The essays contained in Part One of this book crystallize the work, essentially transdisciplinary in nature, carried out in various countries in Latin America by a team of researchers. It was prepared over a period of eighteen months with the collaboration of professionals from Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and Sweden. Their expertise covered such academic disciplines as economics, sociology, psychiatry, philosophy, political science, geography, anthropology, journalism, engineering and law. The participants constituted a stable core group that guaranteed continuity in the processes of collective investigation and reflection inherent in the project. From the beginning, close working relations were established, thus nurturing an intense intellectual exchange. The participants gathered together in three workshops during the project, which was conducive to a profound reflection on various aspects of the development problematique. In addition special guests were invited to each of the three workshops and enriched the quality of the debate.
The proceedings of each of the workshops and the working papers produced by the participants form the basis of this book. The final compiling and editing was the responsibility of the CEPAUR staff, whose challenge was to integrate in a coherent manner the diverse inputs rather than just reflect the particular opinion of each of the participants. The document produced on the basis of the three workshops was then discussed at a final evaluation seminar at the Dag Hammarskjöld Centre in Uppsala.
The conception presented in this book is a contribution to development philosophy. As such, it offers suggestions, while remaining open to further elaboration.
This project was the result of the joint efforts of the Development Alternatives Centre (CEPAUR) in Chile and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Sweden. It grew out of the need to place the Dag Hammarskjöld Report of 1975, entitled What Now: Another Development, in the Latin American context, giving special consideration to the myriad changes that have occurred in the last decade. The text that follows aspires to have as interlocutors persons involved in regional and local development, planning, politics, academic disciplines concerned with development and, most importantly, those dedicated to the humanization of a world in crisis. Thus, the ideas presented here are an attempt to integrate lines of research, reflection and action that substantially contribute to the construction of a new paradigm of development, less mechanistic and more humane.
Part One of this book was published in Spanish as a special issue of Development Dialogue in 1986 under the title Desarollo a Escala Humana: una opción para el futuro. That version was then translated into English by Joey Edwardh and Manfred Max-Neef and appeared in 1988 as another special issue of Development Dialogue.
A new section, "A Note on Methodology," has been added to this book version, as have the final two chapters which constitute Part Two of the book.
The first of these new chapters is an expanded version of an essay on "The Pruning of Language," which was published in 1988 in modified form in Development, the journal of the Society for International Development. The second chapter is an edited version of the Schumacher Memorial Lecture delivered by the author in October 1989 in Bristol, England.
Both of these additions to the present book represent, if not finished products, at least paths into new and open fields of research and reflection. They underscore the elusive and never-ending search for final answers in the quest for human betterment through development.
The Development Alternatives Centre, CEPAUR, is a nongovernmental organization of international scope, dedicated, through research of a transdisciplinary nature and action projects, to the reorientation of development by stimulating forms of local self-reliance, satisfying fundamental human needs and, in a more general sense, to promoting human scale development.
The offices of CEPAUR are at Avenida Santa Maria 349, Apt. 42-B, Santiago, Chile, and mail should be addressed to CEPAUR, Casilla 27.001, Santiago 27, Chile.
Executive Director, CEPAUR.