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In the News

Development in reverse: How global crises have impacted on development

Craig Gelling

14th September 2022

The latest UN research into life expectancy, education and economic prosperity has seen as many as 90% of nations lose ground as the global crises of the war in Ukraine, COVID-19 and the climate crisis impact on development.

One of the big questions for students of global development is how best to measure the progress of development policies. Whilst some argue that economic measures are best suited to measure development, other argue that these fail to address the inequality in many nations. Alternatively, some suggest social measures are more relevant, however, these are often harder to measure quantitatively than economic measures.

The UN Human Development Index is one of the most comprehensive measures of a nation’s development, combining economic and social indicators of development to assess the process a nation is making. 191 nations are currently measured by the UN index that was first unveiled in 1990. Over the past 30 years, the HDI has shown slow progress towards development for most nations, despite other global crises such as the War on Terror in the early part of the 21st century and the global economic crisis of 2008.

However, for the first time since it’s inception, the UN’s Human Development Index is forecast a decline in the level of development on as many as 90% of nations. This is impacted by falling life expectancies in nations, declining economic prosperity, and falling levels of education caused by the disruption of COVID-19.

You can read more about the projected impacts in this article from the BBC.

Craig Gelling

Craig is an experienced Sociology teacher and examiner and is known as The Sociology Guy on social media. Craig helps design and deliver tutor2u Sociology CPD courses and student exam workshops.

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