The Importance of Planning for Development
Planning is a vital function which enables efficient utilisation of resources and enhanced economic growth of any country. The government has to establish effective plans for future infrastructural expansions. Without proper planning, the country may face developmental issues in future. There are various development models which the state can follow in order to achieve successful development.
The link between planning and development has been established since a long time. In ancient times, rulers used to appoint ministers who would help in carrying out state functions such as planning for war, irrigation, public works, etc. In modern times, the role of planning has evolved and now it encompasses various aspects such as economic development, social development, environmental protection, etc.
2. The link between planning and development
The term ‘planning’ has been defined in various ways by different scholars. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, planning is “the process of deciding what to do in the future and how to do it”. Similarly, the Oxford Dictionary defines it as “the process of making decisions about the use of resources”.
Development can be defined as “a process whereby an area or country becomes richer, more populous, and more advanced” or “the improvements in the quality of human life that result from economic growth”. It is generally accepted that there is a close link between planning and development. Without effective planning, it would not be possible to achieve successful development.
3. Planning as a governmental function
Planning is generally considered to be a governmental function which is carried out by the state in order to achieve developmental objectives. The government initiates planning process by formulating policies and programmes which are aimed at improving the socio-economic condition of the people. It is important to note that not all countries have an explicit planning mechanism. In some countries, planning is done implicitly through different programmes and policies which are aimed at promoting economic development.
4. Economic development
Economic development is one of the most important objectives of planning. It can be defined as “a process whereby an area or country becomes richer, more populous, and more advanced”. The main objective of economic development is to improve the standard of living of the people by providing them with better employment opportunities and access to essential services.
In order to achieve successful economic development, it is important to have a sound infrastructure in place. Infrastructure includes roads, railways, communication networks, etc. which are necessary for the smooth functioning of an economy. Additionally, it is also important to have a skilled workforce which can contribute towards economic growth.
5. Social development
Social development is another important objective of planning. It can be defined as “the improvement in the quality of human life that results from economic growth”. The main aim of social development is to provide basic amenities and services to the people so that they can live a comfortable life. Some of the basic services which are provided under social development include education, health care, housing, etc.
It is important to note that social development cannot be achieved without economic development. For instance, if there is no economic growth then it would not be possible to provide basic services to the people on a regular basis. Moreover, social development is necessary for achieving other developmental goals such as poverty alleviation and gender equality.
6. Environmental development
Environmental development is another important aspect of planning. It can be defined as “the process of improving the quality of the natural environment”. The main aim of environmental development is to protect the environment from degradation and pollution.
There are various environmental problems which need to be addressed such as global warming, deforestation, climate change, etc. It is important to note that environmental problems cannot be solved without the cooperation of different stakeholders such as industries, individuals, etc.
7. Sustainable development
Sustainable development is a recent concept which has been gaining importance in the field of planning. It can be defined as “development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. The main aim of sustainable development is to achieve a balance between economic growth and environmental protection.
8. Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of eight goals which were adopted by all United Nations member states in the year 2000. The MDGs are aimed at improving the socio-economic condition of the people by 2015. Some of the MDGs include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, etc.
The MDGs have been instrumental in bringing about a change in the way development is viewed by different countries. They have helped in shifting the focus from purely economic development to sustainable development.
In conclusion, it can be said that planning is a vital function which helps in enhancing the economic growth of any country. The government has to establish effective plans for future infrastructural expansions. Planning is generally considered to be a governmental function which is carried out by the state in order to achieve developmental objectives. The main objectives of planning include economic development, social development, environmental protection, etc. The concept of sustainable development has been gaining importance in recent years. The Millennium Development Goals are a set of eight goals which were adopted by all United Nations member states in the year 2000.