Information systems for development planning
Shah, M. M.
Schaap, A. D.
De Man, F.
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In this paper the changing approaches to development planning are described, from the economic-growth oriented strategies of the 1950s and the 1960s to the contemporary emphasis on alleviating poverty and meeting basic needs. The process of development planning includes several phases; the identification of aims, analysis, plan formulation and detailed design, Implementation, controls, updating, and feedback and adjustment. This process has become much more sophisticated in recent years, but in general, the comprehensiveness and refinement of a development plan depends on the type and scope of the data available. At the same time, the very process of planning may reveal deficiencies In data and thus act as an incentive to improved information gathering. Three information systems are needed for development planning: a resources information system, whose importance has been recognised for some time but which has frequently consisted of a series of isolated and uncoordinated inventories and studies; a scientific and technological information system' and a management information system, whose Importance has frequently been neglected. Information in these areas must be collected, communicated to government policy makers and administrators to meet their immediate needs, and stored in a convenient and coordinated form so that it will be accessible in the future. More global surveys and inventories will be needed during the eiarly stages of development planning, and detailed project and programme surveys will be needed during the design and implementation stages.