Development is an umbrella term that describes processes related to improving people’s lives through improved access to resources, technology, education, wealth, opportunity and choice. Governments, non-profit organizations, and inter-government agencies work towards these goals with a variety of approaches.
Common-sense Definition: Normally, development refers to changes in people’s living standards, through improvements in food, housing, education, employment, sanitation, and health services. It also involves a change in people’s self-esteem through improved or new social, political, and economic systems and institutions that promote human dignity and respect.
Sustained Economic Growth: This is the key to a country’s ability to increase its income and the overall standard of living for its population. It also helps to foster a more sustainable economy that protects the environment.
International Trade Model of Development: A strategy that embraces free trade and elects to seek specialization of products and services that are in high demand in the global market. This model requires that a country be willing to increase its imports, remove barriers to trade, and reduce its dependence on foreign suppliers.
Resource Curse/Dutch Disease: This idea suggests that those places blessed with abundant natural resources are disproportionately affected by the activities associated with cultivation and mining of those resources, especially in areas where they are in short supply or in very high demand elsewhere. This can have a dramatic impact on the quality of life of the inhabitants of these places.
Micro-finance: This term suggests a different approach to development that provides financial and banking services specifically to those who would otherwise be excluded due to their socioeconomic status. It can include things like credit cards and interest bearing accounts, which can make a difference in an individual’s ability to remain in school or start a business.