International development is concerned with the long term development of countries and communities in the developing world. International development work combines academic theory and research with practical implementation of development work on the ground.
What is International Development concerned with?
International development is concerned with developmental and policy level decisions that can alleviate poverty and improve the living conditions of a population. Therefore, International development may include work to develop infrastructure, education and health care systems. It can also include working closely with governments of (often previously colonised) countries. For eample, the Africa Governance Initiative (set up by Tony Blair) works closely with the governments of African countries such as Rwanda and Malawi to help them to develop independence.
Should International Development be seen as different to Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief?
Yes, the main difference is that international development's focus on long term effects. Some humanitarian aid and disaster relief may involve short term or emergency supplies such as food and medical supplies. International Development would be more concerned with the long term re-development. such as the development schools and hospitals is a post-conflict or disaster area.
What are the challenges of International Development?
International developments key concern in sustainability. It aims to fulfil the needs of the people themselves, rather than what aid workers 'think' that other countries need. This means that a lot of research and collaborative work is needed to make international development a success, which can be challenging.
International development workers need to have a sound understanding of political and historical contexts of developing countries. They also need to understand the bigger picture and long term plans for a country. This can be challenging on a personal level when someone wants to help a particular individual, but this would not fulfil the aims of their international development project.