Human development encompasses all aspects of individual’s well-being, from their health status to their economic and political freedom. Development cannot be reduced to a country’s wealth:  countries with similar average incomes can differ substantially when it comes to people’s quality of life.

“Human development is the end – economic growth a means” Human Development Report, 1996

Actors of Development

  • NGOs
  • Governments
  • International institutions (United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank…)
  • The Private sector

What are the Millennium Development Goals?

They are the world’s time-bound targets, with a deadline of 2015, for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions. The largest gathering of world leaders pledged their commitment at the Millennium Summit in 2000. The Goals are:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Global partnership for development


Challenges to Development

Different countries have different priorities in their development policies. Governments and other institutions have to balance many diverse challenges and objectives. The most critical are often seen as the eradication of extreme poverty and preserving peace. Both war and poverty are destructive to all economic, social and environmental goals.

“Human beings are the centre of concern for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.” (Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992)

Sustainable Development Goals

Development is considered sustainable if it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development is about long-term conditions for humanity’s multidimensional well-being.

Post 2015 the world is working towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Sources: World Bank

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