Alternative Development theories for Local Development!
In the course of development of developmental theories the mainstream development theories, such as growth oriented theories and others, have been severely criticised. Gradually, alternative development theories have emerged to avoid the weakness of the earlier theories. The alternative approaches and their methodologies have emerged as development paradigm indicating a theoretical break from the mainstream development approaches.
Some of the alternative theories are concerned with local development. Dependency theory, one of alternative to the mainstream development theories, is concerned with structural macroeconomic changes in the non- western societies in the line of western societies. There is another alternative development approach that emphasises the capacity of people to bring about change with development. This development approach depends on different means: participatory action and people centred development. It does not depend on the other societies or countries for its own development.
Since 1970 onwards alternative development approaches have emerged as people centred development. This development is geared to the satisfaction of needs of the people for whom development is directed. The alternative development is also known as endogenous development. This approach has its own distinct methods associated with it. Usually participatory method is also used for such approach.
The participatory method initiates development process within the community and take into consideration the basic needs of the people for their development. The alternative developments are different from the earlier development approaches in respect of their methodology; a participatory, endogenous, self-sufficient and objectives oriented.
Therefore, development here must be undertaken from within the people and geared to their basic needs. Hettne believes that these are mainstream approaches. He puts least emphasis on the idea of de-modernisation and anti-development theories.
In course of the development of developmental theories, the alternative development approaches have been institutionalised as part of mainstream development. The alternative development is accepted as progressive, but not radical; it does not embrace any clear ideology and this could be absorbed by the mainstream development ideology. Hettne presents “another development” which is combination of the basic needs, self-reliance, sustainable and endogenous development. But this could not be developed as a paradigm or alternative model.
Today there is not much differences between the approaches of alternative development and mainstream development. The components of alternative development approach like, participation and sustainability have been adopted by the mainstream development. There is no difference in principles. Gradually, this approach has become popular as Mainstream Alternative Development (MAD).