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Sustainable Human Development at the Grass Roots: Different Contexts, Similar Ingredients?


  • Meera Tiwari
  • Solava Ibrahim


This article explores the conceptualization of sustainable human development within the Capability Approach. It goes beyond replacing “human needs” with “human capabilities” to extend the sustainable development premise into a sustainable human development discourse. In so doing, the article first presents an in-depth discussion of the meaning of sustainable human development using the Capability Approach and theorizes the dynamics of capabilities that maybe necessary for sustainable human development. It then grounds this theoretical framework in two self-help group models of grass-roots development from India and Egypt. These case studies provide a common conceptual platform within different contexts to explore the “genre” of capabilities being deployed towards achieving sustainable human development. The paper concludes by identifying the determinants and “lubricants” of human agency as well as their impact on sustainable human development.

Suggested Citation

  • Meera Tiwari & Solava Ibrahim, 2012. "Sustainable Human Development at the Grass Roots: Different Contexts, Similar Ingredients?," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 69-85, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:40:y:2012:i:1:p:69-85
    DOI: 10.1080/13600818.2011.650161

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barbier,Edward B., 2007. "Natural Resources and Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521706513, April.
    2. Ruth Alsop & Mette Bertelsen & Jeremy Holland, 2006. "Empowerment in Practice : From Analysis to Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6980.
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