Global Development Theme 2 - Defining and Measuring Development

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Defining Development - Classifications 1

CATEGORISING COUNTRIES INTO 3 GROUPS:

1. First World Countries - the capitalised and industrialised West

2. Second World Countries - the communist and industrialised East

3. Third World Countries - the rest of the unindustrialised world

CRITICISM: This classification is too generalised and bases development on two general factors (industrialisation and idelogy) when there are many factors to development                                                                                                                                   

BRANDT'S NORTH SOUTH DIVIDE:

Countries below the line are underdeveloped because they are reliant on trading basic raw materials

CRITICISM: This classification is heavily outdated as many countries in the South now do trade in manufactured goods as well as raw materials

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Defining Development - Classifications 2

WORLD BANK'S ECONOMIC CLASSIFICATION:

Economies are divided into GNI per capita

  • Low income (Sub-saharan Africa)
  • Lower middle income 
  • Upper middle income (BRIC nations - Brazil, Russia, India and China)
  • High income (USA and the UK)                                                                                                                                                 

CRITICISM: This classification ignores social development and the level of inequality - a country can be developed economicaly but may be very socially 'backward' (e.g. Russia)                                                                                                                                     

CRITICISMS OF WESTERN NOTIONS OF DEVELOPMENT:

  • Cultural and ethnic differences in a country are ignored
  • Assumes that the West are superior (ethnocentric)
  • Influence from the West can actually ruin underdeveloped countries 
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Measuring Development - Economic Indicators

GROSS NATIONAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GNP/GDP)

  • The GDP of a country is the total economic value of goods and services produced within the borders of that country
  • GNP is the same but includes the value of all goods and services produced abroad for that country                                                                                                                                                                     

ADVANTAGES:

  • Clearly shows which countries are the poorest so that institutions can target aid efficiently
  • Figures make it easier to measure the impact of social policies and certain events on economic growth                                                                                                                                                                                                             

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Ignores social development and inequality
  • Ignores black market trading and the illegal economy
  • There are inconsistencies in the way that the data is collected
  • Fails to mention how much wealth actually stays within the country
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Measuring Development - Social Indicators

THE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX:

  • Measures health (life expectancy), education (literacy rates) and standard of living (purchasing power parity)
  • Each country is given a rank between 0 - 1 in relation to 'constructed minimum' and 'observed maximum' scores                                                                                                                                                                        

ADVANTAGES:

  • Enables social aid to be targeted effectively
  • Shows that two countries with the same economic development can have different levels of social development
  • A more human-centred approach, concerned with actual human welfare than just mere economics                                                                                                                                                                                       

DISADVANTAGES:

  • The scale is too narrow (0-1) it is not measurable - if a country is already at 1 how does it improve?
  • Doesn't include economic factors 
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Measuring Development - Indicators

MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS:

1. Eradicate poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV, AIDs, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental stability
8. Develop a global partnership for development                                                                                                                                                           

ADVANTAGES:

  • Focuses on broader measure of human development as well as economic growth                                                                                                   

DISADVANTAGES:

  • None have been achieved yet 
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Measuring Development - Alternative Indicators

1. The Gini-Coefficient

2. Gross National Happiness

3. The Gender Inequality Index

4. The Global Peace Index 

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