What is Development? By what is meant by this question? It is nothing but the progress of all human activities made by people for the overall benefit of man. The progress of development is a human activity that includes creation of knowledge, growth of material resources, improvement of technology, expansion of markets, and improvement in infrastructure. In other words, all the developments in the life of humans are considered as development.
In the present-day economic studies of the global public sector, social and economic development is the foremost process by which a country, state, community, or an individual is improved as per predetermined objectives and targets. Besides, development can be also referred to as progress toward realization of particular human rights, the achievement of economic potential, and the maintenance of quality of life. There has been much debate on the definition of development and its relation to socioeconomic policy.
The primary aim of the socioeconomic policies and programmes is to enhance economic growth, reduce poverty, increase the productive capacity of the individuals, ensure decent work-based wages and productive assets, and reduce the incidence of social differentiation. In order to achieve these, there has to be a system of investment, allocation of resources, and policies to ensure employment creation as well as economic welfare. A large part of development financing comes from governmental sources such as central and local governments, international organizations and non-profit agencies. The federal government, through its foreign assistance programmes, has provided billions of dollars in aid to developing countries. Several other sources of finance are available from developed countries, including fossil fuels companies, private foundations, and corporations.
In the debate on the definition of development, two broad categories have been used, namely, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Human Development. GDP pertains to the total value of all the production in a specific period of time, while Human Development includes the basic human needs of health, education, shelter and safety. These two categories are often used interchangeably, but the relationship between them is not clear.
Globalisation, the movement of economic activity internationally, and the growth of international trade, have helped improve living standards and led to the rise of the middle class around the world. At the same time, development economics has examined the impact of international trade on economic development. It has determined that although development can be driven by domestic factors, such as investment, technology and infrastructure, it can also be the result of external factors, such as remuneration and exchange rates, politics, and climate. This framework of economic development integrates economic growth with other dimensions of social development such as the provision of public goods, the promotion of the family, and protection of the environment.
Another important aspect of development economics is the protection and utilization of the natural resources. For instance, development in Africa can be improved through better use of natural resources, including air transport, telecommunications, natural gas, water supplies and mineral resources such as gold, coal and iron ore. Although sustainable development focuses on long-term changes in development, its effects are still felt today, and are sometimes considered to exceed the benefits of any particular economic growth strategy.