This article proposes that the notion of progressive dignified living is a more effective measure of the quality of rural life than other, prevailing means of assessment. The notion entails enjoyment of human rights, compliance with and advancement of human rights principles, and the performance of duties correlative to specific human rights, such as the right to development. In Malawi, where the culture of accountability is weak, evidence casts doubt on the effectiveness of legislation as a strategy to realise the right to development. At the same time, nascent developments indicate that the involvement of civil society and quasi-public organisations in catalysing the demand for human rights in rural areas can be an effective way of promoting the right to development. As formal processes for redress are largely ineffectual, it is through community insistence on enjoyment of the right to development that norms may emerge to protect accountability-related gains through legislation. This would constitute an example of people-determined reflexive law making.
Chancellor College is the largest among the constituent colleges of the University of Malawi. Ever since its establishment, the college has produced graduates who have gone on to become leaders in various sectors of Malawian society.Learn More