just recently.
Most of the international development projects are funded by Westernized countries (developed countries) whereby these countries help to contribute in a number of ways for example, churning out a lot of plans and programmes which are used to accomplish development plans that will improve the quality of life of people. The main players in this industry are:
International institutes like United Nations (UN), The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are among the organization which provide humanitarian and development assistance to the third world countries. Some of the development projects are also funded by regional banks.
“Both the unilateral and multilateral assistance can be channeled to a country through a countries own foreign aid and developmental agencies. Foreign policy may be attained by having a sense of moral obligation” (McMichael, 145).
Several nongovernmental organizations are known to steer up developmental projects especially by providing humanitarian needs directly or even through collaborating with the U.N. agencies. Their participation in development process is seen as advantageous as compared to the international organizations participation since they are not limited to any political constraints and for this reason their diversity and liberty permits them to work even in very intricate places.
NGOs function at all levels, grass-roots, national, regional and international levels. Many carry out high-impact, high-resource projects and work in the fields of health, refugees, environment, human rights, education, and other key aspects of international development.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play a significant role in calling for a sustainable growth in the global arena. Campaigning groups have also been key drivers of inter-governmental negotiations, ranging from the regulation of waste materials which are hazardous to a global ban on land mines and the elimination of slavery.
The military’s main role is to ensure that the environments in which relief agencies are operating on are safe. There are a few instances during which the military may provide aid directly especially during those times when international organizations and the non- governmental organizations find themselves overstretched and are unable to provide adequate aid due to matters concerning security.
Obioma 56) notes “the military may be capable of providing managements efforts and organize the general humanitarian response and also have the capability of dealing with demanding needs both technical and physical like reinstating communication channels and delivery routes.”
The military’s aim is also able to maintain internal security and protect citizens and their property in addition to its purpose of defending the country against invasion by any foreign force. Therefore, its major task is to ensure that there is total peace among the people. In addition to their basic military roles, the armed forces also participate in a variety of civic action programs designed to support the country’s development efforts.
Globalization requires states reinforcing capacity. A state that opens up its economy is going to bring in costs and benefits. Focus on compensating losses from globalization and technological change depends on how effective a state is in terms of its economic growth (McMichael, 29).
Development strategies such as reforming of public services will give states a better opportunity to benefit from globalization. Since 1980s, a number of developmental programmes were put in place in an effort to establish foundations for structural transformation and integration of African countries into the global world (Obioma 96).For instance in 1980; African leaders adopted the Lagos Plan of Action for Economic Development of Africa.
The main aim of adopting the plan was so that African states could restructure their economies basing it on the principle of self reliance and self- sustaining development. In 1990, United Nations adopted the United Nations Plan of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development (UN-PAAERD) which was adopted with the aim of establishing foundations for structural transformation, increase in productivity and improvement of African economies.
Competition is central in the operation of markets as it fosters innovation, productivity and growth which help in creation of wealth and reduction of poverty rates. It is however a challenge to identify where competition is weak and how to promote more efficient business rivalry that would promote trade and industry expansion and also decrease poverty.
International development is a nonprofit sector that is usually associated with national societies that comprises of organizations and associations which lie between states and markets (Escobar, 85).
These are organizations that are not associated with any kinds of business or political realms therefore, this are sectors that operate outside the global economy and they help policy makers in developing countries identify these competitions. “International markets are dominated by big businesses that have close ties with governments and the more effective competition is, the more chances a government is able to reduce issues of corruption creating more room for development goals to be achieved”(Escobar,63).
Industrial development sector has very limited information as it is an industry for this reason; the employment numbers are difficult to estimate because of lack of proper definition as to which organizations are involved in the international development sector. Most of the African states have an official non-governmental sector but many of them do not focus on international development as many work relatively on issues that are domestic (McMichael 59).
To gain access to this particular industry, it needs an individual who has high level of expertise in that particular field. Since most of the positions available are attached to government donor agencies like World Bank, U.N. agencies U.S International Development agencies among others, there are tight restrictions on the qualification for each particular individual. Fields that require technical experts, project managers and researchers are the main broad categories that account for the entry level, mid level or senior level or executive positions for an individual.
International development provides a person with various opportunities in various international development positions but only specific blending of certain qualities will entitle one to have an opportunity to work in this industry. Having clear understanding of each type of job and considering relevance of the contributions made by the positions will significantly be a helpful factor in ones career growth in international development (Escobar 143).
Today there are a number of universities that are providing undergraduate courses in international development. These courses provide the students with an opportunity to have common knowledge in a specific practice area hence therefore, what they learn in these institutions eventually contributes’ towards the progression of sustaining the foundations of the industry.
Within the development industry, there are various specializations which emphasizes on different specific core skills since there are several positions available in this industry which includes; business development, research evaluation, project management among other administrative functions all that deal with development organizations.
Basic Skills needed include computer applications, knowledge in media, statistics administration and management although it will depend on the position (Devex, np).
Due to the rapid changes that keep occurring in the industry, an individual who is considering working in this sector has to his/her best possess suitable skills and qualification (Devex, np).
One way of achieving this is through ensuring that one is critically aware of the latest sectors that are gaining prominence, ensure that one is aware of the funding trends and is in constant check of the activities of the worlds’ leading international and non-governmental organizations. Besides the above strategies an individual is also expected to possess certificates that indicate that he/she is suitable for the position depending on what one has studied in high levels of academic institutions not excluding the period of experience.
Devex. “International Development job and consulting opportunities.” Devex. 2011. Web. 2011.
Escobar, Andrew. Encountering development: the making and unmaking of the third world. Princeton university press: Princeton, 1995.Print
McMichael, Philip. Development and social change: a global perspective 3rd ed. California: Pines Forge Press, 2003. Print
Obioma, Iheduru. Contending issues in African development: advances, challenges, and the future. Greenwood Vlg: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001. Print
Scott Straus. Africa’s stalled development: international causes and cures. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003. Print.