Equity based model of development the need of time | By Dr Asif Maqsood Butt


Equity based model of development the need of time

URBANIZATION is a process of increasing population and economic activity in urban areas. In the case of Pakistan, urbanization has been a rapid process in recent years, with the country’s urban population increasing from 34% in 1998 to 40% in 2017. While urbanization can bring economic growth and social development, it also has several negative effects, including environmental degradation, housing shortage and social inequalities. The UN Population Division estimates that by 2025 nearly half the country’s population will be living in cities.

One of the main effects of urbanization in Pakistan is the growth of informal settlements which are characterized by poor housing conditions, lack of basic services such as water and sanitation as well as inadequate infrastructure. This has resulted in social inequalities where marginalized communities are left out of the benefits of urbanization. These communities are often located in areas that are prone to natural disasters such as floods, landslides and earthquakes which exacerbate their vulnerability.

To address these issues, an equity-based model of development can be adopted which focuses on ensuring that the benefits of economic growth and development are distributed fairly among all members of society. This requires policies and programs that prioritize the needs of marginalized communities and address their specific challenges such as lack of access to basic services and inadequate housing.

In Pakistan, such policies could include investing in affordable housing projects, improving access to basic services such as water and sanitation and promoting inclusive economic growth through job creation and skills development programs. Additionally, the government can work to improve urban planning and infrastructure development to ensure that cities are more resilient to natural disasters and other shocks.

Pakistan, like many developing countries, faces numerous sustainability challenges, including environmental degradation, water scarcity, poor waste management and poverty. However, there is very necessity to recognize the need to pursue sustainable development goals in the country and several initiatives must be launched to provide appropriate environment to rural area natives to grow, rise and contribute in their self-sustainability. This will further support Pakistan’s resilience and Renaissance.

Foster Partnership between Rural and Urban Areas: Encourage collaboration between rural and urban areas in terms of sharing resources, knowledge and ideas. Equity-based investment in various projects will benefit, improve and raise the quality in all sectors with no time.

Educational, vocational and technical training & capacity building programmes with job placement in rural areas, developing small and medium enterprises and small scale industries within their native areas will give boost to all business industry. This will reduce the relative poverty and hence the help to eliminate social evils from society.

Overall, an equity-based model of development is crucial for addressing the negative effects of urbanization in Pakistan and ensuring that the benefits of economic growth and development are shared by all members of society.

—The writer is Public Health Specialist, based in Rawalpindi.

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