What are the cross cutting themes in economic development and when should they be addressed in the development paradigm? Do they change when a country or society falls into conflict? Is there a linear evolution of more subsidized approaches that would then naturally yield to more market-oriented approaches as a civil society moves from conflict to post-conflict to development phases (more stable governance, security, functioning of local economies, trade, elections, etc.)?
Some practitioners would suggest a measured approach that leads with subsidized asset transfers to build a foundation for more free market initiatives, argueing for the gradual build up in complexity to value chains. Others propose that a “linear approach” is not needed and value chains and market access should begin immediately.
From research and anecdotal evidence, both viewpoints have had some measured successes and spectacular failures. What is right? When is (are) the appropriate time for introduction? How should it be done and on what scale?
One maxim seems to predominate and that is that populations, living in poverty (marginilized, vulnerable, etc.) search immediately and continuously, regardless of context, for sufficient means to support themselves and their families.
Our challenge is to find the correct blend of appropriate measures that enable them to lift themselves out of poverty.