What Is Development?

Development is the process of improving people’s living standards, such as their incomes, consumption levels of food and medical services, education, and self-esteem through the establishment of social, political and economic systems and institutions that promote dignity and respect and increasing people’s freedom to choose.

Traditionally, development has been viewed as a process of change that operates over time, and which allows all the basic needs of a country or region to be met. This is done to enable people to live healthier, happier, and more productive lives.

The process of human development has many different theoretical perspectives, each based on the assumptions that researchers hold about the nature of humans and their development. Some theories assume that all humans pass through development pathways in the same way, whereas others believe that development can take on a variety of patterns and pathways, depending on the individual’s cultural, historical, and societal context.

A number of factors impact the process of human development, including brain development, environmental experiences, and the way in which people interact with others. These factors can also affect the pace at which a person progresses through developmental tasks.

The United Nations uses the HDI (Human Development Index) to measure a country’s level of development. The HDI measures life expectancy, adult literacy rates, and school enrollment. It also considers GNI per capita, or gross national income. The highest HDI countries are generally considered to be those with high GDP per capita and a high standard of living.