And Development; the establishing of the country classifications;
Prior to the summit of 1980, there were three types of country;
(1) First World - “Developed” countries, e.g. the USA.
(2) Second World - Central/State planned economies, e.g. USSR.
(3) Third World - “Undeveloped countries”
The problems with using such a classification are twofold. Firstly, how do you define developed? Secondly, who decides what is developed and what is undeveloped? Development is a continuum. No one can classify a borderline, and say that this is developed, and that this is not. It is inappropriate to use a named bi (or tri-) partate system based upon this.
The Brandt Report;
· This was a report produced by a committee commissioned by the EC and chaired by William Brandt, hence the name.
· It reclassified countries on this sliding scale of development as
· More Economically Developed Countries (MEDCs)
· Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs)
· A line (the Brandt line) was drawn on a world map, to distinguish between the MEDCs of the North and the LEDCs of the South, extended to include Australia in the North.
· Oil rich countries, e.g. Brunei, or Saudi Arabia, were not included, because of the sharply uneven wealth distribution - i.e. the sheikhs and wealth cliques at the top, and poor subsistence agriculturists at the lower ends.
In June 1992, the UN Earth Summit met in Rio de Janeiro. At this summit, development was linked to environmental sustainability.
Generally, monetary indicators are used to measure development. The information they contain is quantitative, and shows no distribution. It does not require complex understanding, and is a simple, yet flawed comparison method. The flaws of a monetary indicator, e.g. GNP per capita are thus;
̃ GNP is measured in US $. If desired, currencies can be artificially tampered with, in order to raise or lower the GNP accordingly.
̃ It does not show wealth distribution.
̃ It may be hard to obtain accurate economic information, especially in LEDCs.
̃ Subsistence agriculture, a major employer in many LEDCs is not taken account of.
Therefore, other indicators were developed in order to take account of regional disparities, and to measure the standard of living.
Physical Quality of Life Index (PQLI)
· Composite indicator devised by the Overseas Development Council in 1977.
· Indexed from 0 to 100. (O is the worst, 100 is the best)
· Based on:
̃ Life expectancy
̃ Infant Mortality Rate
̃ Adult Literacy Rate
· Index greater than 77 suggests that the minimum requirements for development are satisfied.
· Limited, due to the small number of variables. No account taken of income levels, or parity of purchasing power.
Human Development Index (HDI)
· Devised in 1990, when the UN Development Programme realised that income growth was not a good indication of development.
· HDI consists of;
̃ Real income per capita (PPP)
̃ Educational attainment, given by adult literacy rate combined with the mean number of years of schooling.
̃ Life expectancy at birth.
International Human Suffering Index (IHSI)
· Developed in 1987 by the Population Crisis Committee of Washington DC
· Gives an indexed score, from 0 to 100. Unlike the PQLI, the lower the score, the better.
· Score is based upon;
̃ GNP per capita. ̃ Rate of inflation ̃ Growth of labour forcẽ Urban population growth rate.
̃ Infant Mortality Rate.̃ Daily calorie supply as a % of requirements̃ Access to clean drinking water.
̃ Energy consumption per capitã Adult literacy ratẽ Personal freedom [Not entirely sure how this is measured on a quantifiable scale?]
· According to the 1991 figures, Switzerland scored 4. The USA scored 8, and Mozambique scored 95.
· Of the ten worst countries, nine were African.
Problems With Indicators of Social Development.
· They do not accurately reflect the inequalities within the given set. They do not reflect income distribution, despite the association of healthcare, education and IMR with income.
· There is still a lack of agreement on a universal system of measuring social development. Some indicators change daily, e.g. freedom of speech, right to vote, political freedom, etc.
· The other problem is associated with the collection of data, for some of the following reasons;
· Very few census surveys take place in LEDCs.
· Registration is inadequate and unrepresentative. Only the better educated, wealthier people can understand the registration procedures.
· Refusal to fill in forms for political or personal reasons, e.g. poll tax survey in the UK.
· Reasons for an unreliable census;
̃ Incomplete mapping.̃ Lack of trained staff.̃ Hard to record nomadic peoples.̃ Transport difficulties.
̃ Male staff unable to interview women in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, due to cultural differences.
̃ Language (regional dialects) difficulties.̃ Age shifting associated with status, particularly in teenage girls.
̃ Low literacy levels.
· They can be adapted to portray something entirely different for political reasons.