Rural development is the key step in developing the underdeveloped nations. Development is principally achieved through empowering the people. Empowerment can be conceptualized as a means, in which individuals are put in a condition that makes them agents of their own development (Potter et al., 1999). Different factors play a vital role in effecting certain changes that ultimately assist in enhancing general development. The first aim is empowering people to enable them assist in effecting the necessary changes, required to improve the rural economy. The first approach in ensuring that people are empowered is making sure that the key problems are eliminated. For instance, the issue pertaining lack of food as a basic necessity should be erased. From Timmer’s point of view, economic development and food security are two dependent things in a developed society (Timmer, 2004).
Development can be comprised of the entire liberal democracy, which encompasses both political and civil rights. In addition, democracy also entails the exercise of dispensing justice both social and economic rights (Spicker, 2007). The latter two factors are vital tools whose significance, if well utilized, can bring development in the society. Whereas culture is used to view development as composed of dispensing both political and social obligations to the subjects, contemporary approach has a varied insight. Due to the diversity and modernization, the issue of development, in terms of democracy, is inclusive of methods and approaches used, rather than political or mere articulations. More emphasis should be given to approaches and methods, used to dispense justice (Spicker, 2007).
The concept of poverty can take a multifaceted dimension. For instance, it may comprise of the economic and social dimension. Economic value of poverty normally entails lack of resources necessary to purchase basic requirements. On the other hand, social dimension entails poor health, lack of education among others. The definition of a term is normally felt upon its application. The meaning of a word, which is diversely used, is likely to have more meaning than it can superficially appear. Poverty, which is a concept that is widely used, has a variety of compositions to define it. These include social, political and moral choices (Misturelli, 2010). Therefore, the alleviation mechanisms should also put into consideration the variety of the definition to fulfill its wide scope of the definition.
Most people, especially in the marginalized societies, have adversely suffered from lack of information, access to opportunities and services and others. Therefore, they are neglected and isolated on the basis of their race, religion, geographical regions among others. They need to be empowered in order to bridge the gap as well as allow them to utilize their maximum potential, required to develop their lives. Participation and rights of the people are necessary in ensuring that poverty is alleviated. From this perspective, poverty should be considered in the larger view of basic needs and addressed properly (Misturelli, 2010).
In dealing with factors that efficiently deal with the empowerment of individuals, there is a need to look into how the conditions, facilitating the challenges, are created and how they are perpetuated. Mostly, the most powerful individuals in the society tend to neglect the duties, bestowed to them by their subjects. They normally work to defend their concerns and welfare and ignore the needs of the society. This is evident not only through the economic ways but also in social and political aspects of development. Developing nations’ authority and other stakeholders concerned with individual development and fulfillment needs to assess these situations and come up with solutions. For instance, extreme poverty can arise out of violation of human dignity (UN, 1993). In this respect, empowering the people can entail well defined political measures that are geared towards ensuring that all people are treated with dignity. They are also supposed to put the necessary measures, aimed at ensuring that all people can enjoy their rights. They should also be empowered through access to natural and social resources such as participation in decision making, freedom from discrimination and access to educational facilities.
Sustainable livelihood policies can be adopted to empower people. In this case, the individuals will try to solve the existing constraints with reference to their causes. These causes mostly emanate from their own environment. The individuals will, therefore, be able to analyze the potential, contained in the environment, rather than depending on external donors. Provision of education and improved healthcare in the rural areas will also ensure that the rural residents are empowered. These kinds of policies improve the wellbeing of the individuals by humanizing the value of life and consequently improved life expectancy. Knowledgeable and healthy workers will participate fully in the development and, thus, productivity to society (Timmer, 2004).
The government can also advise and aid the use of technology in local production. New technologies have been known to give local workers, especially the farmers with a wide range of choices. There should be the existence of a stable macroeconomic environment. This will ensure that there is the creation of more job opportunities that will consequently lead to more choices to the rural based dwellers, for example, farmers, small enterprises, traders and others. The diversified employment opportunities will offer the basis for a dynamic economy in the rural areas and provide people with necessary jobs (Timmer, 2004).
The recent years have seen a general move of poverty being defined in terms of income and with interventions purely based on basic needs approaches and welfare (Potter et al., 1999). The irrelevance of these existing models has seen the definition acquired a more in-depth definition that caters for the needs of the current demands. It also caters for the constraints that hinder full realization of individual’s potential.