Some useful links to good teaching resources for Globalisation and Global Development.
Good resources providing an overview of global trends and global inequalities:
Firstly, this 2016 video imagines the world as 100 people, and so illustrates what percentage of people live on less than $2 a day and so on (once you get through the ‘basic’ stuff on ethnicity/ religion etc…
A few stand-out facts are:
1% of the population own 50% of the world’s wealth
15% don’t have access to clean water
less than 50% have access to the internet
Secondly, Worldometers provides real time world statistics on population, the environment, food, health and media and society.
A few stand-out facts are…..
The total number of malnourished people in the world is decreasing!
The total number of people with no access to clean drinking water is also decreasing!
HOWEVER, we’re losing approximately 20 HA a minute to desertification and 10 HA a minute to deforestation, which could undermine both of the above in the future.
Good resources for researching individual countries
The United Nation’s Country Profiles are probably the most accessible place to start – each country’s page gives you basic development indicators which you can then click on to expand.
The CIA World Fact Book is a useful source for more qualitative information on a country by country by country basis, organised into various categories such as geography, population, economics, politics and so on…
Good Resources for tracking ‘Indicators of Development’
‘Until the end of the Second World War, national governments were traditionally responsible for ensuring the welfare of their citizens, however since 1945, more and more governments have become members of International Institutions, such as the United Nations and the European Union, through which they agree to stick to International guidelines on issues such as citizenship and human rights. In this way, global political ideals restrict the freedom of governments to shape domestic social policy. ‘
Anthony Giddens (2009) notes the following features of Political Globalisation
The collapse of Communism in the 1990s meant the end of the divided ‘cold war’ world, and now these ex-communist countries are themselves democracies and integrated into the global economy.
The growth of international and regional mechanisms of government such as the United Nations and European Union – governments of Nation States are increasingly restricted by international directives and laws stemming from these international bodies.
International Non-Governmental organisations such as OXFAM or Greenpeace operate in dozens of countries, and members tend to have an international outlook.
The United Nations use The Human Development Index (HDI) as a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. It provides a useful ‘snap-shot’ of a country’s economic and social development.
The Human Development Index measures Human Development using four indicators
To measure health – Life expectancy at birth
To measure education – the average (mean) number years of adult education adults over 25 have received and the number of expected years of education children attending school can expect
To measure standard of living – Gross National Income per capita (PPP)
Each country is then given a rank from between 0 and 1 based on how well it scores in relation to ‘constructed minimum’ and ‘observed maximum scores for each of these criteria. The minimum and maximum scores for each criteria are as below
Life expectancy at birth
Mean years of adult education adults over 25 have received
number of years of education children attending school can expect
Gross National Income per capita (PPP)
(*This is the level below which the UN believes there is no prospect for human development!)
How does the HDI work out a country’s score? – it’s quite easy – if a country has a life expectancy of 83.2, and all the other maximums, it would score one, if it had a life expectancy of 20, and all the other minimums it would score zero. If it was half way between the minimum and maximum – it would score 0.5 – NB by the UK’s standards, this would be a pretty low level of human development!
The Human Development Index – Best and Worst Performers
If a country scores 1-0.788 it is classified as a ‘developed country’ with ‘high human development’ – as are 42 countries – most European countries come into this category. These are typically the countries with GNIs of $40K per capita or more, 13 full years of education and 80+ life expectancies.
If a country scores 0.48 or lower it is classified as having Low human development – e.g. Sierra Leonne – here you will see a GNI per capita of below $1000, 10 years or less of school and life expectancies in the 60s.
Advantages of the Human Development Index
It provides us with a much fuller picture of how well developed a country is, allowing for fuller comparisons to be made.
It shows us that while there is a general correlation between economic and social development, two countries with the same level of economic development may have different levels of social development. See below for examples.
Some argue that this is a more human centred approach, concerned more with actual human welfare than just mere economics. It gets more to ‘the point’ of economic development.
Two Limitations of the Human Development Index
Relying on the HDI score alone may disguise a lack of social development in a country – for example a very high GNI can compensate for poor life-expectancy, as is the case in the United States.
It is still only provides a fairly limited indication of social development – only health and education are covered – there are many other ways of measuring health and education.
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