Here’s a question. What is ‘development’? When we are talking about the term in relation to international aid, how do we define the term ‘development’?  

For many, it seems easily understood. A simple formula of economic growth, infrastructure improvements and modernisation. That’s it.  

But over recent decades, the currency of development has shifted from money and buildings to people. The importance of people as the focus of development was emphasised by Julius Nyerere (Tanzania President 1981-1995), when he said, 

“Development means the development of people. Roads, buildings, the increases of crop output, and other things of this nature are not development; they are only tools of development.” 

So, when we talk about development. Let’s talk about people. Let’s talk about helping people. Helping them to expand their capacity. We can do this by training and equipping, by allowing space and opportunity, by requiring accountability and feedback, and by encouragement and cheerleading.  

Everyone needs to know others believe in them. 

And then let’s see where this type of development takes us.