Conclusion: Linkages and Challenges
We have seen that some aspects of the evolution of development thinking and practice have been quite positive. First, the development agenda has been greatly expanded, bringing development efforts more broadly in line with the full pursuit of human dignity by going beyond economic growth to include equitable distribution, responsive governance, environmental protection, gender equality, and minimization of violence. Second, the expertise in the field of development has deepened and broadened. Development economics, development administration, human ecology, institutional analysis, gender studies, anthropology, and a host of other fields have been deployed to address development challenges. A host of institutions has accumulated and organized vast amounts of information, leading to broader and more nuanced understanding of the dynamics and challenges of development. Third, with experience has come greater pragmatism; in many circles the extreme ideological positions have given way to asking what works in particular contexts. And, as the monitoring of the MDGs has indicated, significant progress has been made in reducing poverty, illiteracy, discrimination against women, and some diseases in many countries, though these problems remain severe in numerous nations as well.
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