Discussion Leader: Lang Yang (Kate)
March 10, 2010 at the Minnesota Population Center
Priority setting in international development has triggered heated discussion. Using cost-benefit analysis, some economists provide us with "the list of importance" (See TED Talk: Bjorn Lomborg sets global priorities at:
Others advocate for structural change in game rules in the international arena (See Walden
Bello: the Virtues of Deglobalization at: http://www.fpif.org/articles/the_virtues_of_deglobalization)
Direct financial package is criticized as the hotbed for corruption while technological assistance is confronted with security and intellectual property concern. Infrastructure building and direct investment stay strictly within the economic area, while ideological preconditions and democracy cultivation are highly weighed in other cases.
The application of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs) in the priority setting process is open to discussion. Nevertheless, with increased awareness of local needs and anti-paternalism in international development, talking to people from developing countries offers us a precious chance of collective decision making.