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By: Bertus Haverkort and Coen Reijntjes (ed)
Published: 2007-01-20

Since 1998 the Compas programme and its network partners from Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe have been engaged in inter-cultural dialogues on development approaches with a focus on the South. They have studied the influence of worldviews on material and socio-cultural technological development, on scientific approaches, and on policies in different cultural contexts. A major observation is that in most non-Western worldviews there is a notion of three interrelated worlds: the material, the social and the spiritual. From the perspective of these cultures, sustainable development can only be achieved if there is a balance between the material, the social and the spiritual domains. Compas supports development that builds on local culture: its worldview, values, institutions, knowledge and practices. This approach is known as endogenous development, development from within. This approach presents challenges for practitioners, scientific communities and policy makers, not only in the South, but also in the North.