What excatly is development?
Development is the process of social and economic advancement which leads to an improvement in people's quality of life and general wellbeing.
Different people percieve development in different ways and so they will, accordingly, determine development using different indicators. However, there are some common indicators which we associate with developed countries. These can be classified using SPEED - something I think we might be using a lot in this year!
- access to sanitation
- low ratio between doctors:patients and teachers:students
- emancipation of women
- equality in terms of education and career oppurtunities
- multiculturalism (often allowed to occur due to open door policy on migration)
- no discrimination against gender, sexuality or race etc
- human rights upheld
- stable politics
- freedom of speech/press
- corruption index
- peace index
- what is better democracy (UK) or communism/dictatorship (Kerala)???? [ if you are struggling to remember anything about Kerala see the beginning of http://geography-student.blogspot.com/2011/05/last-minute-revision-of-case-studies.html ]
- high GDP per capita
- imports and exports
- good level of employment - especially in the higher sectors
- Primary = farming or mining
- Secondary = any manufacturing or refinement
- Tertiary = shops or any similar services
- Quaternary = education
- Quinary = high level finance and research and development
- energy supply and comsumption
- environmental targets such as the Kyoto Agreement
- organic farming and similar examples of stewardship
- protection and conservation
- low CBR and CDR and high LE
- high stage of the Demographic Transition Model
- steady/decline in population growth
Physical Quality of LIfe Index (PQLI)
---> Literacy rates
---> Infant mortality
---> Life expectancy at the age of one
- It was developed in the 1970's due to peoples dissastisfaction with the use of GDP
- It is criticised as there is considerable overlap between infant mortality and life expectancy
Inequalities :- In many LDC's the wealth remains with a few people, often those with control over government and industry, and does not filter down through the rest of the population.
Informal Employment :- In LDC's many often work in the informal employment sector, such as street vending, and so the money exchanged is not recorded and so it does not influence the GDP.
Subsistence Lifestyle :- The subsistence lifestyles means it is impossible to accurately measure income and often population size.
Whilst on the topic of GDP, I think I might go through a few definitions......
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) = the total value of goods and services within a country (including foreign companies)
Gross National Product (GNP) = the total value of goods and services for a country's companies both home and abroad
Gross National Income (GNI) = GDP plus or minus the interest and repayments on debt
Human Development Index (HDI)
---> Life expectancy at birth
Gives an indication of the quality and avaliabilty of healthcare, quality of diet and quality of life
---> Educational Attainment
This measure combines adult literacy rates with the number of people enrolled in primary and secondary education (basically the average years of schooling) and so indicates equality (in terms of gender) and the quality and accessibility of education
---> Adjusted income per capita
Real GDP per capita based on PPP - purchasing power parity - this is essentially a measure of the value of the local currency (how much can be brought with a set amount of money)
- The HDI is the average score of the three variablse and is expressed as a value between 1 (highest) and 0 (lowest)
- It was designed in the 1990's, by the United Nations, to shift the focus onto human development by incorporating more social and economic data
- Some think it is a measure of how 'Scandinavian' a country is
- It does not include any ecological measures and cannot provide a global perspective
The idea of development being a continual process, or sliding scale, is known as the development continuum and it originates from the realisation that there is no template for development or a right or wrong way to approach it and therefore all countries develop in different ways and at different speeds. I am not quite sure how well this graph actually links in with the idea of the development continuum but its quite a nice one to look at to see the differing speeds of development and shows how, in terms of development, Asia is starting to catch up with countries like the UK and Japan (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13746908)
And, finally, the last topic we discussed was the development gap. The development gap is simply the difference between the most and least developed countries in the world and, again, it is a topic that you need to form your own opinion on. So, is the development gap getting wider or smaller? How can the gap be reduced? Do we, as a developed country, really want it to disappear all together?