Write on the Role of Quantitative Techniques and It Contribution to National Planning and Development

Topics: Economic growth, Economics, Macroeconomics Pages: 11 (3861 words) Published: September 15, 2012
Write on the role of quantitative techniques and it contribution to national planning and development Introduction
Today planning and especially national planning face a rather important dilemma. It has been a fact that in recent past, there is a loss in the interest on the quantitative methods and analysis and increasing popularity of soft techniques, parallel to the use of limited quantitative analysis. In this change, the shift from comprehensive and rational planning to communicative planning has been very important. The planning under the communicative rationality, focused on building frameworks that aimed consensus generation process depending on socially constructed priorities, paid limited attention to problem solving and identifying quantitative definite targets. However, in the contemporary period, planners are increasingly becoming unsatisfied on the outcomes and looking for new alternative approaches. Why did the quantitative analysis, which had the prime importance in planning in 1950s and 1960s, loose its importance in the post 1980s period? Why today there is increasing criticisms on the decreasing importance of quantitative models in regional planning? What is current role of quantitative methods in planning? First, the changing rationality in which the planning is based upon; second, the changes in growth theories and third, the changes in spatial/regional development theories. These three streams of theoretical debates are very much interconnected and constitute the different segments of economic and political regime in a certain period. The brief analysis on these theoretical concerns introduced in the paper clearly shows why we have the problems of quantitative methods in the recent past and explains the current approach to quantitative models.

Quantitative techniques and it contribution to national planning and development While the contemporary idea of planning is rooted in the Enlightenment tradition of modernity, in the 20th century Mannheim's ideas on planning that attached systematized social scientific knowledge and techniques to the management of collective affairs in a democratic society became the source of inspiration for the rational decision making. Later, the attempts to systematize core areas of knowledge in planning development led to the rational planning model, which became a guide in the planning profession and as an approach to problem solving in the public sphere beginning from 1950s onwards. Instrumental rationality dominated planning theory for more than 20 years, which based upon positivist perspective. Positivism holds that the scientific method is the best approach to uncovering the processes by which both physical and human events occur and asserts that the only authentic knowledge is that which is based on sense experience and positive verification. By drawing on Keynesian economics and policy studies in political science, this approach highlighted planning's role as correcting market failures related to externalities, public goods, inequity, transaction costs, market power (Shiftel 2000). In this period, the rules were set out for welfarist redistribution, and governance mechanisms emerged to legitimize the distribution of welfare services among different social groups. Most of the existing literature has defined the governance practices of the Keynesian period as idealized forms, which obscured the different mechanisms that have been used by the system to work under the pressures of different interest groups. Beginning from 1960s onwards, Keynesian economic model that supported by the strong state and modernist ideas and the rational decision-making faced important criticisms. The 1970s and early 1980s literature on urban movements, provided a clear indication that not everything was acceptable in the urban areas of the welfare states of the Western world (Castells 1983). Social movements were important as a plea for participation, protest and the demand for a...
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