Local authority and the awaited development [Archives:2008/1140/Opinion]

March 24 2008

Abdurrahman Saif Ismail
Before we talk about local authority and the awaited development, we should first indicate that development reflects the community needs for progress and prosperity amid growing poverty and unemployment, plus social inconsistencies and varied resources and savings.

Economic and social development has turned to top the list of priorities in all the world countries despite their different political systems and economic policies. Economic and social development has become the only concern for countries worldwide while the growing interest in development at the world level is a natural product of the negative consequences, which the World War II left behind. Those consequences include mass destruction in the various areas, notably in countries that were parties in the war.

These days, development suffer from fatal destruction as a result of the party-oriented policies waged by the United States of America and its western allies against nations around the globe, thereby connecting the world economies and developments with their destructive policies.

Due to such a dire situation, comprehensive development has become a social and human necessity sought by peoples worldwide while the development process is presented today as one of the basic options for building capacities of backward or underdeveloped countries, as well as improving their development and construction tools.

Development by itself is a vital process that involves all community members and the various social and political institutions. Therefore, governments and social revolutions moved toward specifying their top priority activities in line with the comprehensive development.

What does development mean? It is a process of positive transformation of the standing economic and social situations into what is better. The successful development is the one that is closely correlated with peoples and their basic needs. It is the one directed by good planning or preplanned actions.

Planning doesn't necessarily mean development by itself, however, it is one of the indispensable tools for achieving development. Good planning helps in achieving objectives and suggesting workable means required by these objectives. It is also the means of intervention and control, but if the goal of control is to manage natural resources and exploit them in an ideal way, the process will be named 'economic planning'. And, if the goal of control is to utilize human resources to the maximum possible, the process will be called 'social planning'.

The local authority may play a distinctive role in this regard, thanks to its very close relation with the local communities and its being aware of their basic needs. This authority undertakes urgent duties to create good social dynamics and then direct them toward development and effective development planning.

Repeated failure of economic planning is attributed to negligence of social planning. As a result, we perceived this fact at an early time while man or human resources turned to be always present in our development plans and steps. For the time being, the local human resources are not given any priority in our programs and agendas due to the weak financial provisions, on the one hand, and poor social awareness about this subject on the other. Man or human resources constitute the cornerstone in development, its objective and ultimate goal.

When we say that the local authority has made a real revolution, we then perceives what such a system made, plus the other essential and comprehensive changes it will make in favor of effective development action, but on condition we managed well this action and restructured it in a way serving the comprehensive local development.

Additionally, successful development necessitates that the local authority's role must be aware enough to lead to creating responsive social dynamics within the executive bodies that enjoy preparedness and constructive foundations needed for building the modern state of Yemen. In order to achieve the sought-after objectives, this process should move toward local governance with broad powers because development becomes more able to achieve certain objectives sought by the local communities under this system (local governance).

Under the local governance system, development seems to be independent, and primarily depends on the economic, social, financial and local resources, as well as on the strong competition between the various regions and their local resources. Another condition required by development is that of stability and security, which may not be satisfied as long as local councilors feel oppressed and that their community wealth is wasted in issues that have nothing to do with development.

Also, development requires the kind of administrative division that fulfills local community needs for security and stability. Such a division must develop geographical and historical loyalty among community members. Another essential condition that needs to be met in this regard is that of distributing resources fairly and establishing an urban center for each administrative unit having even the simplest components required by good civilization and development.

Source: Al-Thawra State-run Daily.