Books  Environmental Studies  Sustainable Development: General 

Social Progress and Sustainable Development

By: Neil Thin

Practical Action Publishing

Paperback | Dec 2002 | #133200 | ISBN: 1853395560
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NHBS Price: £14.95 $20/€17 approx

About this book

This title sets out to clarify the meaning of the "social" dimensions of development, with an emphasis on sustainability. It outlines a conceptual framework to facilitate better communication and understanding as a basis for improved policies, implementation strategies, and learning strategies. It reviews the concepts of social development as currently used in policy documents, operational work, theoretical texts, and monitoring and evaluation. The meaning of social development is related to core concepts of sustainable development, and to other specific concepts such as the economy and the environment as well as more closely related categories such as social sectors, social welfare and social security. It concludes that social development would be more useful as a category of policy and practice if it were relinked with the concept of society and with positive efforts to build or facilitate social progress. The analysis and examples draw on the author's recent research and advisory work on social development policy, poverty reduction strategies, human rights assessment, and evaluation and learning strategies.

In Social Progress and Sustainable Development, Neil Thin provides the international development community with thoughtful conceptual guidance that should have positive practical impacts on our work.


Social concepts and principles; Trend assessments and visions of progress; Social planning; Core social development themes; Learning strategies; Conclusions - social issues in policy and practice.

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Neil Thin is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh, where he has been lecturing since 1988. For the past 18 years he has been a regular adviser on social development policy and practice to NGOs, governmental and multilateral development agencies. His experience on international development projects and partnerships, in over 20 countries in South and South-east Asia, Africa, and Latin America, has covered most development sectors including local-level institution-building, forest management and forest policy, natural resource management, trade union movements, and national poverty reduction strategies. He is currently a Director/Trustee of Intermediate Technology Development Group, Director of Edinburgh Centre for Tropical Forests, adviser to the National Lottery Charities Board's (Community Fund) International Grants Programme, and adviser to the DFID Forest Research Programme.

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