Bahá'í Chronology: 1983-10-20
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|1983 20 Oct
||The establishment of the Office of Social and Economic Development.
In a message to the Bahá'í world the Universal House of Justice called on individuals and Bahá'í communities to apply the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh systematically to the problems of their societies. This seminal statement pointed to the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh as a source of order in the world, asserted the coherence of the spiritual and the material dimensions of human life, praised the social and economic progress achieved by the Bahá'í community of Iran, announced the establishment of the Office of Social and Economic Development at the World Centre and defined the role of various Bahá'í agencies in fostering development. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 20 October, 1983, Mess63-86p602-603,AWH6–10; BW19:153, BW92-93pg229-245]
For the response of the Bahá’í world to the letter see BW19:112–13.
Social and Economic Development: The Bahá'í Contribution, a paper prepared for the United Nations Department of Public Information Annual Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (“New Approaches to Development: Building a Just World”) held in New York 5 September 1984.
The document Bahá’í Social and Economic Development: Prospects for the Future, prepared at the World Centre was approved for publication by the Universal House of Justice on the 16th of September 1993, for use by the Office of Social and Economic Development (OSED) in orienting and guiding the work in this area. Most central to this vision was the question of capacity building. That activity should start on a modest scale and only grow in complexity in keeping with available human resources was a concept that gradually came to influence development thought and practice. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 26 November, 2012]
See also The Evolution of Institutional Capacity for Social and Economic Development by the Office of Social and Economic Development dated 28 August, 1994. It described two types of organizational arrangements that emerged in the Bahá'í world capable of undertaking increasingly complex development efforts - training institutes and Bahá'í-inspired agencies.
A related document, The Prosperity of Humankind, was issued by the Bahá'í International Community's Office of Public Information and disseminated at the United Nations' 1995 World Summit for Social Development held in Copenhagen, Denmark. It offered a vision of social and economic development based on Bahá'í concepts. The document was first released on 23 January 1995.
A Clarification of Some Issues Concerning
Social and Economic Development in Local and National Communities was prepared by the Office of Social and Economic Development in November of 1999 to respond to a number of questions that had arisen over the previous few years. It touched on such issues as degrees of complexity in development activity, the relationship between teaching and development, and participation in development projects.
See also Social Action by Office of Social and Economic Development dated 26 November, 2012.
See also For the Betterment of the World:The Worldwide Bahá'í Community's Approach to Social and Economic Development by Office of Social and Economic Development released on the 27th of April, 2018, updating publications of 2003 and 2008.
See also Vick, Social and Economic Development: A Bahá’í Approach.
The Office of Social and Economic Development was succeeded by the Bahá’í International Development Organization on 9 November 2018.
||Social and economic development; Social action; Office of Social and Economic Development; Universal House of Justice, Letters and messages; Bahai International Development Organization; Baha'i International Community; BIC statements