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Outline the indicators used to identify patterns of development at a global scale and explain their limitations

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Introduction

Outline the indicators used to identify patterns of development at a global scale and explain their limitations Development indicators provide a means of measuring aspects of development for which is available and which are, therefore quantifiable. There is no yardstick for measuring development since the development process in multi-dimensioned. There are many development indicators and they are used to identify where poverty is worst, to stimulate debate to where aid is to be given. Development indicators can be split into three major groupings, those based on economic data, those based on social data and those based on demographic data. To measure development using economic data Gross National Product (GNP) is most commonly used. It's the total value of goods and services produced in a county in a single year. GNP/capita gives an average value for the wealth of the total population. Its found by dividing the total GNP of a country by its population size. Although GNP figures are easier to measure and obtain than other indicators, there are limitations to their use and validity. The figures are much more accurate in countries that have well-documented economies with many economic transactions and where trade is good, labour and services can be measured as they pass through the market place. ...read more.

Middle

They do not show how well trained the physicians are or how well trained or equipped the hospitals or medical centres are. Physicians and hospital beds tend to be in concentrated in urban areas, so these indicators give only a partial view of the health services available to the entire population. Leisure and recreation time is another social indicator of development. As a country become more developed, there is an increase in the leisure and recreation time. In developing countries there is not a clear-cut division of labour, particularly in a sustenance economy. Some people may have very high skilled demanding jobs that don't allow them to have free recreation time. Another indicator is Daily food supply, This is measured in calories per person and it indicates the energy value of an average diet in a particular country. Its calculated by dividing all the food supply by the total population. There is difficulty in obtaining accurate information in the developing world as much of the food produced is through subsistence agriculture. The population might not be benefiting from their diet, they might have a high calorie intake but it might not be a healthy balanced diet with fresh fruit and vegetables. ...read more.

Conclusion

The HDI contains no measure of Human Rights or Freedom. Freedom is too difficult to measure and too volatile. The Index does not divide the world up neatly not groups of countries to which we attach labels such as 'First World and Third World'. In this essay I have talked about global indicators of development and their limitations. I've learnt that even the best single indicator is an inadequate measure of human well being or progress in a particular country. A country can have a reasonably high level of development when measured by some indicators but be relatively underdeveloped when measured by others. Progress means different things to different people, and cannot be measured easily by a single index. No development indicator or index is capable of capturing the richness and diversity of human experience, or measuring what brings happiness to rich and poor people. Statistics will always over-generalize and ignore inequalities. In addition, Data is not always reliable and is often out of date, If it is available at all. Measuring development will continue to be a complex business, however it will only be through support of relevant and reliable measures of development that the worlds governments and decision makers will be able to develop programmes that address the needs of the deprived and ignored people of the world. ...read more.

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