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How the Groups of Players Shown Have Both Positive and Negative Impacts on the Development Process

Updated on July 1, 2016
Three groups of players in the development process.
Three groups of players in the development process. | Source

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as Oxfam, are funded by voluntary aid, and their projects tend to be bottom-up, sustainable, and use appropriate technology. This means that they have a significant impact on individual people's lives in developing countries, whereas top-down projects can often fail to improve the quality of life for the poorest people. For example, the Pergau Dam, which was partly funded by tied bi-lateral aid from the UK, sent electricity to Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, thus any positive benefits of the electricity bypassed the poor rural community living closer to the dam.

There are very few negative sides to NGOs' development projects, although they are generally only on a small scale. On the other hand, IGOs' large loans can lead to corruption, and often fail to tackle the root causes of poverty.

The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) are highly controversial, as they force reduced public service spending upon the governments of developing countries. Whilst the IMF cites Uganda as an example of the success of the programme, it has proved to be unsustainable; the debt of many African countries is returning to levels similar to before debt cancellation, but the majority of the debt is now held by private credit agencies, so future debt cancellation may not be as simple as before.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is another IGO which has failed to have a positive effect on the development process, by not forcing trade liberalisation upon more economically developed countries (MEDCs) to the same extent as less economically developed countries (LEDCs), claiming reciprocity needs to be prevalent, yet allowing the European Union to maintain high import tariffs on manufactured goods, effectively blocking developing countries from exporting value added goods produced with their own resources. However, the WTO did contribute to a resolution to the USA's subsidisation of cotton, which was attacked, politically, by Brazil, albeit a temporary resolution. The USA's cotton subsidies reduce world cotton prices by around 9%, which reduces the income of cotton farmers in western Africa by a similar percentage.

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