Rowden: 'Poverty Reduction is not Development'

    A hydropower plant in Ghana. An aid expert urges countries to shift to "environmentally sustainable industrial policies" that are based on low-carbon technologies and food production, gender justice, and ecological balance and equity. Photo by: Arne Hoel / World Bank

    Instead of aid effectiveness and poverty reduction, a sustainable approach to industrialization is key to promoting development, an expert says.

    “[P]overty reduction is not development. We seem to have suffered collective amnesia about the history of development, which used to be widely understood as industrialisation – in which poor countries undergo a transformative process out of primary agriculture and extractive industries into manufacturing and services industries with higher value-added over time,” according to Rick Rowden, author of “The Deadly Ideas of Neoliberalism. How the IMF has Undermined Public Health and the Fight Against AIDS.”

    Rowden notes that countries today must shift to “environmentally sustainable industrial policies” that are based on low-carbon technologies and food production, gender justice, and ecological balance and equity.

    “Aid advocates interested in fostering such transitions should call on their donor governments to cease and desist with attaching Washington consensus policies as conditions on most new IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank loans and instead support viable alternatives for more successful economic development, including policies to target higher employment and public investment, enhance domestic productive capacities, and mobilise more domestic resources,” he writes in the blog, “Poverty Matters,” published in The Guardian.

    About the author

    • Dsc05567

      Ma. Rizza Leonzon

      As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.