Measuring Development

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Measuring Development

Historically it has mainly been based on economic indicators e.g. GDP or GNI

  • GDP = Gross Domestic Product: total value or goods and services produced
  • GNI = Gross National Income: as above but includes income from overseas investment

Nowadays we are using a much wider variety of indicators to measure development. It takes a more holistic approach consifering social, economic, political and environmental factors 

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Using Statistics - Pros

  • true representation - don't lie
  • easy to compare and use
  • can visually show results in graphs
  • quantitative - facts - not subjective 
  • even if average, still gives indication
  • lots of different aspects to colect data about
  • population taken into account
  • identifies problem areas
  • goals for improvement can be set
  • success can be measured
  • failures can be recognised and analysed for improvements and to act upon them 
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Using Statistics - Cons

  • only an average - can't see difference between richest/poorest - extremes missed out
  • may be collected incorrectly
  • certain numbers may be missed out
  • manipulated by governments
  • quickly become dated
  • governments often lie - don't want to be represented badly
  • sometimes out of context 
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Types of Indicators

Indicators can consist of:

  • single variable indicators e.g. life expectancy
  • combined variable indicators e.g. HDI (can show more about a country, but one statistic can bring the others down, and can't know for certain what the problems are)

Indicators for development:

  • death/birth rate
  • no. of people ill with HIV
  • infant mortality rate
  • life expectancy
  • literay rates, exam pass rate
  • % in primary work/different work sectors/seasonal employment/unemployment
  • GDP per capita, HDI, purchasing price parity, GDI 
  • patient:GP ratio
  • % of access to safe drinkng water 
  • calorie intake
  • computers/internet per 1000.
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Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

This allows gobal incomes to be compared easily

e.g. in Denmark:

GDP per Capita =US$62,000

GDP per Capita (PPP) = US$37,000

This shows that if a person from Denmark (on their averge wage) went and lived in the USA, that's how much money they would have to spend as a result of a higher cost of living in the USA and also the exchange rate at that time. 

THIS MAKES INDICATORS MORE RELIABLE AND COMPARABLE

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