The Right Based Approach to Regional Development : Putting Back Equity in Development Policy

The conventional wisdom of economic growth is at stake in the current debate of regional3 development. Over the half century from its first inception during Harry Truman’s inaugural speech on January 20, 1949, the development projects have failed to meet their promises, instead they move to opposite direction: ‘massive underdevelopment and impoverishment, unfold exploitation, and oppression’[3, p. 4]. The achievement of high level economic growth does not necessarily resolve the fundamental problems of poverty and unequal income distribution [4, 5].

Bar‐Ela and Schwartz [5] reviews the burgeoning body of literatures on regional development and find that economic growth often requires a concentration of stronger elements of the economy, such as: investments in regions with better infrastructures and populations with better education and skills. This situation inevitably leads to the concentration in selected populations or regions of benefits from growth, which will then generates inter‐personal and inter‐regional disparities [5]. This framework of analysis can be used to explain the disparity phenomena in Indonesia despite of the high level of economic growth achievement.

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