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Development in an unequal World (old)


Some Striking Facts on Inequality

    • At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. The world’s wealthiest countries with approximately 1 billion people accounted for 76% of the world’s GDP. Low-income countries (with 2.5 billion people) accounted for just 3.3% of the world’s GDP in 2014.
    • The world’s billionaires (just 500 people) were worth $3.5 trillion (over 7% of world GDP).
    • More than 1 billion people live in water-scare regions. Agriculture is responsible for about 70% of global water withdraws and 24% of human generated greenhouse gas emissions.
    • 1.3 billion people worldwide lack access to electricity needed to raise their standard of living.
    • Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion People lack basic sanitation in the world.
    • Nearly 800 million people around the world are undernourished and nearly 300 million children go to bed hungry every day while 1.4 billion are overweight.
    • According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. This means nearly 14 children are dying every minute.
    • Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. Although, less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
    • More than half the global population lives in the cities (54% of the world’s population). Nearly 1 billion of them are living in the slums.
    • Some 46-58 thousand square miles of forest are lost each year, equivalent to 48 football fields every minute. It is estimated that 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation (WWF, 2015)
    • Every 3.6 seconds one person dies of starvation. Usually it is a child under the age of 5 (UNICEF 2015)

external image Percentage_population_undernourished_world_map.PNG

Click here to see UNICEF-goals to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
World Bank, Global monitoring report

Actions? ….Building Shared Prosperity in an Unequal World

Ending extreme poverty has been defined as reducing “the percentage of people living with less than $1.25 a day to no more than 3 percent globally by 2030.” In contrast, promoting shared prosperity is defined as “fostering income growth of the bottom 40 percent of the population in every country” (World Bank, 2013)

Basic Knowledge on the Sectors of Economy to understand development
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What is development?

  • Development is about improving people’s lives. It means positive change for betterment.
  • It means more equal society, justice for everyone, chance to earn a good living and ability to meet the basic needs of life in terms of access to food, water, sanitation, quality education, health services.
  • Finding ways to live sustainably
  • A process or course of dynamic change to ensure quality of life while promoting human dignity and respect
  • Development is not purely an economic phenomenon but a multi-dimensional process involving reorganization and reorientation of the entire economic and social system
  • Expansion of human freedom should both be viewed as the primary end and the principle means of development (views of Prof. Amartya Sen in his book Development as Freedom. Sen has received Nobel prize in Economics for his contribution in developmental studies)

Three Objectives of Development (based on American Economist Michael Paul Todaro’s approach)

  1. Raising peoples’ living standards, i.e. incomes and consumption, level and quality of food consumption, access to medical services and education
  2. Creating conditions conducive to the develop peoples’ self-esteem through the establishment of social, political and economic justice and supportive institutions
  3. Increasing peoples’ freedom to choose by enlarging the range of choices e.g. varieties of essential goods and services


  • ‘Development’ is a concept which is contested both theoretically and politically, and is inherently both complex and ambiguous’.(Thomas, 2004: 1, 2)
  • ‘If development means good change, questions arise about what is good and what sort of change matters‘…(Chambers, 2004: iii, 1–2)
  • ‘Since development depends on values and on alternative conceptions of the good life, there is no uniform or unique answer’. (Kanbur, 2006: 5)
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Source of the diagram:

Indicators of Development
Click here to see Ranking of world’s Economies based on GDP and PPP 

Generalized divisions of countries at different stages of socio-economic and political development 
More Economically Developed Countries (MEDCs)
Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs)
Least Developed Countries (LDCs) /Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) upto 2016

Newly Industrializing Countries (NICs) /Emerging Economies 
Transitional Economies

  • More Economically Developed Countries (MEDCs)- Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Norway etc (all of these countries have 0.9 HDI score)
  • Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs)- Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar etc.
  • LDC are least developed countries having very poor HDI ranking. They are the most merginalized countries in the world that are relatively unaffected by the global interactions.
  • Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs)- Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, India, China, South Africa, Malaysia, Argentina.
  • Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) –the HIPC initiatives are nearly complete with 36 countries reaching the completion point in 2016 under HIPC initiative.
  • Transition economy or transitional economy is an economy, which is changing from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. For example, China, former Soviet Union and the group of communist bloc in the Central and Eastern Europe like Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania etc.

Year of inclusion is in ()
Data source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affair

Click here to see the list of developing countries as on July 2015, UN data

HEAVILY INDEBTED POOR COUNTRIES (HIPC) INITIATIVE AND MULTILATERAL DEBT RELIEF INITIATIVE (MDRI) – The HIPC Initiative and MDRI are nearly complete, with 36 countries having already reached the completion point under the HIPC Initiative. Chad, in April 2015, is the latest country to reach the completion point. Debt relief under the Initiative has alleviated debt burdens substantially in recipient countries


Data source: IMF data, March 2016

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China- A transition economy? Amazing Facts about China

Least developed countries of the world Most developed countries in 2017 Emerging Economies
Life in destitute: Poverty In a Ghanaian village Fight for land rights by a widowed woman in Uganda

Click here to see the list of the countries with highest GDP per capita in 2016 

Concept of Human Development as depicted in Human Development Report 2015

human dev-2015.png

Refer Human development Report 2015- click here

Economic growth and Human development

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Sustainable Development Summit 2015
The 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2015, gathered a record 154 Heads of State and Government at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York to formally adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a universal plan of action for the planet and all people that calls on all stakeholders to act in collaborative partnerships.
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Human Development Report
Summary 2016
Development gap: What are the differences
in EU development?
BRICS: The world’s wealthiest block
in future

Review: UNDP Human Development Report 2016

Yet Another Measure That Matters – Happy Planet Index or HPI

The Happy Planet Index measures sustainable wellbeing for all. It tells us how well nations are doing at achieving long, happy, sustainable lives. Wealthy Western countries, often seen as the standard of success, do not rank highly on the Happy Planet Index. Instead, several countries in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region lead the way by achieving high life expectancy and wellbeing with much smaller Ecological Footprints. The Happy Planet Index provides a compass to guide nations, and shows that it is possible to live good lives without costing the Earth.

Click here to see Happy Planet Index 

Free Trade and Development debate (for IBDP)

University Lecture on Free Trade Alensens Lecture on MNCs Shanghai Free Trade Zone


History of US Election How did Vladmir Putin Rise to Power America before columbus

Class work
Make a short summary of the World Food Program 2016 
Prepare a short presentation based on the global report on food crises 2017


  • Chambers, R. (1997) Whose Reality Counts? Putting the First Last. London: ITDG.
  • Chambers, R. (2004) Ideas for Development. IDS Working Paper 238. Sussex: IDS
  • Kanbur, R. (2006) What’s Social Policy got to do with Economic Growth? Available at http://www. (accessed 1 August 2005).
  • Thomas, A. (2004) The Study of Development. Paper prepared for DSA Annual Conference, 6 November, Church House, London.
  • Reflections on Economic Development: The Selected Essays of Michael P. Todaro (Edward Elgar, 1995)

Data Sources

  • Shaohua Chen and Martin Ravallion, The developing world is poorer than we thought, but no less successful in the fight against poverty, World Bank, August 2008.
  • World Bank Key Development Data & Statistics. World Bank, accessed March 3, 2008
  • Luisa Kroll and Allison Fass, The World’s Richest People, Forbes, March 3, 2007

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