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The idea that all countries are still developing is an interesting way to think about development. I also agree that development is too focused on GDP and economic growth as the main measure of progress. But as you mentioned, can we really consider politically oppressive countries "developed"? Bill Easterly discussed a similar idea at the DRI conference last week. He warned about the perception of autocrats as being successful. He noted that despite the overwhelming positive reports regarding autocratic regimes, in reality, they are failing to develop equitable and sustainable societies.
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2011 on Definition Of Development at DevPolitics
It's true that development is not immune to the theory and practice battle. It is hard to know a person's or company's true intentions when they engage in development work. But you are make a good point that if the ideas and the policies behind the work are genuine the project has a chance of sustainability.
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