Over the nineteen eighties, a large number of countries in Africa and Latin America initiated a series of far-reaching economic reforms brought together under the rubric of the structural adjustment programme. The negative impact of these measures on health policies, health programmes and the health of the people of these countries have led to a call for "adjustment with a human face".
Since the nineties, at the instance of international financial institutions, India has also embarked upon the structural adjustment programme. In this context, the World Bank's World Development Report 1993: Investing in Health, is of crucial significance: it outlines a series of policy options for the health sector in developing countries, proposing drastic changes in the direction and content of health service development.
Although some positive features of the proposed policies have drawn comment by both scholars and policy planners, serious questions have also been raised about the methodology adopted in the World t. /velopment Report 1993. Equally, there has been concern with the 4irkely implications of the recommended package of policy options for the health and well being of the Indian people.
The faculty of the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health of the School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, felt that these issues needed to be debated and assessed for their conceptual, methodological and empirical strengths and weaknesses. This would be a step towards formulating a cohesive people-oriented alternative, and in acknowledging some of the positive efforts within health sector planning in India in the past. Towards this end, the Centre organised a two day National Seminar entitled World Development Report 1993: Investing in Health— Implications for Health and Family Welfare in India on the 8th and 9th of December 1994.
This issue of the Social Scientist carries some of the papers presented at the seminar. Prabhat Patnaik's paper places the World Development Report 1993 in the context of the political economy of forces shaping international capital, and their links with social and economic forces shaping policy changes in our own country. He has also
Social Scientist, Vol. 22, Nos. 9-12, September-December 1994