Business and Economics
“Integral economic development” is an approach to development that seeks to strengthen the civil and social institutions required for sustainable development; it takes an integrated view of the person in society as a social being, not as a selfish individual.
International economists today know that good policies alone will not ensure economic development; effective social and civil institutions are required—indeed, they provide the most fruitful context for sustainable development. Functioning social institutions such as the family, the local community, the rule of law, the domestic security infrastructure, and public institutions, are absolutely essential in order for development programs to achieve their objectives. In practice, however, these institutions are often inadequate to meet the demands of development. Successful development initiatives, then, must identify the institutions relevant to the development effort, determine the improvements needed within those institutions, and then strengthen those institutions so they are able to perform the tasks required for development.
At the same time, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) now realize the importance of implementing systems that not only ensure more effective management of development but also measure the impact of their projects in the broader macroeconomic context as well as on the immediate recipients. Concerns have been raised with regard to traditional measures of development. One of the reasons for such concerns has been the metrics typically used to measure and analyze the progress made in advancing the development agenda. For example, an organization that implements a job training program will typically measure the participants’ improvement in specific skills or in income. In addition, however, the organization should also measure the resulting impact on the participants’ families, communities, and cultures as well as on a more complete definition of quality of life.
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Middle States Commission on Higher Education