The Human Development Index (HDI) is a tool used to measure a country’s overall achievements in its social and economic dimensions. It was developed by Pakistani economist Dr. Mahbub ul Haq and was used by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to measure a country’s development. A country scores a higher HDI when the life expectancy indicator i.e., lifespan, the education level and the gross national income GNI per capita (PPP) is higher.
The human development index examines three important criteria/dimensions of economic development.
• Standard of living
The health dimension is assessed by life expectancy at birth; the education dimension is measured by mean years of schooling for adults aged 25 years and more and expected years of schooling for children of school entering age. The standard of living dimension is measured by gross national income per capita (PPP). Questions:
Being a student of Sociology of Development, you are required to pick any one country with the highest HDI and explain all three dimensions of that country in the table given below. Solution:
I pick up Norway because Norway is at the top of list among 189 countries with an HDI value of 0.953, while Niger is at last of the list with HDI value of 0.354
Life expectancy at birth in Norway is 82.3 years which is less than Hong Kong 84.1 and Iceland 82.9. Norwegians live long life due to their physically active lifestyle and diet especially fresh fish consumed.
Expected years of schooling are 17.9 years which is less than Iceland 19.3. Mean years of schooling are 12.6 years which is less than Germany 14.1 and greater than Iceland 12.4. Higher education is mostly free. Norway achieved gender equality, with men and women both taking paid leave to care for newborn children. Gender equality has been made possible by special government focus on high-quality day-care centers.
Standard of Living
Gross national income (GNI) per capita is $68,012. Norway is a leading producer of petroleum and the world’s second largest exporter of seafood, after China. The Norwegian economic and welfare model has managed to achieve a relatively compressed wage system, low unemployment rates, high labor market participation – particularly for women – and impressive economic growth
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, education, and the gross national income (GNI) per capita indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development.
4 Tiers are:
Very high human development: 1 to 58 countries High human development: 59 to 112 countries Medium human development: 113 to 151 countries Low human development: 152 to 189 countries
Pakistan ranks 150 among 189 countries with an HDI value of 0.562 which places the country in the medium human development category in year 2018. Reports indicate that Pakistan has gone down, from 149 to 150th spot in the year 2017. Looking at this situation, you are required to give any five reasons for slow progress of Pakistan in the human development. Solution:
The reasons for slow progress in human development are:
• Pakistan doesn’t spend sufficient public resources on education and health
• Pakistan’s increasing population growth
• Pakistan’s rising inequality
• The level of inequality across different districts of Pakistan
• Low outreach of social services
• Pakistan need to increase public investments and access to social services
• High poverty rate
• High un-employment
• Climate change and environmental degradation
• War on terror
• Poor governance and political insecurity
• Energy sector crisis
• Low level of foreign investments
• Hyper inflation
• Less contribution of agricultural sector, live-stock and textile industries
• Lack of accountability of the bureaucracy
Any other suitable reason