strategy

Promoting indigenous development

Synonyms:
Advocating endogenous development
Promulgating indigenization
Promoting self-development
Building endogenous capacity
Context:
Capacity-building and industrialization are hindered when the gulf between current capabilities and the complexity of the technology in place becomes overwhelming. A mismatch between capabilities and the complexity of technology in place leads not only to industrial inefficiency but also to "negative feedback", so that industrial experience, rather than providing the stimulus for learning of new skills and capabilities, creates attitudes and interests that inhibit the full development of other sectors. The pursuit of a technology capacity-building policy through importing of modern technology ("technological fixes") is seen as unviable and myopic. At the same time, opinion is virtually unanimous that the way answer for nations, regions or sectors trapped in relentless poverty lies in technological capacity-building. The difference lies in what is understood by the term "technological capability" - whether this is a narrowly conceived set of technical skills and managerial practices associated with the operation of specific hardware or whether the emphasis is on the accumulation of a wider managerial/organizational capacity to conceive a new project, select and negotiate for the technological components required, see the scheme through a construction and completion phase, initiate a continuous stream of improvements and undertake investment in discrete improvements in technological capacity-building.
Claim:
Emphasis should be placed on local initiative and learning by the indigenous population. Alternative learning paths should be explored and, when the "correct" moves have been made, there should be persistence and seriousness of execution.

The initiative for innovation and technical learning should not only be guided by local institutions, the impetus should arise from demand for innovation from the productive sector. However, while private sector has a pivotal role and market incentives are vital, these are not sufficient to spur technological dynamism in very low-income nations or sectors. Relying on very rapid exposure to market-driven imperatives, in isolation, is merely another example of a "quick-fix" mentality.

A meaningful and dominant role for indigenous resources should not be confused with a doctrinaire espousal of "self-reliance". The tradeoffs between long-term local learning and short-term exigencies are a matter of judgement and vary according to practical and pragmatic circumstances; timing and tactics may be manipulated as long as the accumulation of domestic technology capacity building remains the ultimate objective.

Although the task of technology capacity-building in least developed countries will not be easy, it is not impossible; some combination of prescriptions incorporating patience, heavy reliance on indigenous resources, cumulative learning and endogenization of technology can begin to turn the tide in favour of technological dynamism in very low-income regions and nations of the world.

Subjects:
Minority, indigenous groups
Promotion
Construction
Development
Progress
Cooperative
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies