4 thoughts on “A2 Geography

  1. Mr Killick you said you would give us a list of all the essays for biodiversity but never got round to it. Wondered if you would put them on here?

  2. Just checking Miss Taylor are we still on with the dressing up for tomorrow’s lesson?
    I just want to make sure…

  3. here’s my essay Miss Taylor;

    Using named examples asses the advantages and disadvantages of top-down and bottom-up development strategies [15]

    Top-down development strategies that are created from a distance from where the strategy is being implemented, they’re usually large-scale strategies that are quite capital-intensive, whereas bottom-up development strategies are usually created by working closely with local communities, and these are of a smaller scale.

    One top down strategy that we can see has been implemented, is the formation of the European union (EU) in November 1993. This strategy shows an example of the use of reduction trade barriers as a scheme for development, as the EU creates a single market, with free trade and movement of resources, and labour within it. Top down schemes of development can be very effective, as the EU has been for a number of members, as it can stimulate the growth of whole economies. We can see this with many members of the EU such as Slovakia who’s GDP grew over 35% between 2005-2012, more than any other member, as a result of this reduction in trade barriers allowing them to export more. This has brought lots FDI into their economy and helped stimulate a multiplier effect, with many large car manufacturing companies setting up manufacturing factories there, such as VW and BMW. This can also be seen in Mexico with the NAFTA agreement increasing FDI into their economy, with it causing a huge increase in exports, mainly to USA.

    Top down schemes usually have a bigger impact than smaller scale bottom-up schemes do, and the EU is again a good example of this, with a number of different economies being benefited as a result of this particular scheme. There are other benefits also, as it put the countries whole economies needs first, and doesn’t focus on particular areas, or small groups of people, which can be ruthless, but can have overall a more widespread benefit. Anther advantage to these larger scale, top-down schemes is the fact that funding them can be a lot easier, even though they require more finances, due to the funds provided from TNC’s looking for a large return, or organisations such as IMF, set up in order to fund these sort of schemes, if they are forecast to have positive effects on development.

    There are also disadvantages to top-down schemes, one of which being the fact that these strategies for development can usually focus on urban areas, and miss out the most rural, and often poorest people in a economy, which can actually widen any development gap that exists. Also if TNC’s are involved in the funding they usually do it in order to gain a resource for themselves, such as what happened in Ghana with the Akasombo dam project, as nearly all of the HEP generated was then used elsewhere abroad by the TNC, as a result of them funding the project, and so in this case the top-down scheme was an expensive failure.

    Another important negative of these schemes is that they have a tendency to not be very environmentally friendly, as economic security, and improvement seems to take precedence over any environmental factors. Many dam projects such as Akasombo dam, previously mentioned, are carried out in an attempt to improve economically, and therefore develop, however they can cause many environmental issues with flooding of areas behind the dam, ruining many habitats, as well as the relative starvation of water to habitats downstream of the dam, relying on the resource. These large projects also can be unsustainable, and have high maintenance costs, due to the higher level of technology that is often used, which as I will mention is usually the opposite in bottom-up strategies of development.

    Bottom-up strategies work in an almost opposite way, but also have their set of advantages and disadvantages. An example of a bottom-up strategy of development in use is the Afridev hand pump, which is used in many African countries, namely Tanzania, and Kenya. This pump is a good example of one of these strategies as it shows how they usually focus on essential to basic living standards, rather than the economic impact that top-down schemes are hoping to have.

    There are a number of advantages to Afridev hand pumps, and other bottom-up schemes. People local to where the project is being implemented usually have a much greater say in these strategies, whereas in top-down schemes the small minority of people, even if they are feeling the effects more as the scheme is local to their homes, can struggle to have any impact at all, however them having a large input isn’t always to the benefit of themselves, as they are usually less educated to make the decision made, than those who would be in a top-down strategy. Another advantage to them is that they are very sustainable, as most of these strategies are simple, and require little maintenance. In the form of the hand pump, it is a simple design, is cheap to manufacture and install, is made for durability, and longevity, and maintenance can be kept in the form of educating locals to ensure the upkeep, who can then pass their knowledge onto further generations. As these schemes attack more social issues than economic ones, and aim to improve quality of life, they have the good impact of closing the developing gap, by bringing more people out of, or a little further out of, poverty.

    One other huge advantage to these types of strategies for development is that they are usually very environmentally friendly in contrast to some of the larger scale top-down strategies. The Afridev hand pump is just one example, but it has no detrimental environmental impact, and so has the desired effect, without this consequence.

    However, there are also a number of disadvantage to bottom-up strategies of development, one crucial disadvantage is the fact that they are on such a small scale, that even a large number of bottom-up strategies is unrealistic to be enough to having a real, obvious impact on the development of a region. This is why they can be used as one type of strategy, but don’t get the drastic, widespread impact of top-down schemes. The other very large disadvantage that these type of schemes face, is the fact that they lack financial backing. Most of these bottom up strategies rely heavily on investment from NGOs as there isn’t really any interest from TNCs as the opportunities for themselves are very limited, as there is little the people running the strategy (not usually government bodies, but instead local communities in need of basic resources) can offer large corporations. Even if NGOs ‘charity’ funding does happen, there may be negative impacts of the dependence on aid from them, created.

    Overall I think that both top-down and bottom-up development strategies have their advantages and disadvantages, which I illustrated through the examples of each that I provided, and I believe that although bottom-up schemes may have less negative consequences to them being implemented, due to the funding issues, and scale they can only really occur, to have a real impact top-down development strategies may need to be adopted also.


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