Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vision of development from a quality of life perspective

Poverty has proved to be one of the most difficult social problems to solve. Of course, there are many different approaches to address this issue that plague the progress of our society. Some people believe in, what I call, "the economic" approach. This way of thinking addresses poverty by using whatever ways to help the impoverished increase their income. The underlying assumption is that higher income will bring purchasing power and lift people out of poverty. Others believe in ,what I call, "the quality of life" approach. This way of thinking generally believes that it is important to focus on well-being as an outcome. As such, ways to address poverty may not necessarily emphasize on growing income. Solutions may include quality education, affordable health care, good career path, etc.

For example, Charles Kenny, a development economist argued in the recent article in the NY Times (link to article) that "the biggest success in development has not been making people richer but, rather, has been making the things that really matter — things like health and education — cheaper and more widely available."

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