Chapter : 4

What Are Human Development ?

Growth And Development

  • Growth and development are both terms that allude to changes through time, but the distinction is that growth is quantifiable while development is qualitative. As a result, progress is always beneficial.
  • Growth can be good, negative, or neutral, and it is not always associated with progress.
  • When there is a good chance in one’s traits, this is called development. Previously, economic growth and country development were viewed as one, but now they are analysed independently.

Human Development

  • Dr. Mahbub-ul-Haq first proposed this concept in 1990. Human development is defined as a process that broadens people’s choices and improves their lives, allowing them to live more meaningful lives. This implies that people may develop their talents, participate in society, and pursue their objectives freely.
  • Prof. Amartya Sen believes that the fundamental goal of development is to expand freedom. The ability to make choices leads to growth, and social and political institutions play a key part in this process. Building people’s health, education, and fair access to resources promotes their freedom and expands their options.
  • Four important pillars of human development: Equity, Sustainability, Productivity and Empowerment.

Approaches To Human Development

  • Income Approach: It connects development to income since it argues that one’s income determines one’s level of freedom.
  • Approach to Welfare: The government is responsible for providing fundamental services such as health, education, and utilities to citizens under this system.
  • The Approach to Basic Needs: The emphasis of this method is on meeting six fundamental needs: health, education, food, water, sanitation, and shelter.
  • The capability approach: This approach is connected with Prof. Amartya Sen and strives to promote human development by building human capacities in health, education, and resource access.

International Comparison

When analysing the human development of different nations, it becomes clear that territorial size and per capita income are unrelated to human development.

Human Development Scores

The nations are divided into four categories for comparative purposes based on their human development scores:

Extremely High Level of Human Development

  • It includes all countries with a score of more than 0.802. This category consists of 49 nations.
  • Norway, Australia, the Netherlands, the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Germany, and Sweden are among the top ten nations with a very high-value index.
  • This group of countries prioritises education and healthcare as significant government priorities, and they also invest heavily in the social sector.

High Level of Human Development

  • It is made up of countries with scores ranging from 0.702 to 0.801. There are 56 of them.
  • These nations have a high degree of human development due to good administration and significant investments in the social sector.

Medium Level of Human Development

  • There are 39 nations in this category, with scores ranging from 0.555 to 0.701.
  • Many of these nations were once colonies, and they now face political unrest as well as a wide range of socio-economic issues.

Low Level of Human Development

  • There are 44 nations in this category, all of which have a score of less than 0.554. These nations are experiencing political upheaval, social unrest, civil conflict, hunger, or a high prevalence of illnesses.
  • According to internal comparisons, culture, religion, and community are non-determinants of human growth. Instead, the degree of human development is determined by the structure of government spending on the social sector, the political climate, the amount of freedom individuals have, and the distribution of resources.