Sharing the Experiences of Inclusive Growth
“Inclusive development” does not have a universal definition, but based on various definitions imparted such as by Rauniyar and Kanbur, Ianchovichina and Lundstrom, and the United Nations Development Programme, this concept may be defined in sum as growth coupled with equal opportunities, whereby all of society has equal access and contribute equally to opportunities through non-discriminatory practices, participation in decision-making and sharing of benefits, in line with human development approaches. Consequently, aggregate leaps in development are not considered to be inclusive if these do not benefit all of the citizenry. For instance, the Institute for Development Studies (Sabah) reported in 2008/09 that Sabah continues to lag far behind other states in reducing poverty despite decades spent stressing upon poverty eradication, and in spite of impressive national poverty reduction rates as a whole. Correspondingly, inclusive development should incorporate private organisations in addition to government bodies. These include non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private firms for their niche expertise in helping to develop and implement effective and long-term development proposals. While privatisation is not a new phenomenon, civil organisations-led development pushes have yet to take off in Malaysia. One notable example is Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, a microcredit institution which has benefited thousands of families through its micro-credit and micro-finance initiatives. Similarly at the political decision-making level, truly inclusive development should not rely merely on a centralised government setting policies for the nation as a whole, but rather, various aspects of decision-making must be passed down to states and localities such that these regions retain a reasonable amount of power to freely exercise political authority in order to more efficiently and effectively respond to the needs of their respective communities.