Measuring Development in a Country
Within a country, there tends to be disparity between the core regions (urban areas with most of the services and people) and the periphery (rural, countryside) regions.
Development is measured by:
1) Economic Wealth - measured as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita- the total value of goods and services in a nation measured over a year,
2) Human Development Index (HDI) gives a country a score between 0 and 1 and is based on life expectancy, education and income.
3) Birth rates,
4) Death rates,
5) Infant mortality rates,
6) Access to clean water,
7) % rural population,
8) Types of employment,
9) Level of literacy
Disparities between Urban and Rural areas in India
Core region - Maharashtra is India's richest region with the highest GDP and it contains India's largest city, Mumbai. It has grown due to:
- Services such as banking, call centres and IT. Mumbai's universities produce English speakers who are employed in Western companies such as BT.
- Manufacturing of cotton, food processing, steel, engineering and cement which are commonly exported,
- Mumbai has the world's largest film industry - Bollywood,
- There are lots of hotels and restaurants for leisure and business services.
Periphery region - Bihar is India's poorest state with 86% of the population living in rural areas and most working in farming.
- Average income is about 6000 rupees per person per year which is equal to £75 pounds. This is 33% of India's average income.
- 55% of households are below the poverty line and 80% of people work in low-level jobs,
- People can't afford basic services so it gets little investment from companies,
- Only 58.5% had electricity and 12% water-flushed toilets in 2003,
- School attendance is low, only 35% of children attend primary school and around 8% reaching upper primary.
Development models in developing countries
Top-down schemes are made by the national government and new regulations and laws are put into place. Local people are not involved in the process or the decision making.
Country often gets into debt as it borrows large amounts of money from the World's bank, conditions are often attached to the loans, the scheme uses lots of energy and is expensive to operate, resources are often taken away from peripheral areas that need it.
Bottom-up schemes have local people fully involved in the process and the development and so are often more appropriate. They are funded by charities and non-government organisations and use appropriate technology so the locals understand them. They are much more sustainable that top-down schemes.
Santo Antonio Dam in Brazil, a top-down scheme
It is part of the Madeira River Project, the Madeira River Basin covers 1.5 million km2 and the dam is located 5km upstream from Port Velho. It cost $5.3 billion to build and will produce 3,150 MW of electricity.
Social - 20,000 jobs created, attracted 100,000 people to the area, health and education have improved, education and training centre has been created for immigrants.
Economic - Produces the cheapest electricity in Brazil, will supple 8% of Brazil's electricity, better infrastructure in centre of South America.
Environmental - HEP is renewable and avoids the use of oil/nuclear, fish channels in the dam allows fish to migrate, two forests will be planted, suggestions by public have been included in basic environmental plans.
Social - Dam built despite local opposition, 3,000 people forced to leave their homes, indigenous peoples' land at risk of flooding, increase in malaria due to greater water in the area.
Economic - cost $22 billion, too much reliance on HEP (76% of electricity), high sediment loads can block turbines and reduce their effectiveness, commercial fishing at risk from the dam.
Environmental - River food web will be affected, final flooded area was x2 as large as predicted (over 1000 km2), project fined £3.3 million for killing 11 tonnes of fish.
Micro-hydro schemes in Peru, a bottom-up scheme
Rainfall in the area is so high so a charity called 'Practical Action' helped install 50 schemes providing electricity for 30,000 people. Micro-hydro schemes generate an electric capacity of less than 100KW. The water is diverted from a stream to a high point of the valley side and then down a pipe to turn a turbine. These are considered appropriate technology as they are appropriate for the local skills. They are low cost and involve the local people.
Social - local people involved in all stages of the scheme, health care is improved as electricity allows storage of medicines, electricity for schools, training of local people to operate the technology gives them skills.
Economic - cheaper electricity than a large HEP scheme, scheme uses local skills and cheap technology, 60% of people in the area said that their income had increased.
Environmental - avoids flooding large areas of land that would take away farm land, avoids the need to burn wood from local trees for fuel, replaces use of fossil fuels.
Social - poor people have to pay for the metered electricity, some villages have doubled in size creating population pressures.
Economic - demand for electricity is variable, initial capital cost is high for a poor village, some specialised equipment has to be imported.
Environmental - small storage dam is needed which alters the flow of the river and spoils the scenery.
Characteristics of sustainable development in rura
Features of sustainable schemes are:
Small overall impact on the natural environment,
Local people involved in all stages of planning and choice,
Initial cost and maintenance is low enough for local people to afford,
Long term benefits for the local population,
Appropriate technology for the locals education and skills.
Bottom up schemes consider - futurity, environment protection, equality of opportunity, involved local people.
Top-down schemes focus on national problems and often over look the rural poop and do very little to improve the lives of locals whereas bottom-up schemes focus on small areas and are often more appropriate and sustainable in the long term.