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Discussion of International Development

Evaluate Theories of International Development

International development focuses on engagement with economically deprived regions to empower its people to improve their welfare by addressing the causes and impacts of poverty. Modernization theory is among several ideas used in international development, and it became prominent in the 1950s and 1960s in connection to understanding social and economic development issues. The theory is essential since it helps create policies that assist social and economic transitions in poorer nations (Thompson, 2017). The approach urges developing countries are underdeveloped as their traditional values hold them back.

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Dependency theory is also used in international development to explain economic under-development that focuses on the punitive constraints enacted by global economic and political order. The theory of dependency merges elements from the neo-Marxist perspective to Keynes’s economic theory. Some of the liberal economic ideas arose from Europe and the United States due to the depression years. Recognition of the industrial segment is critical in accomplishing better national development than the agricultural segment as industries contribute to more-value added goods.

Theoretical approaches to understanding international development

Development theory is a collection of theoretical approaches on desirable change in society and how to accomplish them. Most of these theories draw on numerous social science disciplines as witnessed by modernization theory, which analyses how communities’ transformation occurs. The foremost principle of modernization theory may be derivative from the idea of progress, stating that people may develop and change their society independently. Modernization is a homogenous procedure, and it produces inclinations toward convergence among communities.

On the other hand, dependency theory is fundamentally a follow up of structuralism thought, and it shares numerous of its primary ideas. Underdevelopment is currently used by dependency theorists in the third world or developing nations to demonstrate the outcomes. There is a description that emerging countries were intentionally made underdeveloped to allow extraction of labour and resources. In terms of planning, thinking is not the problem but the extractive collaboration between the cores and periphery. The solutions can only be obtained via de-linking or cutting off those relationships through revolutions.

Developing Countries Statuses

Third-world nations do not have a homogenous set of traditional values; moreover, their value systems are mostly heterogeneous between traditional and elite values. There are some similarities amongst classical modernization surveys and new modernization reviews as observed in the consistency of research focusing on the developing countries. The analysis is at a country level and uses three key variables: cultural values, social institutions and internal factors.

Eventually, regarding external conflicts and factors, classical modernization emphasizes more attention to the new practice approaches.

The dependency theory ascribes that developing nations provide cheap labour and natural resources to developed countries. It indicates that without cheap labour and raw materials, the developed nation’s high living standards could not be attained. When developing nations try to stop the fundamental influence, the developed states hinder this attempt by controlling them or using other measures. Seemingly, poverty in developing countries is not due to disintegration in their systems but from how they are integrated into the system.

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Usefulness of theoretical approaches to international development

The world still faces substantial challenges: conflict, inequality and climate change; nonetheless, the global quality of life across several nations is improving. It is important to note that, across the world, fantastic advancement is being made as over 1 billion people have been elevated from abject poverty since 1990 (Thompson, 2017). The United States government has a long history of bipartisan working relationship with and within international systems to enhance evidence-based development solutions and proprieties. From 2105, global developments are shaped by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a fifteen-year agenda divided into seventeen diverse objectives.

International development programs are driven using theoretical approaches pegged on country ownership, support and partnership of their commitment and capacity to solve internal development challenges. The involvement in international development programs helps combat poverty and enables the progression of peaceful and sustainable communities. Indeed community development was used as a tool to touch societies directly and their immediate benefits and attention in terms of education and local social services.

The Role of Institutions in the International Development Context

A country economic and social institution dominates the procedures of economic development. They determine conditions, attitudes and motivations since when institutions are elastic; they inspire people to create economic opportunities. There are also higher living standards, and economic development attributed to the practice. In contrast, if the institutions discourage opportunities, they will hinder economic growth. People in every country should desire progress, and their political, economic, legal and social institutions ought to be favorable. In a broader sense, institutions motivate socioeconomic growth to the level that can promote economic opportunities and trade.

Cross-national empirical reviews analyses combined with micro-level studies offer robust support for the overwhelming significance of institutions. They predict the development levels in countries worldwide. Ostensibly institutions deliver economic development using four broad methods: by determining the cost of monetary transaction, the level of appropriation and oppression, the degree of appropriability of return on investment (ROI), and the class in which the environment is suitable to increase social capital and cooperation. Formal institutions tend to manifest informal institutions as social norms in the domain of class, gender and caste.

Global International Development Context

The term global development is increasingly used, and it is more suited if applied with diverse implicit meanings. It is conflated chiefly with international development by enduring tensions between geographical and variation and universality (Horner, 2019). Mostly linked to the North-South binary, the word ‘international development’ appears habitually inappropriate for incorporating numerous actors. There are procedures and significant challenges by which the world participates in the early 21st century whereby development interventions are aided from Northern nations to the south.

Ideally, global development lacks a definite explanation but is mainly connected to human development and international determinations to reduce inequality and poverty. Moreover, there is the improvement of health care, job opportunities and education across the globe. One may use multiple data to demonstrate what is frequently referred to as international development, such as average per-capita income and gross domestic products. Other measures for action include maternal survival and literacy rates, human rights, life expectancy, press and political freedoms. For several years, global developments were steered by the United States and most industrialized nations in European Union and beyond. Nevertheless, today there is a transformative change and shift to a multipolar world economic order.

Development Institutions at the Local, National and International Level

Regional and local government’s development cooperation provides a solid response to improve the day-to-day lives of the local communities through the provision of essential services. Furthermore, the establishment of a conducive condition for local development improves decentralization and local governance. Community-based organizations (CBOs) plan, implement, and monitor socio-economic development programs and deliver financial and technical assistance to communities. CBOs positively impact the processes of rural changes such as improvement in health care, increased income, literacy status and nutrition to populations. Within community development, there may be multiple sources and forces of action for change implementation and improvements.

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National development institutions operate within the country borders by helping citizens to accomplish developments agendas. They are primarily established and funded by the federal governments, but others are non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

These institutions may receive donations from outside the country through the supervision and guidelines of the national governments. The national institutions typically coordinate and support the development work of the CBOs to identify areas that require the most support. On the other hand, there are four significant international development and economic institutions, namely: World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and World Bank. There are other international NGOs that supplement developments, such as Action Aid and Oxfam.

The Roles of NGOs in International Development

Lack of social development is a common occurrence in many developing countries. Therefore, NGOs have arisen to complement government’s development initiatives to realize ongoing socio-economic development. In the recent past, most developments programs and funding are channeled through NGOs as they are flexible, efficient and accountable. In return, the NGO institutions alleviate poverty, improve social welfare and support developments across the board. NGOs have no formal or fixed definition, but they are usually defined as nonprofits independent from government influence. Nonetheless, they may obtain state’s funding.

NGOs have charity status, and they may fundraise, using numerous voluntary contribution and donations from the public. Moreover, they can also receive grants from national governments and international development institutions. Some NGOs are small, and they focus on regional and specialized single areas, while others are enormous global institutions with a massive budget and working in multiple nations. Some provide different development projects in various fields as well as support diverse micro-level programs. NGOs primarily perform some critical roles in development, such as:

  • Development functions: focusing on aid projects such as rural education and health scheme developments in conjunction with local populations.
  • Empowerment functions: strive in empowering local communities in trade, livelihood and business.
  • Education function: support of schools and training of the people to gain gainful skills.
  • Emergency aid functions: during or after a natural or human-made disasters,
  • NGOs offer support for people to regain their livelihood to where they were before the calamity strike.

Measurements of Development to Countries Using Tourism for Development

The tourism industry emerges as a core force for sustainable socio-economic development worldwide. Sustainable tourism entails visiting location without harming nature, local communities and having constructive effects on the environment.

Tourism includes transportation to a specific place, leisure accommodation, shopping entertainment and nourishment (Manzoor et al., 2019). The travel and tourism sector is a vital economic activity all over the world. Moreover, the industry has remained a significant source of employment and income generation both directly and indirectly. Developing nations are reaping a vast foreign exchange from the tourism sector that is boosting sustainable development and growth (Manzoor et al., 2019). Seemingly tourism revenue is complementing foreign exchange derived from the international trade of products and services.

The measurement and provision of reliable tourism data need active coordination and involvement of key players such as national statistics, tourism ministry and other related agencies. Verifiable tourism data is vital for all aspects of tourism to measure the nation’s competitiveness in the global arena. Similarly, critical data particular to the tourism sector relate to the industry’s expenditure, visitor flows, and structure. Countries measure the size and number of tourism business, commercial activities, employment levels, and pay.

A Range of Measures of Development

Tourism is ranked number three as a global export category in 2015, after fuels and chemical products, but ahead of automotive and food product. Tourism characterizes almost 10 percent of the global GDP and 30 percent of worldwide services exports (Manzoor et al., 2019). Various developing countries rank tourism as the first export sector, and its cross-cutting and labour intensive character creates a connection to numerous other economic positions and sectors. The vibrancy of tourism as a driver of sustainable development in developing countries is dependent on the presence of strategies and policies for investment and trade.

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The context of tourism investment and trade is partly set as national guidelines and international agreement framework. Furthermore, the country’s tourism plan ought to be seen as a set of objectives and direction of the industry in promoting development. Tourism is recognized as among the key development sectors in many countries and a key creator of income and wealth. Moreover, it promotes the international image and perception of the country externally. Countries have a range of measures of development that are guided by:

  • Tourism direct GDP.
  • Inbound tourism earnings per visitor.
  • Overnights in all categories of accommodation.
  • Labour productivity in tourism services.
  • Exports of tourism services.

Developments Indicators on Status of Countries Using Tourism

WTO has urged countries to use sustainable tourism indicators for over three decades now, as an essential instrument for planning, policy-making and management procedures. Indicators are designed to address the connection between tourism, developments, and environments and their impacts on communities. The development indicators for countries using tourism for development entail:

  • Tourism and economic growth: tourism plays a dynamic function in the economic development of developing nations more than developed ones. The sector is viewed as an instrument for income and employment generation by importing capital good commodities trade, among other activities. The economic impact of tourism and development can be induced, direct or indirect.
  • Tourism and capital development: today, tourism is a determinant of foreign direct investment (FDI) in any country as demands for tourism-related facilities and amenities such as bars, hotels, beaches, casinos and theme parks require more investments.
  • Tourism and energy development: the sector requires energy at each step of its daily operations. Suppliers and tourists need energy for their transport, while hotels and restaurants use energy for accommodation and food preparations, which increases energy demand. Developing nations are currently embracing green energy such as solar, wind, energy-conserving appliances, and waste management.
  • Tourism and agriculture development: most developing nation’s economies are agriculturally based, and tourism contributes substantial revenue for the sector. In most rural areas, tourism is used as a strategy for agriculture and development. Furthermore, the industry increases demand for local foods production and consumption, supporting farmers and generating income. The enhancement of tourism brings a link between the industry and agriculture as it stimulates local production and advances economic benefits to communities.
  • Tourism development and poverty: the sector has in many ways eradicated poverty in society as it is a tool that developing economies have used to: generate foreign exchange, attract international investment, provide job opportunities and increase tax revenue.

The Relationship between Tourism and International Development

The impact of inbound tourism on national development and economies has become increasingly crucial due to the expanding size of the tourist market. The expansion of international tourism and travel generates global economic growth and development (Ohlan, 2017). Besides, tourism has become a considerable stimulator of new infrastructure, increased competition and human capital. In 2015, world tourism day was celebrated with the theme being ‘One Billion Tourists; One Billion Opportunities,’ which indicates the enormous growth of the sector. With over one billion tourists traversing international destination each year, the industry has become a massive economic sector, spurring international development opportunities. The contribution of tourism and travel to countries GDP is expected to surplus 10.8 percent by 2026 (Rasool et al., 2021). The industry is boosting countries’ economies and bridging the gap between developed and developing nations.

Impacts of Tourism to Destinations

Tourism impacts destinations both positively and negatively. The typical-described domains of tourism affected include social-cultural, economic, health and environmental dimensions.

  • The economic impacts comprise increased income, improved tax revenue, better living standards, and employment generation.
  • Social-cultural impacts: there is cultural interaction between people of diverse background, behaviours, relationship and attitudes.
  • Environmental impacts: entail carrying capacity of the area, air quality, vegetation, water bodies, natural phenomena and wildlife.
  • Health impacts: there are both positive and negative health outcomes for local populations, such as road accidents, risk of diseases transmission, crowding, among others. On the other hand, positive health impacts include improved healthcare, novelty, positive emotions and social interaction.

Relationship between tourism and sustainable development

Sustainable tourism development, management practices and guidelines are applicable in all tourism destinations. This may occur, in the course of normal mass tourism and numerous niche tourism sections. The sustainability principles entail economic, social-cultural and environmental aspects of tourism development. Sustainability consists of three interrelated elements comprising: social-cultural, ecological and economical. On the other hand, sustainability infers to permanence as each sustainable tourism must make optimal use of resources, social impacts and minimize ecological effects. The local communities should obtain maximum benefits, whereas environmental conservation is paramount. Ideally, sustainable tourism development calls for informed participation of all pertinent stakeholders and robust political leadership.

How tourism is used for international development goals

Tourism has the possibilities of contributing directly or indirectly to development goals. Seemingly, the sector has been incorporated to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically goals number 8, 12 and 14 that consist of sustainable economic growth, consumption and production. Sustainable tourism is firmly positioned in the year 2030 plan; nevertheless, accomplishment requires a perfect implementation framework, investment in technology, human resources and infrastructure. Tourism has also been incorporated in the following goals.

  • Goal one: No poverty, as the fastest growing industry, it eradicates poverty
  • Goal two: Zero hunger, it spurs agricultural productivity by promotion of production
  • Goal three: Good health and wellbeing, the sector has knock-on-effect concerning wellbeing and health
  • Goal four: Quality education, the industry provides incentives in vocational and education training
  • Goal five: Gender equality, tourism empowers women in numerous ways.


Horner, R. (2019). Towards a new paradigm of global development? Beyond the limits of international development. Progress in Human Geography, 44(3), 415-436. Web.

Thompson, K. (2017). Modernization theory. ReviseSociology. Web.

Manzoor, F., Wei, L., Asif, M., Haq, M., & Rehman, H. (2019). The Contribution of Sustainable Tourism to Economic Growth and Employment in Pakistan. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(19), 3785. Web.

Ohlan, R. (2017). The relationship between tourism, financial development and economic growth in India. Future Business Journal, 3(1), 9-22. Web.

Rasool, H., Maqbool, S., & Tarique, M. (2021). The relationship between tourism and economic growth among BRICS countries: a panel cointegration analysis. Future Business Journal, 7(1). Web.

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