Monday, August 20, 2012

Development Dynamics: Concept of development; Changing profile of development administration; ‘Antidevelopment thesis’; Bureaucracy and development; Strong state versus the market debate; Impact of liberalisation on administration in developing countries;Women and development - the self-help group movement.

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DEVELOPMENT DYNAMICS:  The scientific study of Development forces or processes (Dynamics) that produce movement/change inside a group or system.

Before we move on to analyse the meaning of Development Administration it is very important to understand the concept of 'Development'. Development is a complex concept to define,generally it means moving or graduating to a better stage of condition. Development means change plus growth. Development is a process of acquiring a sustained growth of a system's capability to cope with new,continuous change toward the achievement of progressive political,economic and social changes. However, though growth is a pre condition for development it is not a synonym for development and the two should not be taken to mean the same because mere growth of economy does not make it a developed economy,there will be n number of other issues that are either caused by the development like extreme poverty or there will be issues that are standalone like illiteracy,etc. Growth of economy or economic growth is easy to achieve but economic development is not an easy achievement. Economic development is when the means of production are more technical savvy and institutionalised and its distribution is equal among everyone for social justice.

According to planners in India,the concept of development must incorporate the following elements:
1) Economic growth does not mean economic development. There is no surety that a growth in investment,capital formation,industries and national income would alone bring in overall development and social justice. Therefore,we must view development in its totality as one single,unified concept incorporating social,political,cultural and economic angles/dimensions.
2) Social justice is basic to development,that is it provides the base and foundation and principle and objective/goal of development.
3) Development has to be a participative exercise and not a one sided or lobbying affair where only those who are elite and wield power have a say.
4) Self reliance is an important and inseparable aspect of development. In detail it asserts that developing countries should be able to participate in the development process on basis of complete equality in international relations and affairs for reaching an agreement that will be beneficial mutually to both parties involved.
5) Scarcity of natural resources calls for maintaining their balance and not be exploited in the name of development.

Now that we have understood the concept of 'Development',we can move on to understand the theory and concept of administering that Development or Development Administration.

The essence of Development Administration is to bring about change through integrated,organised,and properly directed governmental action.
When Riggs was busy testing the traditional theories of Administration in developing countries like Thailand in 60's he realised the futility of the experiment because the problems that plague the developed societies do not plague the developing countries and so the former's administrative practices did not work in the latter's ecology. He found that in order to bring the developing nations onto the platform of the developed there has to be a lot of development to be done and so these countries were so busy in their welfare and development activities that they developed their own ways and practices of administration in order to sustain the same. Therefore,that is where the concept of development administration was conceptualised. Development Administration as an area of study was propagated as a means to bridge the gaps and missing links in administrative theory between the developed and developing countries.

There is no unanimous definition of Development Administration as such as everyday it is being given newer ones and updated but yes, there are certain characteristics and features of Development Administration that help identify it. Those are:
i) Change Orientation - It is anti status-quo(continuing present situation). It looks to formulate strategies to develop administrative capacities viz-a-viz external environment as well as building activating internal structures in order to speed up socio-economic change.

ii) Goal oriented - It is result oriented that pertain to social,economic,political and cultural goals(including technological) which are progressive in nature.

iii) Motivation - Motivation and that too a high degree of it is a backbone of any organisation and personal vested interests should be thwarted if progressive goals have to be achieved.

iv) Client orientation - It is people centred and aims to provide the maximum services and products to the people/clients.

v) Greater participation of citizens - It involves the great amount of people participation in the formulation and implementation of development goals and policies. It looks to facilitate people's participation and in India the block level and district planning level is part of the govt. initiative to do so at the grass root level.

vi) Effective integration - Effective integration among groups and authorities involved while achieving development goals both at the small and big level.

vii) Innovativeness - Development administration has the approach of problem solving which it does through  applying new methods,structures,procedure,plans,projects and programmes for achieving its objectives.

viii) Responsiveness - Fulfilling the needs of people and responding to the demands and needs of society are its top priorities.

These characteristics and features will be understood after understanding the following two goals of Development Administration:
1) Administration Of Development: Administration of Development means the arrangement and tasks needed to control the operation/plan of development. It is how development plans and policies are carried out or implemented,in short administered. Administration of development involves the following goals/objectives:
a) application of innovative strategies for development. Administrative systems and machinery capacities should be reinforced and built up to implement the programmes and policies in the most optimum way.
b) emphasis on development at the grassroots level. Development has to be a need-oriented and self-reliant process.
c) Stress on social development and human capital as a major resource.
d) Development has to be viewed not merely as a technological problem but also as an ideological norm.
e) Profound and rapid change in order to establish a distinct and just social order.
f) Recognising and highlighting the unity,rather than the dichotomy between politics and administration.
g) Effective and efficient use of scarce resources.
h) Creation of politics-administrative environment which is oriented towards securing basic needs of population.
i) Freedom of administrative machinery to express its values and beliefs without fear or favour on programmes and projects.

2) Development of Administration or Administrative development: Simply speaking it refers to that aspect of development administration where administrative systems and capacities are developed for efficient and optimum utilisation of scarce resources to implement the development policies. It looks to bring out not only procedural,technical or organisational changes to keep the administrative machinery up to date with the societal goals but also to bring about political development,economic growth and social change. It also looks to bring about adaptability,autonomy and coherence in administration and remove corruption.

So now since we have understood the term of Development Administration and its two aspects which need to be fulfilled because they both are interdependent and if one aspect is not fulfilled the other cannot persist. Also we can see the difference between traditional administration of the earlier periods where all that was prioritised was increase in production and efficiency and profits,development administration is concerned about social justice and economic as well as administrative machinery and political development.

1) Goals of administration were being ignored and only the means to achieve those goals were being stressed upon. In detail, only theories and methods were being looked into and no one was looking into what should be the goals of administration.
2) The formation of the Comparative Administration Group in 1960.
3) Newly emerged independent nations after the second world war needed their own indigenously developed administrative model/machinery suited to their ecology and needs of society.
4) UN sponsored development schemes and extension of USA economic and technical assistance plans to the third world and newly emerged independent countries.

1) Administrative systems - Planning Commission,etc.
2) Political Organisations - Political parties,etc.
3) Voluntary associations - Non profit trusts/societies like Voluntary Health Association,etc.
4) People's Organisations - NGO's,NPO's,etc.

As we had discussed earlier that the period of the 50's were a period of development where developing nations imitated developed nations administrative practices in order to develop but that was found to be unsuitable and in fact created a host of new problems and so the period of crisis of that theory began in late 60's and 70's when the CAG/Comparative Administration Group was formed.
Then began the period of rejection of the western ideas and prescriptions and develop their own practices suitable to them. These radicalists like Franck stated that the West were only interested in exploiting the developing countries and nothing else through their policies and funds in the name of development they were providing to the backward nations. This led to a shift in the strategies of the International Labour Organisation and World Bank towards the goal of 'growth with equity'.
But this was termed as a new way of fooling the developing nations once more through bureaucratic stranglehold. But,the western practitioners stated that their principles and theories were the solution but they were not being implemented properly in these developing countries due to various reasons and that is the reason for their failure.
The 1980's was a radical turn in the concept of Development Administration where scholars wanted administration to be flexible and people should be included in the process.
Towards the 90's the very influential 'New Right Philosophy' sprung up which was neo-liberal(modern form of the liberal approach prevailing in earliest time of society) and also the Public Choice Theory(Discussed in previous articles on this blog) emerged that brought a new paradigm to the concept of Development Administration. This led to the Good Governance concept. New Public management also made a huge impact where it was suggested that administration should become more managerial and market based in its approach in order to survive and be efficient. It stated that the state cannot sacrifice social values for achieving efficiency and not go beyond its constitutional limitations.
Nowadays, the Discourse theory of Development Administration is doing the rounds that asserts that development administration should have two major criteria:
a) Human need based approach
b) Sustainable approach
They examined five strategies(liberal capitalism,communist strategy,liberation theology,Islamic fundamentalism,Sarvodhaya/socialist) to find out which one catered to both these criteria. It was found that Sarvodhaya ( read - ) was the only model that contained both the above criteria and if implemented properly will lead to optimum results in Development Administration.
Sarvodhaya(social uplift) is being studied right now and if found can replace the current prevalent strategy which is Development Management and Good Governance Agenda.

It began in 1950's and 60's. It is not against development but only against the western theory of development in developing countries which they termed as full of vested interests and anti-development policies of the West that were being labelled as Development of the developing countries. Reactions to it or it gained prominence during the 70's and 80's and was a precursor to the Good Governance policy nowadays.
The Anti-Development theorists suggested that the western concepts should be debunked and people should revert to their indigenous ways and include people in the administrative process that is the only road to development,through the bottom up approach. It laid stress on the socio-economic, political and environmental traits of the country in question while devising/formulating and implementing development policies and programmes in it instead of blindly aping the west and developed nations where the situation is totally different.

Bureaucracy and development are two components of development philosophy if seen from an overview seem to possess opposing values(ideas) as Bureaucracy represents static or orthodox and rigid values while Development advocates dynamic(moving) values. Bureaucracy viewed by the Weberian model and other theorists pertains to same routine,unchanged and repeated procedures that enable it to continue,achieve its pre-estabilished goals and handle its problems like a system without being influenced by external factors. Development as a concept on the other hand is seen as a phenomenon influenced by the concept of change and is quick to adapt and adjust to changes coming in through both external as well as internal factors on the way to development. It is the administrative process evolved for developing countries. And in the developing countries till now Bureaucracy by shedding its Weberian character is the only neutral,biggest existing and stable machinery that can achieve and lead the way towards the process of development in the developing countries. Therefore in the context of developing countries Bureaucracy and development are complementary and inter dependant instead of being hostile to one another for the purpose of Development Administration. In order to sensitise the bureaucracy for development processes it is suggested to provide them training in attitudinal changes and incorporate dynamic and social values in them to know the requirement,preparation of strategy and implementation of programmes in the present ecological setting in order to uplift the socio-cultural and economic status of the country. Bureaucracy,apart from its own duties like development policy formulation and implementation as well as educating people about the policies has been suggested to utilise their specialist knowledge in order to play the role of a friend,facilitator,coordinator,guardian,philosopher and guide to the factors like market and civil societies as well as other instruments of development administration(as listed above under the same heading) in the process of development and the bureaucrats have been asked to patiently assist people in the same. Therefore,as one can understand now that overall evaluation and implementation of Development Administration programmes are carried out by the Bureaucracy playing the leading role in developing nations.

There has been a constant debate as to what shall be the instrumental influencing factor for the economic arrangement and economic development of a organised state. This is very important because economic development has a very big impact on the development of a nation. There is a question as to whether the Market as in western countries should take the lead to do so or should the neutral and just State be the leader as in developing countries. A State led economic arrangement consists of planned social and economic development through five year plans,etc whereas the Market led mechanism on the other hand is associated with increased economic enterprise/industries and better quality of products and services. Thinkers have supported both ideas and thus there is no synonymous decision on the same. Lets discuss this further in order to understand how exactly both of them are important. A State led mechanism according to scholars,is very necessary as it will be determined in its objective to achieve equitable and all round development in society whereas the Market is only profit driven and it may lead to a disparity in people's status as those who cannot afford the products and services would be further pushed down into unjust social conditions. Market will not invest in new ventures and areas where the profits are not visible thus leading to stagnation and no development,thus a State is required to intervene. They will keep competing among themselves for the same kind of products and services thus leading to unnecessary supply and wastage of natural resources. Even countries who are champions of market driven mechanism have been forced from time to time to bring in the State to intervene and regulate them for the benefit of the people and economy,examples of these are the 'New Deal' arrangement during The Great Depression in the 1930's and in the recession period in 2008.
On the other hand if we take a purely State led mechanism to drive economic arrangement and development in a society then scholars fear that it will lead to a rigid arrangement where even developmental and necessary economic decisions may become victims of routine and rigid rules and regulations and corruption in the name of socialistic perspective and will be pushed back thus leading to no development and ineffectiveness and inefficiency. Market is a very efficient and quality provider of goods and services and they create an arrangement of competition and betterment through the forces of demand of supply.
Therefore,in between these counter views in the era of Liberalisation,privatisation and globalisation post 1990's there has been a sort of compromise between the two schools of thought and we have as a result the arrangements of Public Private Partnership,etc and it has been suggested the State should be present to provide an indicative framework with sufficient free play to market forces in enterprises within that framework. Which means simply that the State shall regulate and create a framework with necessary objectives and goals for development of society and the production of products and services shall be given to the market for proper competition and efficient,quality products and services that will be distributed equally by the State as per its policy framework established. So,both factors will be playing and driving the economic arrangement and development in a society(mostly in developing countries).

Liberalisation refers to an arrangement where restrictions which once existed in an economy are removed or relaxed. State is given the role of a facilitator and regulator of economy and economic enterprise is given more free play to set up their businesses(multi nationals especially) especially at the ground level thus providing more and more employment opportunities leading to economic development. This is the positive side of liberalisation,now lets look at the other flip side of it as well.
It has also led to a big divide among people and their socio-economic and class status in the developing countries as the State is being pushed back and corporates driven by the motive of profit only are taking over in even policy matters due to rampant corruption and corporate lobbying in the Parliamentary proceedings. The corporates only invest and work in those areas and sectors that are profitable to them and do not touch other areas so one area/sector flourishes at the cost of the other's development.As a result poverty is driving people to acts like theft,murder,communal riots and terrorism to fulfill their basic needs and once it starts it carries on because of various reasons thus causing all the more problems. The institutions like World Bank and IMF,etc are taking over policy decisions of developing countries in the name of development and if any country refuses it ,sanctions are laid on it and funds cut off,thus arm twisting is done by Western developed nations for their vested interests through these institutions that are dominated by them and their constant funding.Thus,there is going to be a loss of sovereignty,democracy and community in developing countries due to the constant interference of these global institutions in the State functioning. There is a shift from Government to Governance(the act of governing) that means that a government is not necessary but governance is necessary and that can be done through any organisation.
Thus,to counter all this there is a necessity of the State to play a strong role of a regulator and facilitator and rule maker and operate in a professional manner to challenge the unwanted growth of the private sector through means of comparative studies and analysis as to failures of market in certain areas and it will take over that immediately. The policies and programmes are still to be determined and formulated by the State only in favour of social justice and development and the private organisations to be directed by them as to what they can and cannot do and if not adhered to will attract legal action under the law of the land. The imposition of Corporate Social Responsibility on enterprises by the State has also made a lot of self regulations on these corporates thus making them responsible towards the society and the upliftment of the people. For more please refer to .

A Self Help Group is a small voluntary association of poor people preferably from the same socio economic backdrop,it can be an all women group,all men group or a mixed group and micro credit is given to them for their enterprises. However,it has been found that women's groups perform better in all the important activities of Self Help Groups.
Self Help Groups in India are a catalyst for the economic empowerment of women and poverty eradication. As majority of women lack the assets to help contribute to their empowerment and well being ,economic independence through self employment and entrepreneurial development must be paid attention to and that's why the Govt. of India has provided for Self-Help Groups.Most of the Self-Help Groups are found in India though some are also found in South and South East Asia.
It is usually composed of 10-20 women who make regular small contributions of their savings for a period of time until there is enough money/corpus in the group to begin lending back to the members or other people of the village for any purpose which might be beneficial to the group as an investment and also many SHG's are linked to banks for the purpose of delivery of microcredit(very small loans to impoverished brokers for entrepreneurial work or alleviate poverty as well as empower women and uplift communities). The Grameen Bank of Bangladesh is one example and in fact the pioneer of micro finance providing institution/bank,NABARD of India is another example.Thus these SHG format relieves people of unjust money lending tactics by thugs and heavy interest repayment and allows them to become financially sound.
SHG's are mostly started out or germinated by NGO's for a variety of goals/purposes like birth control facilities,school enrollment,small businesses by women,community,etc.
But,there are concerns too that women should be properly trained before going ahead with an enterprise because only then can she sustain that and earn profits otherwise she will end up having more debts on her head. Also the local govt. like village panchayats,etc need to help curb procedural delays in these groups getting the requisite financial aid from the local banks. And,there should also be a tab and rigid check that people who are better off do not indulge in borrowing money from here.
The Integrated Rural Development Programmes of the govt of India is one of the largest micro finance programmes for SHGs in the world since its inception in 1979. For more information please refer to the Planning Commission website report,the link for which is provided here : .

IGNOU notes -


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The next article on this blog will cover:

Personnel Administration:
Importance of human resource development;
Recruitment, training, career advancement,
position classification, discipline,
performance appraisal, promotion,
pay and service conditions; employer-employee
relations, grievance redressal
mechanism; Code of conduct; Administrative


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