The Most Confusing Terms in International Development Explained Part 2

Last April we compiled a list of some of the most confusing terms and acronyms that are often thrown around in the international development field (ABCD? CCB? See the full list here.)

Since then, the UN has adopted the Sustainable Development Goals and there has been a new flurry of articles and talks filled with even more development jargon and an alphabet soup of acronyms. We’re here to help.

WaSH – stands for “Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.” These three words each represent issue areas in international development that are all deeply connected to each other. Increasing access to water, as well as education about sanitation and hygiene are often overlapping concerns for global development practitioners. All of these influence health, access to education and nutrition in various ways.

Integrated Development – an approach to development that is holistic, or that cuts across different development sectors. Integrated Development challenges the narrative that a development action can be pursued in isolation, or without addressing overlapping concerns or root causes. In our FXBVillages, we tackle what we’ve identified as the five drivers of poverty simultaneously, and as such, our approach has  been recognized as a model of an integrated development approach.

Extreme Poverty – when an individual lives on less than $1.90 a day. More broadly, the UN originally defined extreme poverty as “a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services.” The $1.90 poverty line is a recent change from the World Bank, which set a $1.25 benchmark in 2001. Under the current definition, 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty.

LDC, The “Third World”, “Developing Country”, “Global South” – terms that have been used to describe countries that have “underdeveloped” industrial sectors, along with low scores on the Human Development Index (HDI). Some terms, like “The Third World” and “The Global South” are rarely used today. Both terms over simplified the realities of the countries they tried to describe, and carried negative connotations. The Least-Developed Countries are 48 countries identified by the UN to have the lowest HDI and socioeconomic development in the world.

Convention on the Rights of the Child – an international agreement signed in 1989 that established the unique rights of and need to protect children around the world. It remains the most quickly and ratified treaty in history.

Global Goals – the new name for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The new, more accessible, name makes it easier to spread the word about the 17 objectives the world will be collectively working toward for the next 15 years.

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