Syndicate content

Add new comment

Submitted by Anonymous on
Dear Berhanu, Thank you for this great input. Yes, the 'counterfactual' is hard. But you have already indicated some (partial!) indications. But, I think we can NOT afford to base our conclusions on such partial or as you called it 'selective' comparisons, though important. Indeed, towards the end of your argument, you have touched upon the other important dimension of 'development' topic -- related to democratization, empowerment, etc ( -- leadership that enjoys the trust of all fundamental interests of society). That is why I still insist (see my second point in my previous comment) that we need to have a common, holistic (at least a 'broader') measure of the so-called 'development' on which we can judge quality of different leadership. There are ways. For example, I indicated the World Bank's 2000/1 'Attacking Poverty' indicators, or other similar ones. BTW, this is a result of a most comprehensive research (also involving 'participatory' data collection from 60,000 poor people globally, including from Ethiopia, Dessalegn Rahmato, etc.). You can see the relevance of these (holistic!) indicators -- 1) creating opportunities, 2) improving capabilities, 3) reducing vulnerability, and 4) enhancing empowerment (including democratization). While measuring each one of them is a difficult one, perhaps counting changes relating to the first two or three indicators (e.g phisical roads, schools, clinics, etc) may be 'relatively' easier than the last measure, which is much more illusive. This indicator -- empowerment, including the democratization process, is perhaps what ensures the 'sustainability' of whatever development that is achieved. This brings us to the issue of political development. Can we set some measures to politics (defined as -- 'the distribution of power in terms of both resources and influence' AfDB (2001))? Perhaps we can observe the kind of people in power (and influence!) at federal, regional, zonal, woreda, kebele level. Do the community trust these people or not, etc. So including these kind of indicators can make our evaluation holistic. But the other question that remains after all these efforts would be the 'weighting' task. Simply put, how much weight can we attach, for example, to measures such as growth, poverty reduction, empowerment (political development), etc. Perhaps there is a trade-off between economic development/poverty reduction on the one side and 'empowerment'? Can we afford to welcome economic development/poverty reduction, and forget the empowerment issue (or the vise versa). May be these would raise still more issues. Again, thank you for such an important, thought-provoking input. rgrds,