The Distinctive Features of a Basic-Needs Approach to Development

  • Paul Streeten


There are two ways of defining a basic-needs approach to development (BN). The first sees in BN the culmination of 25 years of development thought and experience. On this definition, BN embraces the components of previous strategies and approaches, such as rural development, urban poverty alleviation, employment creation through small-scale industries, “redistribution with growth”, and other poverty, employment, and equity-oriented approaches. The merit of such a definition is that it rallies support under the appealing banner of “Basic Needs” from a wide variety of people and institutions. The new element is a shift of emphasis towards social services designed to help and mobilize the poor, and an extension of “new style” projects in nutrition, health and education. The fact that BN means many things to many people is, from this point of view, an advantage.


Development Perspective Income Growth Fertility Decline Land Reform Employment Creation 
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© Paul Streeten 1981

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  • Paul Streeten

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