Welcome to this first Henry Stewart Talk
on Development Economics.
I'm Julie Schaffner.
I'm a Development Economist
in the Fletcher School of Law
and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
In these talks we'll be using
the term development
to refer to a process of economic
and social change that makes life better,
raises well-being for many people. And especially
for people around the world who are poor,
meaning that they are living with less
than a minimally acceptable level of comfort,
security and opportunity.
This series is designed for viewers
who want not only to learn about development
but also to become more engaged
Perhaps, by becoming more
or donors to charitable organizations
or perhaps, more directly through
new career directions
involving work with governments,
or any of the many private enterprises
that are part of the international
development community today.
In this introductory talk,
I'll first briefly address
two motivation questions.
Why study the general subject of development?
And why study development economics
I'll then offer an overview
of the structure
that development economists
bring to their study of development,
describing how they approach
three important tasks
which I'll call, defining
the development objective,
understanding the development process,
and designing and analyzing
We'll be using the term policy
very broadly by the way,
to encompass any sort of policy,
project or program
introduced with the aim
of encouraging development.
Polices can be introduced by governments,
or private sector enterprises alone
or in creative partnerships.
Development policies in this sense
could include anything
from programs distributing cash,
food or insecticide treated bed nets,
to programs of road and school construction,
to offers of loans or insurance contracts
to poor households
that are unreached
by formal financial systems,
to the development of legal
and law enforcement systems
that protect property rights,
to macro-policies toward international trade.
So the term policy is really
just a short hand expression
for almost any kind of
action development actors
might take to encourage development.