Key Concepts and Issues of Development

Development is an event or state of change, composed of cumulative processes of economic, political and societal structural reforms. These can include productive, demographic, social and institutional changes. It is a concept that enables us to produce a long-term outlook on the effects of these domains in a given context. It is a qualitative notion that studies the long-term evolution of nations and people and seeks to improve the general well-being of people. Economic growth is not synonym of improvement of the well-being of populations, thus the notion of development was created to address this issue. The United Nations Development Program states that «human development aims at increasing human capacities and widening choices and opportunities so that each individual may live, in every respect, a life worthy of its name» (Human Development Report 2000). Several deviations were created from this concept including Human Development and Durable Development. Several indicators claim to measure development including the Gross Domestic Product per Capita, the Human Development Index (combining life expectancy, level of education and the standard of living) and the Human Poverty Index. These indicators are however limited in accuracy because of their statistical approach to evaluating a qualitative subject, the quality of life.

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