Summary of "People Centered Development: Contributions toward Theory and Planning Frameworks"

Summary of

People Centered Development: Contributions toward Theory and Planning Frameworks

By David C. Korten and Rudi Klauss, eds. 

Summary written by T.A. O'Lonergan, Conflict Research Consortium

Citation: People Centered Development: Contributions toward Theory and Planning Frameworks, ed. David C. Korten and Rudi Klauss, (Connecticut: Kumarian Press, 1984), 333pp.

People Center. ed Development: Contributions toward Theory and Planning Frameworks is an examination of the gradual shift from production centered development to human-centered development, with particular attention paid to the conceptual and theoretical frameworks of human-centered development.

People Centered Development: Contributions toward Theory and Planning Frameworks will be of interest to those who seek both an historical perspective and a contemporary interpretation of the human-centered development movement. The book is divided into eight parts and is a collection of the work of multiple authors. The first part is an introduction by the editors and offers an outline of the book.

Authors of the work included in part two "... place the current human situation in a long-term evolutionary perspective. The basic argument they develop is that both the industrial and agricultural societies are in the midst of an important transition involving major changes in values, social structures, and modes of production...". Toward that end, Alvin Toffler addresses third wave developments and the impact of Gandhi. George T. Lock Land discusses directionality in evolution while John Platt examines what he considers to be the greatest evolutionary jump in history.

Part three offers strategies for coming to terms with life on a small planet. Kenneth Boulding examines the economics of the "spaceship earth". Garrett Hardin's famous discussion of "The Tragedy of the Commons" is chapter eight. A case study which examines the managing of the open-access resource of coastal fisheries, supports Hardin's assertions. Part four examines the relationship between competition and the dynamics of poverty. The relative merits of orthodox development economics and the dynamics of concentration and marginalization are examined. Izzedin Imam offers a discussion of peasant perceptions of famine which is followed by a consideration of the seasonal nature of poverty. Chapter thirteen offers a practical consideration of the previous two chapters with an examination of the survival, interdependence and competition among the Philippine rural poor. Simon Fass addresses the political economics of drinking water. The final two chapters of part four discuss the urban bias in world development and the dynamics of dependency and marginality.

Part five is an examination of social learning and the nature of planning and begins with Edgar Dunn Jr.'s estimation of the nature of social learning. This is followed by discussion of the learning process approach to rural development programming. The final chapter of this part addresses the nature of development and planning. Part six offers three chapters which address planning for equity and self-reliance. The first of these presents planning frameworks for people-centered development. The middle chapter presents a territorial approach to meeting basic needs which John Friedman terms 'agropolitan development'. The final chapter of this part considers the self-reliant city.

The penultimate part considers governance by the people and for the people with an opening chapter which examines the crisis of democratic governance. The second chapter discusses empowerment. Richard Nelson addresses organizational responses to public policy issues through the examination of the case of day-care. Grace Goodell offers a conservative perspective on political development and social welfare. The final two chapters of this part offer thoughts on the restructuring of the United States. The final part is David Korten's consideration of the steps necessary to move toward a framework for people-centered development. The text is carefully annotated and easy to read.

People Centered Development: Contributions toward Theory and Planning Frameworks is a collection of the standard works on human-centered development which gives the reader an historical perspective as well as a look toward the future trends in this field.