What Is Human Development? Human development is a branch of study in economics. Moreover, it’s a theory that integrates the social, political, and economic approaches in social science. It measures individual wealth as opposed to economic development being a measure of wealth. Chiefly, it improves individual choices and enlarges people’s capabilities. Human development covers two aspects:

  • Formation of the human capabilities: It helps to build and establish capabilities that provide needs for people. Accordingly, humans need a favorable environment that brings out the best in them.
  • Enlarging of the capabilities: There is a need for improvement of the capabilities. For instance, after getting a University degree, one needs access to a job.

Human is different from other disciplines in social science because not only is it goal-based but also a process. Due to its nature, this results in three important aspects humans need.

  1. Long and healthy life
  2. Access to knowledge
  3. Descent standard of living
  4. Freedom of choice and participation in national matters

What is the human development index?

The human development index, abbreviated as (HDI) is a measure of human development. Furthermore, it comprises three factors: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living.

Human development indices:

Altogether, measuring development through the HDI is done through three (3) indices. (GDI) stands for Gender-related Development Index. Importantly, this is a measure of gender inequality. Similarly, the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) is an indicator of gender participation in social, political, and national participation. Lastly, The Human Poverty Index (HPI), is an aggregate to measure human poverty.

  • Long and healthy life

Life expectancy at birth

  • Access to knowledge

Adult literacy combined with gross enrollment.

  • Descent standards of living

The estimated income per capita (PPP$) in HDI

Earned income per capita (PPP$) in GDI

PPP stands for purchasing power parity: It’s a measure of how much a certain currency can buy the same number of goods or services in another country’s currency.

(HPI) Human poverty index

  • Vulnerability to death

Probability of not surviving the age of 40 years

  • Lack of access to knowledge

Adult literacy

  • Lack of access to basic needs:

Percentage of people having access to clean water and underweight babies born.

(GEM) Gender empowerment measure

  • Parliamentary empowerment

Percentage of the available parliamentary seats

  • Legislative empowerment

Percentage shared in parliament and people with professional jobs and technical workers.

  • Economic participation

Income earned per capita

Importance of human development

Human development helps countries to measure individual wealth and come up with an understanding of which part of the economy needs resources. It does not treat people as agents but as active participants in the development, compared to other fields like human resources. For that reason, it covers all aspects of the economy from social economic and political to personal development.

Further, it does not measure personal wealth based on economic development. This is because wealthy countries can be in conflict and poor countries with good democracy. Therefore, It makes it easy to measure development and does not raise media suspicion and attention.

Source: Zambianguardian

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