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Guide to Development Speak


Natural resource accounting

The process of adjusting national accounts, such as GNP, to reflect the environmental costs of economic production. Although methods are still being developed, natural resource accounting intends to take into account the loss of natural resources and damage to the environment.

Natural resources

Materials that occur in nature and are essential or useful to humans, such as water, air, land, forests, fish and wildlife, topsoil, and minerals.

Newly industrialising countries (NICs)

A small group of countries at a relatively advanced level of economic development with a substantial and dynamic industrial sector. Examples include Argentina, Brazil, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Mexico.

Non-aligned Movement

A group of 111 nations that are not members of the Western European/North American power blocs, and who press for increased development aid, changes to trading rules, and non-intervention in the affairs of the countries of the movement. Its membership overlaps considerably with the G77 group.

Non-formal education

Any out of school programme that provides basic skills and training to individuals. Examples include adult education, on the job training programmes, agricultural and other extension services.

Non Government Organisation (NGO)

Any local, national, or international organisation, profit or non-profit, whose members are persons not employed by a government. Most are charitable, research or educational in nature. They are concerned with a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues. (See also civil society organisation and non profit organisation).

Non profit organisation

An organisation which exists for educational or charitable purposes, and from which its shareholders or trustees do not benefit financially. (See also civil society organisation and Non Governmental Organisation).

Non-tariff trade barriers

Barriers to free trade that take forms other than tariffs. Examples include quotas or hygiene requirements for imported meats and dairy products.

Non renewable resources

Natural resources whose quantity is fixed in supply and cannot be replaced. Examples include oil, iron ore, coal, and other minerals.


A market dominated by a small number of producers who often act together to control the supply of a particular product and its market price. The control of oil supply by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a good example of international oligopoly.

Open economy

An economy that encourages foreign trade and has extensive financial and non financial contacts with the rest of the world in areas such as education, culture, and technology.

Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT)

A simple, cost-effective treatment for diarrhoeal dehydration that can be given at home using either packets of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) or a simple solution of sugar, salt and water. ORT has saved millions of children’s lives.


Farming that avoids the use of artificial chemical fertilisers and pesticides on the land, relying instead on natural additives such as manure for developing fertile soil.
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