Social development in Asia and the Pacific: Major trends and issues

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The economic growth centred in the Asia Pacific region seems to be caught up in the midst of great opportunities and critical challenges such as poverty, inequality, environmental unsustainability and similar issues. To address some of these opportunities and challenges, this chapter suggests drawing on a social development approach. Towards that end, it first clarifies the concept of social development and briefly discusses a social development approach that focuses on practice. It argues that the Asia Pacific region is experiencing seven important trends and challenges. Poverty and growing inequality, and environmental unsustainability are questioning the meaning and purpose of high economic growth rates. A large number of young people and the elderly in the midst of this growth phenomenon are wondering about the opportunities it creates and offers for them. While rural areas are neglected, urban areas are over filled causing pressure on the socio-economic infrastructure. Information and communication technology is also playing a critical role with both positive and negative consequences. Most importantly, governance institutions seem to need significant reforms to address opportunities and challenges the Asian century is presenting. The chapter is of the view that a social development approach with clear goals, values, strategies and processes at multiple levels and dimensions may help people to achieve their goals and realise their potential. To practise such an approach, it calls for a large-scale education and the training of community leaders and social development personnel.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransforming society
Subtitle of host publicationStrategies for social development from Singapore, Asia and around the world
EditorsNgoh Tiong Tan, Steve Chan, Kalyani Mehta, David Androff
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315205755
ISBN (Print)9781138636774
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2017
Event19th Symposium of the International Consortium for Social Development: ICSD 2015 - SIM University, Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 07 Jul 201510 Jul 2015

Publication series

NameRoutledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series


Conference19th Symposium of the International Consortium for Social Development
Abbreviated titleTransforming Society: Trend and Models in Community Leadership and Social Development
Internet address


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