Pseudo Development

When a development in a sector imposes destructive impact and/ or increase risk to other sector (s) may be termed as pseudo development to the perspective of impacted sector(s).

Example: a) There is a need to build a bridge on a small river of 70 meter wide. But “road and transport’ sector has the “development” plan (and budget as well) of constructing bridge on the river only up to 50 meter long. So how the situation was tackled? Simply, the river on construction point was squeezed to be fit with the proposed bridge length. During rainy season, both the river banks at upper stream of the bridge are over flowed and caused damage to crops, ecosystem, livelihood and assets. During heavy flood, huge water rushed through the squeezed channel, and the bridge collapsed- resulted into increased risk from flood hazard primarily. And eventually death of the river (at least downstream of the bridge location) is confirmed.

Here, the “development” of “road and transport” sector with 50 meter bridge on 70 meter wide river may be termed as “Pseudo development” to the perspective of several sectors, like disaster, water management, agriculture, ecology, poverty, livelihood and so on.

Example: b) Imagine a small homestead surrounded by dense local tree and plant species of different canopy size, shape and height with multipurpose use. The system protects the house and the inhabitants from cyclone, provide fruits, vegetables, fuel wood, timber, medicine, shelter and food for birds and even recreation to the children. But policy termed the trees as rubbish, because of slow growth. The owner has to be motivated as he obtained some saplings of quick growing exotic trees for free under “Tree plantation development program” and is promised to be included into “family nutrition from home gardening development project”. So all the existing trees are eliminated from the homestead (mostly found the way to brick kiln oven). New saplings were planted with recommended design, gaps and inputs. The trees are incapable of -providing protection against strong wind, fruits, vegetables, fuel wood, medicine, shelter and food for birds and even recreation to the children. In ten years, the few trees grows well around homestead. But during cyclone Sidr’ 2007, most of them were brought down, as the tree species have simple and weak root system. More over, the prime root of the saplings were chopped down to increase the growth rate of overground portion (i.e., timber) and for reducing transport hassle and cost. Unfortunately, one was planted very close to the house. It fell just on the house crushing it completely.

This Tree plantation (and nutrition) “Development program” can be termed as “Pseudo Development” to the perspective of DRR, ecosystem, food security (and nutrition itself!) etc.

Sensitizing any sectoral development with DRR issue is to be the foundation of addressing “pseudo development” in DRR.



3 Responses to “Pseudo Development”

  1. rfaust1954 Says:

    They sound like very poor methods of development, yet we see so many that focus only on a simplistic solution, and seeing other issues as externalities that are unimportant. It’s a kind of blindness.

  2. Saraswoti Byanjankar Says:

    Hello, I am developing a concept for research on nudging stakeholders about pseudo-development. After a lot of brainstorming, I could merge these words to make a definable term. The information provided above made me more clear on this, so I would like to request if you have worked on this more after 2014.

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