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Approaches and Strategies for Holistic Social Development | OMICS International
ISSN: 2151-6200
Arts and Social Sciences Journal
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Approaches and Strategies for Holistic Social Development

Radhika Kapur*

Department of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, University of Delhi, India

*Corresponding Author:
Radhika K
Department of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension
University of Delhi, India
Tel: 9811336649
E-mail: [email protected]

Received: July 03, 2015; Accepted: August 20, 2015; Published: August 25, 2015

Citation: Kapur R (2015) Approaches and Strategies for Holistic Social Development. Arts Social Sci J 6:119. doi:10.4172/2151-6200.1000119

Copyright: © 2015 Kapur R. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Besides educational, economical, financial and social development of an individual, it is essential to bring about holistic social development as well; in order to bring about holistic social development of an individual, it is vital to understand certain approaches and strategies. In this research manuscript, there have been certain areas that identify the significance of holistic social development and these have been sustainability, some basic principles for a holistic approach to sustainable development, usage of technology, technology leads to development of the students, promoting science and culture for development, holistic approaches to early child development, and holistic development strategies. In order to bring about holistic social development of an individual, there have been number of aspects that play a crucial role such as ones family, community, educational institutions, learning, technology, science, culture and development of the ways of effective communications. In India, in rural areas, most of the individuals are still living in deprived, socio-economic backward sections of the society, they are poverty stricken, they lack the opportunities to go to school to acquire even basic literacy skills which are essential for them to develop and they do not have access to proper employment opportunities; these factors have been regarded to be the main impediments during the course of holistic social development. When individuals do not have access to a social network, when they are residing in seclusion and when they have not developed within themselves effective communication skills then they would encounter obstacles during the course of their holistic social development.


Holistic social development; Sustainability; Technology; Students; Science; Culture; Early child development; Strategies


Holistic social development is concerned with the social development of the human being into a whole person from the perspective of developing capacities into nine domains: a) temperament, personality and self-views, b) cognition and thinking, c) affect and emotions, d) conation volition or self-regulation, e) physical and bodily-kinesthetic, f) social/interpersonal, g) spiritual/transpersonal, h) moral character and i) citizenship. There is exponential growth in an understanding of human capacities and the potential for human development; every human society has dealt with issues of preparing children and youth for adulthood, the potential benefits have never been greater for providing the proper learning experiences so that the young individuals too can thrive as adults. There have been various procedures that have been initiated in the process of holistic social development: the first step is the identification of potential capacities that could be developed via guided learning experiences is to investigate human capacities concerned to be intelligences as these refer to an ability or aptitude for learning. The second step involves the investigation of the available research, whether it depicted that the movement from capacity to competence could be facilitated through guided learning experiences and third step is to examine the most expected contexts within which individuals will make use of those capacities.

As there has been an increase in human populations, there has also been an enhancement in the quantity of pressure on the natural systems and resources for the purpose of sustainability; the very continuation of worldwide life-sustaining resources is intimidated, this can be referred to as the global sustainability challenge. Within the developing countries, a greater stress is placed on poverty stricken, underdeveloped rural populations, who face struggles for their upliftment and progress. It is not just the cause of widespread poverty within the developing nations that have been the main impediment during the course of progress and holistic social development; on the other hand there is an extensive agreement that appalling governance and dishonesty in particular are progress and social development inhibitors. In the absence of democracy and transparent strategies, dishonesty dominates these communities and corrodes the belief that ultimately disfigures the focus toward a better future [1].


When looked from the holistic point of view, sustainability is a composite and a multifaceted vision of development. It is a multidimensional model of development which limits economic growth and other human activities to the capacity of nature for selfgeneration, it places the improvement of the human condition, which means social and human development for cost-effective growth as its primary goal, and places respect for environmental quality and the limits of nature at the core of any economic, political, educational and cultural strategy. Development should be based upon equal opportunity in order to be compatible with the principles of a holistic understanding of sustainability which implies that poverty, underdevelopment and political deprivation, as well as wealth and opulence as its antithesis stand in a causal relationship with environmental degradation. In India, around 70% of the population is residing in rural areas, the rural areas within the country are still underdeveloped and people are overwhelmed by the problems of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy; when these three kinds of social malevolencies will continue to prevail, then they would certainly cause impediments in the path of sustainability and holistic social development, therefore, establishment of educational institutions, development of talent and creativity amongst the rural masses, availability of job opportunities for them, improvement in the agricultural sector and adequate food and water supplies will assist them in progressing, sustainability and holistic social development.

Some basic principles for a holistic approach to sustainable development

Structuring of a set of basic principles serve as a foundation of the formation of a holistic approach to sustainable development:

1) For sustainable development to take place, there must be some kind of an interaction or coordination among all of the factors and agents which intervene and act in a locality, region, or country; new combination of efforts is required which takes into account the interests, values, ways of thinking, experiences, skills, etc. of all the agents such as public and private sectors, international organisms, agencies, local communities etc.

2) Sustainable development requires a redefinition of the predominant patterns of distribution of wealth in such a manner that more equitable forms are adopted, which allow the necessities of the deprived individuals to get fulfilled; particularly, the most disadvantages of the communities.

3) Sustainable development requires a redefinition of the relationship between human beings and nature, implying a change in the values which have up till the present, governed this relationship.

4) Sustainable development requires the recognition of intergenerational equality, which implies the assumption as an ethical imperative of respect not only for the right of the present generations to a healthy environment, but also the right of future generations to inherit from present generations, a healthy and ecologically balanced environment.

5) Sustainable development requires the establishment of a new international order, which implies a more just redistribution of global wealth and opportunities and a greater equity in relations between the countries.

6) Sustainable development is achievable only if the limits of nature’s capacity for regeneration are acknowledged; this principle implies a necessary reduction of economic growth to within the nature’s limits and capacity for self-regeneration; thus, to achieve ecological sustainability, respect for the limits of nature should become a moral obligation and a responsibility of all human beings.

7) Sustainable development requires that communities be selfsufficient, that people’s control over their own lives be increased and that the social and cultural identity and decision-making capacities of societies be preserved and reinforced.

8) As a holistic process, sustainable development requires an indissoluble dialectic union between theory and practice; this in turn, implies a dynamic process undergoing constant progression and modification.

Usage of technology

There has been emergence of technology throughout the world, technology has empowered upon the lives of people. In all areas, fields, sectors, industries there has been utilization of technology such as in the fields of administration, business, management, education, politics, financial management, banking, government and so forth. Technology has revolutionized the lives as well as brought about a transformation within the lives of many individuals; various kinds of technologies have been computers, laptops, tablets, handheld technologies, audiovisual technologies, projectors, smart phones, assessment technologies, lab technologies, collaboration tools etc. The usage of technology has made the lives of the individuals manageable, many kinds of works, tasks, functions and operations have become less time consuming, they are able to implement their tasks in a more controllable manner; the various kinds of technological advances have enabled individuals to lead a sustainable lifestyle and to progress towards sustainable development.

Modern technology has introduced actions on a novel scale, objects and consequences that the framework of former ethics can no longer contain them; through the usage of technology, work has become speedy, individuals have made progress in all kinds of work and tasks through the impact of technology. There has been usage of technology within the educational institutions which have made the learning of the students much more manageable. Technology has enabled different ways of communication between the individuals more practical and multipurpose; therefore, it can be stated that the usage of technology has largely contributed towards the sustainable social development of the individual, region as well as the entire nation.

Technology leads to development of the students

Technology is a designed endeavor that has been formulated in order to assist the students to acquire the knowledge and skills of their subjects and the curriculum that they are learning [2]. It is an indispensable aspect in today’s world not only in education but in other areas as well; it has been highly recognized and has made work manageable, technology has even made understanding easier for students who find learning difficult, such as it has made calculations much simpler which are hard to solve manually. Allocation of knowledge to students by the teachers became much faster; with the help of technical means learning became more fascinating and interesting [3].

Technology plays an imperative role in the proficient and intellectual development of the students. There are four main technological factors that have been used within the classroom settings; these are new contraptions, new discoveries of systems, technological factors that are very actual and observable such as computers, personal computers, laptops etc., and another important aspect that should be considered is that technology can be elusive, for example, certain processes and means. The main reason that technology has been used within the classrooms is because it leads to efficiency, higher output, work becomes less time consuming and the final outcome is to enhance scores and better curriculum and instructional materials [4].

It is very essential to have the usage of technology within the classrooms. Making use of technology in the teaching methods is a designed and a considered approach that is implemented by the educators and the staff members. The main motive behind this function is to lead to improvement as far as abilities, knowledge and capabilities of the students are concerned and the school environmental conditions. The whole idea is to create a reformation in the entire educational institution as far as the students, teachers and the instructional methods are concerned [5].

Promoting science and culture for development

Underdeveloped countries are building their capacities in science, technology and innovation. This is crucial for developing effective solutions to help the poor benefit from improved access and management of natural resources, such as safe drinking water, cleanliness, energy technologies, agriculture and rural development. Science and technology are critical for least developed countries to reduce poverty in a rapid and sustainable manner and to connect to innovation for development [6].

Culture should not be viewed as an extravagance for underdeveloped countries. Their rich cultural heritage is an asset for growth and social cohesion. India is a rich country in cultural heritage with diverse nationalities, ethnicities, religions, norms and values. Countries should strengthen the contribution of their cultural industries and the cultural sector to economic development. Worldwide, culture industries generate USD 1.3 trillion in jobs and income annually, and account for 7% of global gross domestic product. People at times make use of their cultural heritages to earn a living, especially tribal people, produce revenues from visits, sales of local crafts, music and cultural products.

Enhancing access to information, knowledge, awareness, and communication technologies is imperative also to bridge the knowledge divide and also helping the underdeveloped countries in mitigating and adapting to climate change. These are some of the ways in making use of culture and science to eradicate the poverty conditions [6].

Holistic approaches to early child development

The term “holistic approach to early child development” refers to the policies and programming that ensure that child rights to health, nutrition, cognitive and psychosocial development and protection are all met; all kinds of interventions should reach all the children equally including those who belong to the economically backward sections of the society. Improvement of survival, growth and development requires interventions in three basic areas: quality basic services, good care practices within the family and the community, and the implementation of early child development policies. The components that bring about a greater impact on children’s wellbeing; they operate at four different levels:

1) Family: The family of the child comprises of his parents, siblings, grandparents and relatives, the child is born within a family, his parents are said to be his first and best teachers, they make available to the child all the basic requirements, they inculcate within the child behavior practices, skills, choices, norms, values, discipline, cultural traits, etiquettes and finally the abilities of make selections and basic decisions. They are the basic caregivers and send the child to school and other training institutions so that he can learn well and make a good career.

2) Community: Within a community, a person exists, develops and lives; when the child starts growing he begins to move into the world outside of his home and initiates to interact and communicate with the community members. Services and commodities obtained at the community level such as development of a social network, sharing of meals, working in collaboration with each other regarding celebration of a festival or some custom and so forth. There have been several community organizations that have been engaged into provision of certain kinds of extracurricular activities such as sports, making of handicrafts, music and dance programs, events management and so forth.

3) National, district, sub-regional: At the national, district and the sub-regional level, there have been certain framework of rules, regulations and policies, for instance, a natural calamity has taken place, which is a naturally occurring phenomena worldwide; it is very unfortunate that occurrence of natural calamities cause immense destruction to life and property, in this case norms and means have to be formulated to make up the losses suffered, though it is a time consuming process, hence this involves allocation of resources, capital, income, possessions, time, wealth, principles, investments, assets and focus.

4) International: At the international level, in order to bring about holistic approaches to the development of the child, it is necessary to formulate vital goals, targets, standards and financing mechanisms. For example, a meticulous student wants to go to the United States of America for further studies, then there are several goals and targets that he has to plan, for instance, which university he wants to apply to, what program he is willing to pursue in accordance with his needs, requirements and abilities, what should be his required standards, such as taking entrance examinations, getting the desired score, living accommodations in a foreign country and above all how to make provision of financing ones education, whether it is through loans, grants, scholarships or self-financing.

Holistic development strategies

Under the holistic social development, there has been coverage of seven critical areas: Education, personal development, therapeutic intervention, cultural activities, entrepreneurial development, sport and recreation and reintegration back into the society. The main services that need to be implemented in order to bring about holistic social development are:

1) Developmental in nature: The strategies should be developmental in nature, what are the main strengths and what are the main weaknesses should be analyzed within a person, how to build up the competencies within the person, encourage trial and error learning as a method to grow and widen their knowledge levels, as well as foster a strong belief of potential within not only the individual but within the whole family system. The mindsets of the individuals should be enthusiastic, curious and wholehearted; they should have a feeling amongst themselves that they can accomplish something, in other words always be positive and confident.

2) Restorative and rehabilitative: There have been number of individuals who commit illegal acts, crimes, and face judicial charges and penalties; such kinds of individuals who have come into conflict with the law need to make corrections and devise means to frame their lives and behavior in a systematized and an organized manner. These individuals should learn to distinguish between what is correct and incorrect, they should work hard to make their living rather than getting involved into unlawful ways of making money; whatever the kind of punishment they are offered if they are found guilty, they should learn to accept that punishment rather than becoming negative or aggressive.

3) Effective communication: Every individual irrespective of gender, caste, class, ethnicity, race, religion or level of education should learn to establish effective means of communication, there have been certain ways of communication and an individuals should learn those, he should be aware regarding the grievance redressal systems, how to communicate about his problems and difficulties. These can be restorative, rehabilitative and improve their social functioning abilities, when they are reintroduced within the society. In order to acquire a good educational qualification, to obtain a good job opportunity, to develop a social network and even to maintain effective relations with the family members, an individual has to be well equipped with the communication skills. On the other hand, a person who does not communicate in an effective manner cannot prove himself in any manner and faces dire consequences.

4) Multi-disciplinary approach to programs: A multi-disciplinary approach is used in the case of holistic social development of the individual such as counseling and guidance programs, therapies, rendering a positive approach and service and when evaluating each child in a holistic manner. For example, when an individual graduates from school, he needs to seek admission into a good course, good educational institution in order to fulfill his required goals and objectives, for that purpose he seeks career counseling from a counselor, who has specialized in the field of career counseling regarding which program he should take up, what are the reputed institutions that offer this program and all these factors are on the basis of his grades; therefore, in order to lead to holistic social development, a multi-disciplinary approach should be followed.

5) Providing individuals with alternatives: One choice, one selection and only one alternative available does not always work, therefore, mainly in the case of one’s educational and job opportunities an individual should have at least two or three alternatives in front of him; for example, a student is from a science stream, either he can pursue medical, or engineering or graduation in Chemistry or any other science subject. Alternatives make a person feel at ease that incase one thing does not work, he can opt for the other.

6) Encouraging individuals to participate: As it has been stated in the above point that effective communication is essential for a person to enhance his aptitude, skills, abilities as well as qualifications, in the same manner, individuals should be encouraged to participate in various functions, activities, jobs, tasks, utilities, occupations or social gatherings. It is in one’s own development that allows them to take ownership of their circumstances; participation also provides information to the individuals about vital decision making skills and make sure that they are committed to their own development.

Discussion and Summary

The holistic social development of an individual is concerned with dealing with integrated wholes rather than parts of it; the main motive of holistic social development is to bring about sustainability, exponential growth and progression of an individual. In order to bring about holistic social development, an individual is concerning the development of individual capacities into nine domains : a) outlook, individuality and self-views, b) cognition and judgment, c) influence and feelings, d) conation preference or self-regulation, e) physical and bodily-kinesthetic, f) social/interpersonal, g) spiritual/transpersonal, h) moral character and i) nationality. Another important area of holistic social development is sustainability; an individual should be able to earn his living in an appropriate manner, be free from poverty and destitute conditions, be able to acquire basic literacy skills and should be able to earn an employment opportunity in order to sustain his living as well as the living of his family.

There have been eight different areas that are vital for sustainable development, these are interaction and coordination between agents and sources, distribution of wealth and resources, there is a relationship that needs to be created between human beings and nature, as human beings depend upon nature for number of things such as water, plants, trees etc., it requires recognition of intergenerational equality, redistribution of global wealth and healthy relations with the international countries is also considered to be a vital area for sustainable development, another area is that individuals need to recognize that nature has a limited capacity for regeneration, communities need to develop amongst themselves self-sufficiency, they should not entirely depend upon nature or other sources for the purpose of development, but in order to attain sustainability, an individual should be assiduous, painstaking and hardworking and sustainable development requires an indissoluble dialectic union between theory and practice, which involves bringing about invariable alternations and changes.

The usage of technology has created an immense impact upon the lives of the individuals; there is usage of technology in all the areas such as education, administration, industries, transportation and so forth. Computers, laptops, tablets, I pads, smart phones, mobile apps, etc. are the kinds of technologies that have been prevalent everywhere in all areas; the utilization of technology has made the lives of the individuals more manageable, their jobs and functions have become more controllable and their work has become less time consuming. For instance, earlier an individual used to type letters, take print outs and then mail the letters to all the other individuals, but in the present world, through the system of email and cloud computing, information can reach the individuals at a faster pace. Therefore, it is understood that technology has led to sustainability and holistic social development. The usage of technology has been prevalent in the systems of education and students have largely benefitted from the technological factors.

Science and culture also have been vital areas that have led to the holistic development of the individuals and their sustainability; through science, technology, innovation and recognition of cultural aspects, individuals are becoming more aware about how to manage their natural resources, how to devise means for improvement and how to progress; for instance, tribal people through dance, music and other cultural programs make money in order to earn their living. There have been four holistic approaches that lead to early child development, first is family, second is community, third is national, regional, sub-regional, and fourth is international; starting from ones family as an individual starts growing and developing the influence of the holistic approaches began to extent up to the international level. There have been six kinds of holistic development strategies; developmental in nature, restorative and rehabilitative, effective communication, multi-disciplinary approach to programs, providing individuals with alternatives and encouraging individuals to participate. Communication, education, technology, business, management, and so forth are the areas that have been developed and advanced through approaches and strategies of holistic social development and sustainability.


Bringing about healthy growth and development in all areas such as distribution of wealth, child development, ecologically balanced environment, usage of technology, good relationships between human beings, appropriate communication strategies and having cordial terms even with the other nations are the functions of holistic social development in regions, districts, states and the entire country.


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