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Chapter 1: Defining, conceptualising and measuring development

Chapter 1: Defining, conceptualising and measuring development Aims of the chapter
• To provide definitions of the groupings used for poor nations of the world, such as ‘Third World’, ‘developing world’ and ‘Global South’. • To outline the spatial and conceptual limits of these terms and their current appropriateness. • To outline the nature and processes of development as a concept as debated by scholars and policy-makers. • To examine how development has been measured in relation to indicators such as Gross National Product and Income, and the Human Development Index, together with a discussion of the importance of the Millennium Development Goals.

Learning objectives
By the end of this chapter and relevant reading, you should be able to: • discuss the different terms used to describe the poorest countries of the world and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each one • explain what the term ‘development’ means • describe the different measures of development, focusing on per capita GNP/GNI and the HDI and assess their comparative merits and limitations • outline the Millennium Development Goals, and identify the obstacles to their fulfilment across the Global South.

Essential reading
Dodds, Klaus ‘The Third World, Developing Countries, the South, Poor Countries’ in Desai, Vandana and Robert B. Potter (eds) The Companion to Development Studies. (London: Hodder Arnold, 2008) second edition [ISBN 9780340889145] pp.3–7. Elliott, Jennifer A. ‘Development as Improving Human Welfare and Human Rights’ in Desai and Potter (eds) (2008) pp.40–45. Potter, Robert, Tony Binns, Jennifer A. Elliott and David Smith Geographies of Development. (Harlow: Pearson Education, 2008) [ISBN 9780132228237] Chapter 1. Rigg, Jonathan ‘The Millennium Development Goals’ in Desai and Potter (eds) (2008) pp.30–37. Thirlwall, A.P ‘Development as Economic Growth’ in Desai and Potter (eds) . (2008) pp.37–40.

Further reading
Clemens, Michael A., Charles J. Kenny and Todd J. Moss ‘The Trouble with the MDGs: Confronting Expectations of Aid and Development Success’, World Development, 35(5) 2007, pp.735–51 [ISSN 0305750X].

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109 Geographies of development Hicks, Douglas A. ‘The Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index: A Constructive Proposal’, World Development, 25(8) 1997, pp.1283–298 [ISSN 0305750X]. Rigg, Jonathan An Everyday Geography of the Global South. (London and New York: Routledge, 2007) [ISBN 9780415376099] Chapter 1. Rist, Gilbert The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith. (London: Zed, 1997) [ISBN 9781856494922] Chapters 1 and 4. Saith, Ashwani ‘From Universal Values to Millennium Development Goals: Lost in Translation’, Development and Change, 37(6) 2006, pp.1167–199 [ISSN 0012155X]. Thomas, Alan ‘Meanings and Views of Development’ in Allen, Tim and Alan Thomas (eds) Poverty and Development into the 21st Century. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) second edition [ISBN 9780198776260] pp.23–48. United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] Human Development Report 2005. (New York: UNDP 2005) [ISBN 9780195305111] (downloadable , from http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2005/). United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] Human Development Report 2006. (New York: UNDP 2006) [ISBN 9780230500587] (downloadable , from http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/hdr06-complete.pdf). United Nations The Millennium Goals Report 2007. (New York: UN, 2007)(downloadable from http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Resources/Static/Products/Progress2007/ UNSD_MDG_Report_2007e.pdf). Willis, Katie Theories and Practices of Development. (London and New York: Routledge, 2005) [ISBN 9780415300537] Chapter 1.

Useful web sites
www.un.org/millenniumgoals/ – web site of the UN Millennium Development Goals www.mdgmonitor.org/ – web site of the MDG Monitor that shows how countries are progressing in achieving the MDGs. www.eldis.org/ – web site of a gateway to...
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