Author: Ranjani K. Murthy, May 25 2016 - Development discourse has often about paid attention to problems of developing countries, and till recently the analysis was largely done by those in developed countries. Developing countries are the "other" in the relationship - to be dissected, analysed and solutions given. The Millennium Development Goals applied to the "other" countries.
The Sustainable Development Goals, on the other hand, pertain to both developed and developing countries. This is definitely a progress.
However, the 'othering' of development continues in indirect ways.
i) Certain issues affecting developed countries more (but also some developing countries) do not receive as much attention as it should like elimination of racism, migrant-phobia, discrimination against indigenous and nomadic communities, marital counseling, support for children affected by high rates of divorce and rehabilitation of people on the streets. Prevention of substance use deserves larger attention than at present.
ii) The other way the 'othering' of development occurs is putting the responsibility for achieving SDGs mainly on developing countries. There is no mention of removal of subsidies to farmers in developed countries which affects farmers in developing countries. There is no reference to more equitable distribution of global population per square mile. Mechanisms of resource commitment to achieve SDGs are rarely applied, and aid is tied and furthering the model of privatization and mono-culture. For example, support for empowerment of Muslim women - including the right "to not wear scarves"
It is time these two different ways of "othering" of development are addressed. There is a great danger that the development agenda promotes biodiversity of plants and trees, and a mono culture for human beings!
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