Exploring an Emerging Development Trajectory
PORET seeks to help Chimanimani District (and the rest of the Global South by example) follow a different development trajectory than that of the Global North. The "development" trajectory of the Global North, more growth than development due to minimal trickle down, has created unsustainable systems that need to be restructured given their inability to provide for needs for all (evidenced by unfulfilling consumerism, homelessness etc.) and their reliance on finite fossil fuels, overuse of ecological resources and services, and contribution to harmful climate change.
Much "development" in the Global South follows this same trajectory, or, as dependency scholars have theorized, is actually for the benefit of the Global North, seen in projects which focus on creating markets for goods manufactured in the Global North, and on producing for export instead of fulfilling real existing local needs. In this way, scholars theorize that the Global North has actively “underdeveloped” the Global South, perpetuating suffering for its own gain, through systems such as imperialism and colonialism. The application of this theory to the Global South monopolizes development imaginaries, policy and practice, and often pits environmental improvements and socio-economic development goals, a false trade-off, against one another.
PORET-Livelihoods will instead be a model of an emerging development paradigm, a plural, sovereign development where people have the right to development that benefits their own socio-ecological communities. This paradigm sees development as betterment instead of growth. The particular trajectory we are exploring moves towards an end goal of sustainable socio-ecological communities, which won’t have to be rebuilt due to unmet needs and overuse of resources. Accordingly, our projects focus on the intertwined goals of ecological regeneration and improving quality of life.