Development Planning: Definition, Types, Reasons & Problems

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Meaning of Development Planning

Development Planning can be defined as a systematic or carefully formulated course of actions/policies designed to achieve the developmental goals of society.

Development Planning
Development Planning

Types of Planning

Planning can be classified either accordin g to its focus or according to its time frame. Here are a few examples.

  • Long-term plan: This is technically known as perspective plan. This plan takes a long range view of-the economy and can cover a period of 10-20 years.
  • Medium-term plan: This ranges from annual plans to plans extending to two or three years.
  • Regional plan: This is the type of plan that focuses on the specific regions of a country.
  • Sectoral plan: This focuses on the relationship and needs of different sectors of the economy.
  • National plan: This covers all geo-political units in a country.
  • Indicative planning: This is the type of plan which relies to some extent on market forces to allocate resources. The government only provides rules, ceilings, rates, guidelines and penalties for non-compliance.
  • Comprehensive planning: This touches all aspects of the economy, small and big enterprises, domestic and foreign trade, prices and output decisions of firms, wages, production target and inter-relationship between sectors.

Reasons for Planning

  • To avoid or minimize waste in the utilization of scarce societal resources, through coordination and rational allocation to all sectors.
  • To rank or prioritize developmental goals of society and allocate resources to those sectors that are regarded as the most needed.
  • To take care of the inadequacies of the market forces or private sector in the provision of certain essential goods and services.
  • To help sustain a nation’s economy by ensuring that the nation is not living above its means.

Probiems of Development Planning

  • Successful planning in developing countries is made cult by a number of factors:
  • Non-availability and poor quality of data even when available.
  • Frequent political changes and poor quality of leadership.
  • Lack of discipline, commitment and capacity to implement what is in the plan.
  • Inadequate fmancial resources from both mtemal and external sources.
  • High level of corruption.
  • Inadequacy of administrative, professional and managerial skills.
  • Over ambitions and unrealistic plans.
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