[I]t is not at all clear that the quality of life has a direct, one-to-one relationship with the level of production or even the breadth of access to what an economy produces. Without doubt growth plays a central role in the increasing of human welfare and the dignity of life. But other dimensions and challenges to development play at least an equally important role. Unfortunately, many of them are not easily measured in conventional economic terms, nor addressed through usual economic programmes and policies…. The non-economic dimensions of development often escape the attention they deserve because the degree of risk of not doing something is often under-estimated. Secondly, when dealt with competently and over time, they actually support and sustain the health of the economy as well as other aspects of society.
From the perspective of forty years of work, and the experience of the agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network, institutional development stands out as critically important to broad-based sustainable change. By institutional development, I mean the strengthening and refocusing of existing institutions, as well as the creation of new institutions and policies to support them…. No country to my knowledge can achieve stable continuous growth if its civil society is constrained by inherent institutional instability.
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