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Planning and Sustainable Development

Dr. Ahlam Abdelbaki Elqobati


After the Second World War, the issue of development and strategic planning received great attention, whether at the level of governments or individuals, and at the same time the division of the world’s countries increased into developed and developing countries. Rich countries that include less than a fifth of the world's population and get two-thirds of the global income, and poor countries live in the tragedy of poverty and backwardness, despite the fact that most of them possess enormous natural resources, including Yemen. In these developing countries reside more than two-thirds of the world's population, while their share is less than one-seventh of the global income, and among them are middle-income countries, which include less than one-seventh of the world's population, and receive one-fifth of the global income.

Planning is a process by which future programs are drawn up on clear methodological foundations. It is of great importance and necessary for the progress of countries and changing their situations for the better. As for development, it is a planned strategic process, to achieve a deliberate, cumulative increase in long-term dimensions, and it needs continuous support through organized efforts that move society from a state of stagnation and backwardness to a state of progress and development.

In this context, a report issued by the United Nations indicated that the problem of developing countries is not only their need for economic growth, but rather their urgent need for sustainable development, according to the actual needs of their people, whether social, economic or environmental.

There have been many attempts aimed at defining the concept of development, until it has become a common concept among individuals or bodies, and to a degree has created a kind of confusion between it and other concepts: such as progress, advancement and economic growth. The economist, "Schumpeter", was the first to try to distinguish between economic growth and development.  He saw that growth usually occurs due to the growth of population, wealth, resources and the level of saving, Whereas development results from development, innovation and change for the better, and growth is represented by quantitative changes in some social and economic variables. As for development, it includes changes in various qualitative and quantitative variables.  It is clear from this that growth precedes development and occurs in the short term, while development is a phenomenon that occurs in the long run, and that it can only be judged after a relatively long period of time has elapsed.

It was stated in the definition of the United Nations for the year 1956 that development is a package of measures by which the efforts of individuals and the government are unified to improve social, economic, cultural, environmental and health conditions in societies, to push them towards integration in the life of developed countries and contribute to their progress as much as possible.

In addition, both "Seltz" and " Rostow" agree that development is achieved through the abandonment of the developing societies for the traditional features that prevail therein, and working to adopt the characteristics prevailing in developed societies, as the administrative systems in developing societies are characterized by bureaucracy and complexity in procedures and decision-making, and this affects the appropriate development planning process and the level of achieving its goals.

It is regrettable to say that the social component in developing countries is one of the challenges of sustainable development.  Therefore, these countries must devise appropriate strategies for development planning. It becomes a priority when setting policies for strategic planning, as development planning is defined as the path through which decision-makers seek to draw a systematic map to solve social and economic problems, and preparing collective thinking to achieve the development goals of the country, preparing individuals and groups and enacting laws and legislations, to organize and improve the life of society. Undoubtedly, the most important stage in development planning begins with preparing the community, through an educational system that is balanced with the requirements of the stage, in line with the scientific developments and Multidisciplinary, at the level of all fields, and far from politicization or political wrangling.

Sociologists and development scholars point out that the development of any society takes place with the participation of members of society themselves in the efforts made to improve the standard of living in their surroundings, after providing them with the necessary skills, capabilities and services to help them, and in a manner that stimulates self-reliance and positive participation, and to achieve this, they must have a high degree of coexistence between them.

Others discussed that development is a systematic move, according to strategic planning for a set of economic, social and educational processes. It is carried out through a specific ideology to achieve the desired change, in order to move society from an undesirable state to a desirable state to reach.

Thus, it must be taken into account that the development planning should be a comprehensive planning, covering all economic, social, environmental, cultural and human fields. This is what developed countries such as Japan and the European Union follow, by relying on human capital to move their institutions by supplying them with highly skilled human resources. What distinguishes planning is a holistic view, so that it is not limited only to the economic aspect.

Basis for proper planning to achieve development:

  1. Laying down various development plans, programs and projects they contain, for implementation requires identifying the needs of individuals and societies in a sound and systematic manner. Good planning is an integrated organizational means that helps to achieve development goals.

  2. For any civil or governmental body to develop a strategic plan, it should have a clear vision of what it wants to achieve, with clarity of its mechanisms and methods, by which it will achieve its goals. It is necessary in advance to analyze exactly what is expected of the strategic plan, what it will include, what processes and tools will support it, and how its actual implementation and achievement will be measured and monitored, how the development will take place during its adaptation to the changing global environment, in which this body is required to provide the services assigned to it.

  3. Good planning for the various developmental processes leads to coordination of efforts and non-conflict of plans, thus achieving savings in implementation costs and the time required to complete them, thus ensuring the safety of implementation and reaching the desired goals at the lowest costs and with an appropriate period of time.

  4. Good development planning seeks to offer solutions to the potential difficulties and obstacles that fall into all stages of implementation, so it invests the human, economic, natural, administrative and political capabilities to face them. Its effective use is represented in achieving various development goals, which leads to the success of the plan and the sustainability of its developmental impact.

  5. To reach the long-term development goals, appropriate planning is necessary, which helps to develop appropriate plans for resources, potentials and capabilities, to achieve the ultimate goals.


In conclusion, the concept of development has been associated with the economic aspect for a long time, while it is broader than that, as it deals with the development of human capital, the development of human resources, and the development of the local community socially, environmentally, culturally, technologically and economically.

The concept of development is that it is a process that takes place according to strategic planning, according to the requirements of peoples and countries, and is directed in various fields, that makes a change in society, to improve its conditions and the conditions of its members, by meeting the requirements of society, removing obstacles and achieving the optimum utilization of various potentials, energies and resources;  In order to achieve progress and growth for society, prosperity and stability for its members.

  • Development planning is the main driver of development and reconstruction activities trends, and it requires a high degree of coherence between the priorities of society's requirements and between all development projects, whether they are economic, or social, political, security, or research programs, as well as the scientific and technical production programs.  Development planning aims to achieve a set of goals and turn them into reality within a specific period of time and according to specific procedures.  The development plans must proceed in perfect harmony and in parallel lines for all fields

It should be noted here that the makers of strategic, reconstruction and developmental plans should engage in a participatory process with community members for development planning, not because members of society are more aware of their requirements, and more aware of how to achieve them. and when members of the community have a role in development planning, they feel that any plan that is implemented is their plan and will strive to make it successful, and this matter is rarely available in relation to the plans imposed on the local community from outside, but there is another reason that is that many international grants require community participation as one Of the financing requirements for development projects and programs.

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