Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Planning to Meet “Basic Needs” Some Methodological Problems

For its World Employment Conference in June 1976 the ILO prepared a report [2] in which it put forward the idea that the development strategy for the future should aim at meeting certain “basic needs” for the poorest 20 percent of the people in the different countries of the world. One point ILO put across was that it would take considerably less time to reach a given set of basic needs targets if income within the different countries could be redistributed for the benefit of the poorest 20 percent. The ILO demonstrated the magnitude of the problem by the help of illustrations drawn from a working paper prepared for the ILO [1]. The minimum basic needs which are listed by the ILO include personal consumption items like food, clothing and housing, and services which in many countries are provided by public authorities like water, health, sanitation and education. In addition the ILO report also stresses qualitative elements of development, and calls for greater participation of the poor in decisionmaking in matters concerning their own future.

Ole David Koht Norbye

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