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ENCYCLOPEDIA FOR DEVELOPMENT PRACTITIONERS

The Concept

During the course of our different works we experienced that those who work in development sectors sometimes have difficulties in having appropriate grasp of different terms and concepts that are important to the debates within the sector. As a result, their endeavors to conceptualise their intervention and engage in a constructive dialogues with other participants of the sector remain handicapped. This lack of conceptual clarity thus also adversely impacts their activities in the field.

We have also observed that with the ongoing research and new findings in development sector both in the policy and academic world, the concepts and terms undergo revision, the debates around them acquire new dimensions and enrichment and their policy relevance accordingly change. NGOs, civil society activists, and Organisations, government professionals and even researchers those specially working in backward areas with less opportunities of exposure to the developments of new ideas and concepts in the field are thus additionally handicapped of continuing to work with a knowledge base and level of understanding acquired in the past.

Finally, when with these limitations such Organisations and individuals try to engage with each other in sharing their experiences and learning from each other with differing and inadequate understanding of key terms of debate their communication and learning process also suffers. Dialogues sometimes take place at cross purposes, not because there are genuine difference of views, but because of misinterpretations and lack of communication, resulting in inadequate and contradictory understanding of terms and concepts in such dialogues. With these experiences in the background, we thought of putting in some effort to produce a reference document containing the definitions, and the key dimensions of a wide range of terms and concepts that are critical to understanding the debates in development sector and also to shaping policies and programs in actions both in the civil society as well as the government sector. As a result the document prepared by us lists: Gender, Development, Adolescents, Health, Research Methods terms and concepts. Divided under crucial themes of development sector, the different definitions and their key dimensions have been compiled from studying the relevant authentic documents produced by a very wide range of national and international development Organisations, such as UNDP, IFAD, IPPF, UNESCO, UN-HABITAT etc. Where the same terms and concepts have varying definitions or definitions with varying nuances, they have been compiled at one place to allow the users to grasp a full range of views and their inherent differences to make most out of them.

We hope that this will prove to be a helpful reference document for those who are involved in furthering the goal of social transformation and are engaged in meeting the complex challenges of development that particularly the developing and relatively backward countries encounter. We are happy that in doing so we have been able to further one of the core objectives of our Foundation which aims at extending support to the development practitioners and activists with quality information and an improved knowledge base for sharpening their understanding and practices. It is crucial therefore that we should be able to make this document widely and easily accessible to the large community working within the development sector by publishing it and also by making CD ROMs and making it available at an affordable price.

Adolescents & Mental Illness Education Empowerment Family & Human Culture Feminist Terminology GENDER

Hindi terms Population and Housing Participatory Rural Appraisal Research methods Sexual & Reproductive Health

Violence against Women