Articles & Papers

To what extent have the colonial legacies and formative years shaped the contemporary Pakistan and its challenges with Islamic Extremism?

Despite being only 65 years old Pakistan has undergone a difficult progression and suffered many setbacks. From political instability to repeated martial regimes the people of Pakistan have witnessed an endless array of changes and upheavals, all played out in front of a growing global audience. Its relationship with extremism is a well documented one and an area that forces the country into the spotlight on a regular basis. It is this troubled association with extremist behaviour that has paved the way for this research. The aim has been to ascertain what role the legacy of colonial domination and the initial years of construction have had on contemporary Pakistan’s fight with extremist behaviour. It is asserted that the actions and policies instigated under British rule coupled with the subsequent division of India have played a dominant role in the struggles that Pakistan has faced and its escalating relationship with Islamic extremism.

The majority of the research in this field looks at more modern historical components as causes and cites the late 1970’s as the turning point for Islamic extremism within Pakistan; others focus on the wider implications of British rule such as economic turmoil and financial instability yet little attention is given to the possible relationship between British rule and extremist behaviour. This Paper asserts that it was the policies and actions of the British colonial administration at the time that directly underpinned the struggles faced by Pakistan post partition and that the roots of present day Islamic extremism can be traced back to the events surrounding colonial rule.

This Paper concludes that it is impossible for colonial leadership not to have impacted the future of Pakistan given the policies they devised and the documented response of the indigenous people. However, what this research also identifies is the simplicity of such conclusions and that it is imperative that the influence of colonial rule be examined alongside various other elements that could and did influence contemporary Pakistan. Whilst colonial rule is an active part of the conclusions drawn in this piece various other factors have come to light in dissecting Pakistan’s relationship with extremism. Islam itself has been analysed and closely researched and the way in which it has been utilised as a tool for political development is a fundamental element in answering the core question within this research.

Author: Stacey Bridge

HD PDF New To what extent have the colonial legacies and formative years shaped the contemporary Pakistan and its challenges with Islamic Extremism? (1996)

Reflections on applying iterative and incremental software development methodologies to aid development

Having recently looked at Agile project management methodologies (Extreme Programming, Scrum and a little on Rapid Application Development, EVO and Rational Unified Process) – despite this material being focused on traditional, commercial software development and management, Matt Haikin has noted that the focus on starting small, not pre-planning everything from the start, and evolving software slowly through engagement with the ‘customer’, is strikingly similar to the practices recommended in various participatory approaches to development, and in socio-technical discussions around ICT4D projects.

In this article he thought it would be interesting to explore these similarities and see what Agile software-development methodologies might have to offer the ICT4D community – not just in terms of developing software but in the wider development context too.

HD PDF New Reflections on applying iterative and incremental software development methodologies to aid development (1760)

Large Scale Biofuel Projects in Mozambique: A Solution to Poverty?

There has recently been a large increase in global land acquisitions for fuel and food production. This has been spurred on by the combined global food, fuel and financial crisis. Speculators have been seeking out ‘cheap’ and what the investors and international development agencies term ‘idle land’ to occupy or lease. Large tracts of land are being allocated predominantly from developing nations such as Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe – and in the majority of cases the land is not ‘idle’ at all.

The large scale biofuel industry plays a significant role in this and has expanded rapidly in recent years, particularly in Mozambique. In this thesis the author aims to examine whether developing nations such as Mozambique have achieved poverty reduction through large scale biofuel projects and the assesses the impact it has made on many ordinary landowners in that country.

Author: Claire Burgess

HD PDF New Large Scale Biofuel Projects in Mozambique: A Solution to Poverty? (2450)

The Sustainability of Development Cooperation – An Assessment of North-South and South-South Approaches

Contemporary development cooperation is at a crossroads. Global climate change, a legacy of failed aid, and the recent economic crises have made it abundantly clear, that the global North can no longer claim a leading role in international development. Postulating as axiomatic that international cooperation needs to be sustainable in order to produce effective change, this thesis presents a sustainability assessment of development cooperation. The trends outlined above bring South-South cooperation into the spotlight and justify the question: “To what degree can North-South and South-South cooperation be considered sustainable?” Using incentives, ownership and accountability as indicators for sustainability, this study shows that South-South cooperation (SSC) can contribute important knowledge about the architecture of development aid. However, the discourse about SSC is not yet as established as the discussion of North-South aid. Hence, there is room for stronger institutionalization and the potential to rewrite the course of international development cooperation.

Author: Svenja Quitsch

HD PDF New The Sustainability of Development Cooperation – An Assessment of North-South and South-South Approaches (2092)

Is it better to be poor in a high-income or a low-income country? – Counter-intuitive reflections, measuring well-being and the impact of inequality

Common-sense may suggest that the poor in rich countries will live better lives than the poor in poor countries. After all, the amenities of modern living are at their disposal and, in most cases, the state provides their basic needs. On one level, this assertion is difficult to refute – with a few rare exceptions, the poor in wealthy countries do not experience the famine or extreme starvation we associate with ‘Developing World poverty’.

However, in the last few decades we have begun to acknowledge that poverty is not just about material needs. There has been a growing understanding that happiness and well-being are central to human existence, and a growing awareness that poverty is actually a multi-dimensional phenomenon that also includes such life characteristics as lack of control over resources, lack of education, poor health and many other non-economic factors. Poverty is also ultimately experienced subjectively and the relationship between this subjective experience and objective life circumstances can at times be quite loose. Given this subjectivity, it is far less clear whether the subjective experience of being poor in a rich country can really be said to be in any way ‘better’ than that of being poor in a poor country.

This essay explores approaches to defining what is meant by ‘better’. It considers the impact of ideas such as Subjective Wellbeing, Happiness and Quality of Life, which focus as much on what people ‘internally’ think and feel about their lives as on the ‘external’ things they have or can do and defines a set of proxies by which this multi-dimensional idea of ‘better’ can be understood.

Author: Matt Haikin  

HD PDF New Is it better to be poor in a high-income or a low-income country? Counter-intuitive reflections, measuring well-being and the impact of inequality (1771)

‘One size fits all.’ How much does donor influence in setting educational policy in poor countries lead to improved quality outcomes?

This paper explores the extent to which Donors influence educational policy and the implications this has for education quality in low income countries. The author assesses the evidence using a conceptual framework developed by combining the ideas of several key researchers in this area, to present a clear way of defining ‘quality’ in education.

It aims to demonstrates that donor influence has not led to improved quality and the author will utilise the framework themes to structure possible new visions of education and how it could be harnessed to bring about development.

This paper was submitted in part of the MSc in Development Management at the Open University.

Author:Ashten Regan-Denham  

HD PDF New ‘One size fits all.’ How much does donor influence in setting educational policy in poor countries lead to improved quality outcomes? (1762)

HIV in PNG – An Ongoing Health Crisis

Over the past two decades, Papua New Guinea has been plagued by the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS in the Asia-Pacific region and there is no indication of the epidemic abating. In order to assess the prevalence of the disease in PNG it is crucial to ascertain the factors which have contributed and facilitated its spread alongside those factors which have hindered effective HIV prevention strategies.

In this essay Louella Fitzsimmons looks at the history of healthcare in Papua New Guinea as well as the political and societal landscape which has allowed HIV/Aids to take root with infection rates rise exponentially. She also contrasts the experience of PNG with that of Fiji.

Historical research of HIV in Papua New Guinea is sparse and so this paper provides a valuable insight into an overlooked Global Health topic.

This essay was submitted in part of the Masters in Social Science & International Development at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

Author: Louella Fitzsimmons  

HD PDF New   HIV in PNG - An Ongoing Health Crisis (2459)

Community Need, Government (in)action and External Pressure: A Study of Civil Society and Land Rights in Mozambique

The growing global demand for agricultural products is generating investment opportunities in land, particularly in Africa where large tracts of land are made easily available by weak government institutions. Without a strong voice or political power, the needs and demands of rural communities who live and rely on this land are often disregarded. There is an effort being made by communities, associations, NGOs and other aspects of civil society to push back and protect the rights of the rural poor.

Using issues of land and land rights in Mozambique as a case study, this research explores how civil society is formed in relation to community needs, government (in)action and investor pressures. Community and investor relations with the land and each other are discussed to better understand the conflict that is being created as a result of increased pressure on land. Within the Mozambican context, conflict between these two stakeholders is generally compounded by the government which practices both bottom up community development and top down promotion of large scale land deals which often ignore the rights of communities. Low levels of education and poor democratic representation has left the rural poor with minimal capacity to independently work towards securing their rights to land, but they are not without resources. Mozambique has one of the most progressive land laws in Africa in regards to protecting the rights of peasants; yet it is not able to prevent the abuse of rural populations which is rampant across Africa. However, there is a growing capacity within civil society, which still is relatively weak compared to the government, to challenge the marginal enforcement of the law.

In researching this conflict during his two-month stay in Mozambique, civil society’s role in community empowerment and capacity building began to emerge to the author as an important tool of protecting peasant rights and promoting rural development. Associations and national non-governmental organisations which form the core of civil society serve to promote community-based development with the aim of making them visible to government and integrating rural Mozambicans into the larger Mozambican society. Ultimately these activities contribute towards enhancing civil society in Mozambique which the author trys to locate between de Tocquevillian and Gramscian conceptions of civil society.

This is a thesis submitted in part of the MA in International Development at the University of Sheffield.

Author: Nicholas Hess  

HD PDF New   Community Need, Government (in)action and External Pressure: A Study of Civil Society and Land Rights in Mozambique (1401)

On Being Indonesian: Heritage Tourism at Borobudur Temple


 

Photography Credit: Stephanie Steels

Tourism can provide a source of economic growth to countries in the developing world. A monument or area designated as a World Heritage site can provide a valuable commodity that can be marketed on a global scale to encourage tourism. International and domestic tourists can contribute towards the livelihoods of the local population as well as generate regional economic development through visiting these heritage sites. However, the needs of tourists may cause conflicts amongst the stakeholders involved in the management, conservation and development of the site.

In Indonesia, the marketing of Borobudur Temple is further complicated by the ongoing process of trying to forge a national Indonesian identity. This has resulted in the creation of multiple identities which are marketed at the global, domestic and local level. The creation an ‘authentic’ experience for tourists has resulted in the displacement of the local population, excluding them from their own heritage. Thus, there is a need to question what is ‘real’ and what ‘created’ to understand the notion of ‘Indonesia’. This short report provides an overview of some of these concerns.

This paper, a dissertation was written as part of a Masters programme at the University of Leeds, UK.

Author: Stephanie Steels  

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Development – a fight between modernity and traditionalism?

This essay reflects on whether there is an irreconcilable tension between the use of methods sanctioned by Eurocentric conceptions of modernity and traditionalism to the design and implementation of development programmes and practices. In it the author will consider some of the evidence for this as set out in the literature and in so doing will consider and define some of the key terms in order to base the discussion on a stated understanding of the concept. It will then go on to consider both the claims made for modernity in a development context and the substantial body of critical literature to come to a conclusion about the extent to which modernity and traditionalism may be in conflict.

Author: Nick Stein  

HD PDF New  Development is a fight between modernity and traditionalism. Discuss. (1928)