Evaluation of development indicators

Economic measures of development

Measures such as the Gross National Income/Gross National Product (per capita) allow an easy comparison to be made between countries.

Positives of using the GNI/GNP

  • It’s easy to use dollars to compare the differences in wealth between countries.
  • It gives a baseline figure of the amount per head of population that each person in the country is likely to earn on average each year.

Negatives of using the GNI/GNP

  • Actually working out how much money is earned within a country is very difficult. It takes a lot of effort to collect this information. In many countries there are concerns about how accurate the information is.
  • In our globalised world it is increasingly difficult to work out who owns what and where the money and profit might actually belong.

Social measures of development

Both Life Expectancy and the Infant Mortality Rate can be used to help to measure the levels of healthcare within a population. These can help to show how developed the medical facilities are.

Positives of using social measures

  • Life expectancy and infant mortality rates are very easy rates to record and work out. They do depend on very good information from hospital records, which are kept in most countries.
  • Both measures give a measure that allows a direct comparison with other countries and it is easy to see the pattern and how this will impact healthcare.

Negatives of using social measures

  • Not all countries collect good statistics. In many poor countries, there is no money to collect this sort of information.
  • Many aid organisations have been at work in LEDCs over many years to help decrease death rates and it is these programmes and NOT additional government funding that has had an impact on Life Expectancies and Infant Mortality. For example, Non-Governmental Organisations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have pumped huge amounts of money into supporting healthcare in LEDCs.