Social change and mental Health Essay.

Social change and mental Health Essay.


GIS experts identified the problems of transferring GIS technology to relate to a readily identifiable set of obstacles surrounding data availability and maintenance, training and institutional readiness and also the problem of participation (Mather 1997). According to Mather (1997) two concerns arise about how GIS experts see the role of this technology in the Third World countries without consideration of the impact it might have on existing development practices;

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First concern GIS is presented as a solution to underdevelopment as if no other development practices existed as illustrated by Hastings and Clark’s(1991) assessment of how Africa is often viewed as a laboratory with unique opportunities to do something correctly from the beginning. The second concern relates to the emphasis by GIS experts on rational planning. This is the feature of the technology that has made it extremely attractive to development agencies and their emphasis on the importance of participation.Social change and mental Health Essay.



Several GIS writers involved in development work identified participation as a factor which has contributed to the failure of technology transfer in the past, and which they think may guarantee its success in the future. From their views participation means drawing clients into the design process to ensure that the implementation of the technology is sustainable. Both these concepts that is the rational planning and the GIS view of participation sit very uneasily with current development thinking and are incompatible when considering contemporary development thinking and practice in rural areas of the third world (Mather 1997).Social change and mental Health Essay.

According to Ferguson (1990) the mid-1990s rural development practice and thinking had no claim to objectivity and rational planning and that the experience of rural development since the late 1960’s showed that ‘development’ is a profoundly political process. Projects were considered to fail because local leaders were not involved in the process of development interventions that promise resources and improved living standards and, as they did not perceive any personal benefits from the initiatives.

Examples of such rural development initiatives that face such problems is one in Swaziland, the development initiative challenged the power of the local leaders (Sallinger-McBride and Picard 1989), the case of women who are marginalized from the new development efforts they resisted and derailed the development initiatives (Mather 1997). There are several cases like that, where the agency intervention has failed due to the inability of aid workers to predict the political implications of their intervention in rural areas of the Third World.

The development workers had to respond by acknowledging the political implications of their intervention and to devise strategies of negotiating the complex process of development (Chambers 1993) and Mather (1997). 4 CHAPTER 3 5 5. 1 DEVELOPMENT The South Report (1990) cited in Ingham (1995) stated that, “True development has to be people-centred. It has to be directed at the fulfilment of human potential and improvement of social and economic well being of the people. And it has to be designed to secure what the people themselves perceive to be their social and economic interest”(the South Report (1990).Social change and mental Health Essay.


A development is a gradual actual act or process of changing; progressing through a number of stages towards some sort of state of expansion, improvement or completeness or a state in which the subjects true identity is revealed. This can be transitive or intransitive. It means in reference to countries it is possible for a country either to develop by itself or to be developed by outside agency (MD Anisur Rahman, 1991, p. 19). The term development was born as part of “True man design” of 1949 in response to the emerging cold war between the two great rival ideologies (Conyers and Hills, 1984, p.22).

It was not widely used with reference to countries or groups of people until after the Second World War. Prior to that the people who had some knowledge of both developed and underdeveloped societies were aware of the significant differences between them. People in developed nations were concerned only with changes designed either to improve their access to the natural resources of the underdeveloped world or in a few cases to introduce some of the more basic characteristics of civilisation including the provision of a few basic services and conversion to Christianity.Social change and mental Health Essay.

Meanwhile, in the underdeveloped countries themselves, knowledge of the developed world was often so obscure that the potential for change was not at that time fully recognised. After the Second World War, the notion of development began to appear the colonial powers began to accept the need for social and economic development and even the reality of political independence in their territory of occupation. This was partly the result of growing pressures for development and independence from the citizens of these countries (Conyers and Hills, 1984, p.24).

While all societies have experienced development, it is equally true that the rate of development differed from continent to continent, and within each continent different part increased their command over nature at different rates. Underdevelopment therefore is not absence of development, because all people have developed in one way or another and to a greater or lesser extent. Underdevelopment makes sense only as a means of comparing levels of development.

It is very much tied to the fact that human social development has been uneven and from a strictly economic viewpoint some human groups have advanced further by producing more and becoming wealthier. In Africa development was considered possibly only by emulating the ways of the “developed” countries – their aspirations, values, culture and technology. The so-called “First and second” world countries offered financial and technical assistance in patronising assumptions of superiority in the march to civilisation.

The threat of Bolshevik Revolution inspiring Third world sought to be countered by a promise of “development” and “development assistance” will help the “underdeveloped” societies catch up with the “developed” (Md. Anisur Rahman, 1991 p. 8). The state of development to which the underdeveloped nations were assumed to aspire was more or less synonymous with the type of society, which existed in the developed nations. This society was described by Rostow (1959) an economist who was responsible for some of the earliest theories of development as “High Mass consumption society”.

In the mid 1960’s, people were beginning to question whether the concept of a high mass consumption society was really a goal to which developing countries should aspire. (Conyers and Hills, 1984, p. 24). The new concepts of development are those concerns with the general quality of human life and the natural environment. According to Goulet, (1978) “there is no better way to achieve a total development than to develop the best model of development that stimulates any society to forge for itself on the anvil of its own specific conditions. (Goulet, 1978, quoted in Wilber and Jameson, 1979).Social change and mental Health Essay.