The main task of development strategy is to ensure that resources will be forthcoming to meet the goals of a development programme, and that the resources are allocated efficiently subject to certain constraints. In our earlier discussion of resource allocation we were more concerned with the investment criteria that should be applied in the light of particular goals than with the efficiency with which resources were to be used, or whether the application of the criteria violated certain of the broader constraints mentioned. This was, in fact, a matter of necessity because ordinary marginal analysis is not appropriate to situations in which the aim is to obtain an ‘optimum’ solution subject to constraints which are not precisely specified (or what are called inequalities, e.g. that no more than R resources should be used). Programming, however, can provide a simultaneous solution to the three basic purposes of development planning, which are: the ‘optimum’ allocation of resources: efficiency in the use of resources (through the proper valuation of resources, and the avoidance of ‘social’ waste); and the balance between different branches of the national economy.
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- The Programming Approach to Development
A. P. Thirlwall
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