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Indicators of Country Development

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: International Studies
Wordcount: 3029 words Published: 12th Oct 2017

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This lesson deals with the social and other indicators of development. Increasingly, development economists have become aware that growth of output or income by themselves are not adequate indicators of development, and that the reduction of poverty and the satisfaction of basic human needs are goals that should show up in a measure of development. There has been growing interest in designing better measures of development, including modifications of GNP, social indicators and associated systems..


  1. Objectives

After going through this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Describe the supplementary nature of socio-economic factors.
  • Describe the importance of social indicators.


6.1 Communication

  • Communication is sharing of knowledge, information and experience. It makes people understand, persuade, convert or control one another. It is a two way process. Communication is an essential element of life. It begins with the birth of a man and ends with his death.
  • It is an ongoing process and is forever in motion. For the sake of convenience we may talk about communication elements such as source, context and message as if they were static and discrete elements existing apart from their role in the total act of communication. But this is simply a method for explaining and illustrating the various elements.
  • Basically, communication is a continuous, dynamic, circular, unrepeatable, irreversible and complex process. All the activities of not only whole life but also of society and country depend upon communication. So if used constructively, communication can play a major role in various development activities.
  • It is an important element in the matrix of influences, which leads to the innovation and modernization of society. It can help to create an environment favorable for change and development.
  • Communication can help people to face problems on an individual basis and also on collective basis on various fronts.
  • Without communication the development and progress would go unnoticed as it is only that spreads the news from one region to another.
  • Country’s development can be speeded up by the introduction of communication media
  • As the technology of communication becomes more advance, we are still going to witness more revolution in the way people communicate with each other and develop positive & creative change in thinking on development.
  • Communication for development refers to a strategy, process that promotes social changes through dialogue, knowledge-sharing, and participation, is dependent on a free flow of communication.
  • Development oriented themes such as family planning; adult education, primary health care etc. can be spread to people much faster through communication. People feedback on developmental programmes can be passed to the policy makers only through communication. Communication is an indicator of development for the future since people come to know about the event in advance, that may happen only through communication.


6.2 Happiness Index (HI)

International Development Research Centre; the United Nations Development Programme Thimphu; the Canadian International Development Agency; GPI-Atlantic, the province of Nova Scotia; the French-American Charitable Trust, (deeply committed to the cause of happiness)

We have certain strategies, certain policies, to pursue this goal of happiness. We should enrich our knowledge and understanding of happiness itself; and further, how much we can improve and refine the processes that we have adopted. Happiness is the ultimate desired end. Greater intellect and further wisdom on the subject of happiness is the key requirement.

HI seeks to promote a conscious, inner search for happiness and requisite skills which must harmonize with beneficial management and development of outer circumstances. HI stresses collective happiness to be addressed directly through public policies in which happiness becomes an explicit criterion in development projects and programmes.

HI indicators are an evaluative tool and can be used to check whether programmes are consistent with HI indicators & also create conditions for a coherent, relationship between professed values on the one hand and actual policies, programmes and projects on the other. It means- country’s economic, political, social progress etc is in the right direction.

Economic policies are happiness policies since individuals are able to buy goods and services, thereby satisfying themselves. People derive sense of confidence and achievement, financial, economic self reliance. Thus in a way it brings happiness.


6.3 Democracy as an indicator

Democracy is a system of government that runs by the elected representatives of the people. The underlying theme of human development is the broadening of human choice. The number of democracies has been growing through the past two centuries.

At the start of the 20th century only a handful of countries could be described as democracies. The fact was that woman could not vote. A number of these countries might not qualify as liberal democracies by demanding more standards. Countries with democratic institutions have been growing rapidly-this process is linked with economic development. Although it is clear that economic development does not automatically bring development.

  • Democratic process helps to establish and sustain the institutions best suited to maximize human choice and potential. Well-informed decision makers need reliable feedback on where, why and how mass support for democracy is growing and where it is failing.
  • Scenario of development opened up because of the increasing influence of democracy. As a result Indian environment got a boost and the face of economic development of India changed completely. Various democratic reforms played a pivotal role in the development.
  • Reaping its benefit, the growth of the country can be raised manifold. A great atmosphere is important for proper growth and development. Thus, democratic environment is inevitable a must for development. In democratic setup there is a sense of freedom, of course within the framework of constitution. People can diversify in any area of interest. People can achieve desired goals un- inhibited, unhesitatingly. When ideas have no boundary, progress and development is superb.
  • Under pressure and tension it is difficult to reach a desired aim. Although freedom is associated with rules & responsibilities, but it is beneficial. The three D’s go together –democracy, diversity, and dialogue.
  • In democracy there is a feeling of contentment, freedom and satisfaction. Therefore, people can work with their full capacity, creativity. Good, strong & firm foundation is the basis of a great nation. True democracy- important indicator for development. Govt. should take opinion into consideration, all for local development from the people. When a govt. is making a decision on public project, people are free to express their views before the govt. personnel’s. Thereby, bringing all-round development of the nation.


6.4 Human Rights as indicator:

  • Human rights are the natural rights of all human beings irrespective of their sex. Efforts are made all over the world to take adequate measures for the promotion and protection of human rights. It is only through communication that people become aware and educated about their rights, which they can exercise or have been granted to them.
  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10th December 1948, according to which all men and women are entitled to civil, political, economic, social, cultural rights and freedom for the people of the world. The United Nations and other international organizations, several non-governmental organizations: Amnesty International and In India the People’s Union of Civil Liberties and the Media have been creating greater awareness.
  • Example: The Frontline in its issue of 24 Sep’ The Times of India in its special report on 28 Nov, both in 1999 spell out in detail the gross violation of Human Rights in Tamil Nadu.

  • The preamble (an introduction or preface) to the constitution, fundamental rights and directive principles (guidelines for the framing of laws), which together have been described as forming the core of the constitution reflect the basic principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Every Development programme should incorporate an aspect on human rights. Development communicators must shoulder the responsibility of educating various target groups on how to respect and exercise human rights. This requires democratization of communication, which means an access to all existing media to the masses for sharing information and the facts related to human rights without any discrimination.
  • Without freedom, other human rights cannot be exercised effectively either within National borders or within the world community. The expansion of human rights, therefore, depends largely on the success of expanding the flow of information everywhere.

The Human Right principles to guide development programming identified in this agreement are:

  • Universality and inalienability
  • Indivisibility
  • Interdependence and interrelatedness
  • Equality and non-discrimination
  • Inclusion and participation
  • Accountability


6.5 Social Relations [inequality]

Participation has emerged as a key concept, being of considerable importance to development. Ideally people must be free to develop as individuals. People should be encouraged and opportunities should be created for their own development. But problems are there in real participation. People should themselves design media. In present situation elites have a say in decision making. But the majority of the poor have little access to resources. Actually these groups should become the principal elements in the effort to design the media. The prevailing system encourages competition and hierarchy and not cooperation and unity. The existing educational system encourages the individual for his development but does not stress cooperative effort. This attitude leads to inequality. The media system should stress development of a spirit of solidarity and unity.

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Social Relations takes as its focus the relationships between people and their social world. It assumes that people are engaged in and shaped by multiple relationships, events and influences. Human experience and behaviour is therefore explored, not only by taking a range of social and psychological factors into account but also, importantly, by paying close attention to the meanings and interpretations that people attach to their diverse experiences. The poor are often branded as irrational, lazy and irresponsible. The concept of ‘the individual’ can by definition exist only in relational terms. A person constructs a sense of identity in relation to family, other people, cultural practices, gender, social class, social/political systems, sexuality, geographic location and physical and mental abilities. It is therefore necessary to engage in learning as a cultural activity and to appreciate connections between individuals and the social, political and cultural structures that impact upon them.

Social capital– value of social networks, bonding with similar people and bridging between diverse people with norms of reciprocity, also trusting relationships between individual in an economy, it highlights the central role of social relations for social capital.

Social Relations is a multi disciplinary approach that draws on several theoretical methodologies and its analysis. Each focuses from different angles on how people organize and make meaning of their world and their relationships within it.

Interaction becomes a valuable resource for exploration of insight into the dimensions of human relationships. Social Relations has particular relevance for people whose professional careers require a broad understanding of human behaviour and social relationships

Caste Associations & tactics contributed significantly in the inequality of social relations. There are caste based differences in the leadership and environment around; conflict has often been the result. Castes promotes political instability & confusion, violates basic principle of constitution (democracy).

This highlights the central role of social relations for social capital and on that perspective developmental concept can be viewed. The availability of social capital, its proper use may be reflected in organizational maintenance. This creates opportunities for development by making visible the potential gap between availability & use. Relations teaches us unity in diversity; World is a global village- ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’. Unity is power, disunity is death.

Unless there is a degree of humility on the part of the professional staff and a desire to listen and understand other people, they will not be in a position to relate to others through media. There is a general assumption on the part of media professionals that they can disseminate a particular idea without exchanging ideas with the grass-root people as they are specialists. A majority of them show little or no respect for the experience and knowledge of the people – the creative potential of the peasants or slum dwellers. They fail to understand that poor people are more suited to depict the issues concerning them and present their own lives. In order to achieve participation, consultation, cooperation and effective mobilization of people, the media system would need to assist in establishing a sense of community and would need a desire to resolve the issues concerning them.

Forming organizations with leadership emerging from within require participation and enables rural people to exercise more control over their lives.

Emphasis is on the idea of self – reliance on the available natural and human resources, and on the ability of individuals to define developmental problems, set goals, and make decisions independently and in accordance with their own social and cultural ethos.

  • Respect connections between individuals and the social, political and cultural structures that have impact upon them.
  • Relations are like plants, we got to nurture them regularly.
  • Thinking in terms of living and letting others live.
  • Often in the hype over economic growth, we forget the harsh reality of India’s-extreme poverty, hunger, disease, lack of education, and regressive social practices. We should be concerned about them.
  • These simmering injustices cannot be allowed to fester (pus, ulcer, decay; rot) because they will heighten social tensions that will ultimately risk our growth story. These key problems need speedy intervention.



Summing Up:

In this lesson we studied about various indicators. When drafting proposals, policymakers require data on a wide range of factors, such as social, economic and administrative environment, etc. Indicators are obvious signs or hints used to point something out, or highlight something. An indicator is a form of measurement in order to determine the level to what an extent. An indicator tells us if we are meeting or met the goal. Social indicators actually give a true picture of economy. All the types of social and economic indicators constitute the state of the nation. A review of these approaches and concepts points to the conclusion that the use of social and human indicators is the most promising supplement to GNP, particularly if work on social indicators is done in areas central to the basic needs approach.

6.9 Keywords:

  1. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: It is a philosophy that inculcates an understanding that the whole world is one family
  2. Social Relations: A relation between living organisms (especially between people).
  3. Caste: The system of dividing society into such classes.
  4. Preamble: An introduction or preface to the constitution.
  5. Fundamental rights: An interest protected by the superior or basic law of the land.
  6. Directive Principles: Guidelines for the framing of laws.



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