Unit Aims

In this unit you will;

  • Gain a greater understanding of how “Development” is related to Economic, Social, Political and Environmental Factors
  • Be able to define and use a range of Development Indicators to assess a country’s level of development.
  • Be aware of global variation in development. 
  • Use maps and data to describe the global pattern of development. 
  • Understand the links between different development indicators.
  • Understand the limitations of using single development indicators to assess relative development
  • Know what the Human Development Index is and how it is calculated.
  • Be able to discuss why HDI gives a better indication of relative development.
  • Know what the Happy Planet index is and how it differs from the HDI.
  •  Be able to assess the relative development of countries using a range of development indicators.

Part 1: Measuring Development

We have learned what Development is, the next question is how do we measure it?

In order to understand which countries are the most developed, we must have ways to measure it. This is not a simple thing to do as development is a complex issue.

Look at the image below. What could we use to compare the lives of people living on opposite sides of the road. 

unequalscenes.com produces great photos of the differences in development within countries. This photo shows inequality in South Africa, on the right is the Kya Sands Slum, on the left the luxury homes of the suburb of Bloubosrand. Johannesburg, South Africa.

1) Look back at the, “What is Development?” worksheet we did from this page.
It asked us to consider Development from the point of view of the country’s Economy, Politics, Society and Environment. Can you think of a way to measure each of these?
If you have not completed it then do so now. The file is below.

2) Open the Development Indicators Summary document above and complete the task on slide one, using a photograph from unequalscenes.com

3) Look at the mind map below. You will find a copy of it on slide 2 of the power point you used in Q2 above.  

3) Transfer the information from the mind map to the table on slide 3. Write the Indicators below into the relevant column of the table.(Economy, Politics, Society and Environment). You may add some of the indicators to more than one column.

Can you arrange these into Economic, Social, Political and Environmental?

4) Complete the worksheet below using the information on this geographyalltheway.com page.

You will need to collect data from the CIA Factbook. Click on the banner below to go to the page.

5) Development Top Trumps.This activity is from the same geographyalltheway.com page you have been working from. 

We will be creating a game of Development Top Trumps using data from the CIA Factbook. To do this we will all create 4 cards using the document below. 

For now you should only get data for GDP/Capita (US$), Life Expectancy, Birth Rate. We will be discussing the Human Development Index and Happy Planet Index later in this unit. 

6) Which country is the most developed? Use the data you have collected on your four countries, to write a summary stating which country is the most developed and why. You must refer to the data you added to your Top Trump Cards. 

7) Which of the three indicators GDP/Capita (US$), Life Expectancy or Birth Rate gives us the best indication of a country’s level of development. Explain your answer.

Composite Measures of Development.

A range of Development Indicators. Which do you think is the most accurate?

Up to this point we have focussed on wealth (GDP/Capita) and Health, (Life expectancy) to measure development. We have also mentioned how birth and date rates can also indicate a countries level of development. In doing this we have also highlighted problems in using such development indicators on their own.

Would it not be better to use the different indicators together in order to calculate relative levels of development? The Human Development Index (HDI) is a better measure of development as it takes into account both economic and social factors.

The Human Development Index:

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistical index used to rank the ‘human development’ of countries, on a scale between 0 and 1. It was introduced to combine three measures – life expectancy (a social measure), education (average number of years of schooling and expected years of schooling– a social measure) and gross national income per capita (an economic measure).

Each of the different measures is then ranked in order. A country with a very high life expectancy will score +1 and a country with a low score will be close to 0. The same is done for the 2 other measures and a final rank order is achieved. (Source BBC Bitesize)

Part 2: The “Development Pathway.”

The Development Pathway from Richard Allaway (geographyalltheway.com)
Read the Development Pathway presentation above and answer then following questions on the Development Pathway Notes PPT document. (Click on the blue button above) You may add more slides to the document as required. In some cases you will need to add labels to the graphs, you will also need to write sentences using text boxes on the slides.
  1. Define each of the acronyms used in the presentation, including at least one example of each. (LLEDC, LEDC, RIC, OPEC, NIC, MEDC)
  2. Now look at the following acronyms used by the World Bank and their definitions. Add them to the acronyms in your notes.

  1. Do you think the World back terms are better at describing a countries level of development? What are the strengths and weaknesses of system.

Rostow’s model

Rostow suggests that countries will follow a linear path towards the peak of development that he calls High Mass Consumption.

  • Traditional Society
  • Pre-Conditions for Take Off
  • Take Off
  • The Drive to Maturity
  • High Mass Consumption

In order to understand Rostow’s model, you must first become familiar with the different Industrial Secotors. We will be looking in more detail at this in the coming weeks but for now I would like you to read the information in the link below and add notes to your PPT on the “Industrial Sectors” page . Click on the diagram below from BBC Bitesize to find the definitions.

  1. Define the following terms and give examples for each.
  • Primary Industry
  • Secondary Industry
  • Tertiary Industry
Industrial Sectors, (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary) from BBC Bitesize
The Rostow model described in the presentation below suggests a pathway of economic growth a country may take.
  1. Now read through the prsentation below on the Rostow model and make notes on each stage, highlighting the features of each level and what is required for a country to move to the next level of development. Your notes should be added to the Developement Pathway Notes PPT.
The Rostow Model from Richard Allaway (geographyalltheway.com)
  1. Given what we know about the impacts of our Mass Consumption, can you suggest modifications that you would like make to the Rostow’s model. What would you call the highest level of development in the model?
  1. Watch this great documentary that looks at the Democratic Republic of Congo. As you watch it, add notes to you Rostow Model. Can you find evidence from the video that suggests the country did follow the path predicted by Rostow? Below are some things to look out for whilst you watch.
  • What was the region like before the Portuguese slave traders arrived?
  • Where were the slaves taken?
  • What happened to society in the Kingdom of Kongo during the time of slavery? What impact did this have on the country?
  • Who took over control of the Congo from early 19th Century?
  • What was the commodity (raw material) that was collected from the Congo’s forests?
  • Who did the work? Who made the money?
  • What mineral, mined in the Congo, helped the allies win WW1?
  • What mineral mined in the Congo helped end WW2 and changed the world forever?
  • When the Belgians gave the Congo independence, why was it so hard for them to manage the country? Think about the skills needed.
  • What is the connection between the DRC and your mobile phone?

The Portuguese, Belgians, Mobutu and the present government have all deliberately stifled the development of a strong state, army, judiciary and education system, because it interferes with their primary focus, making money from what lies under the Earth.

The billions of pounds those minerals have generated have brought nothing but misery and death to the very people who live on top of them, while enriching a microscopic elite in the Congo and their foreign backers, and underpinning our technological revolution in the developed world.

  1. Read the quote above and explain what it means in your own words. Use the information from the documentary to help you.

Read 1 and 2 and then answer the questions on 2.
The development gap 1.pdf

The development gap 2.pdf

Read 3 and 4 and then answer the questions on 4.
The development gap 3.pdf

The development gap 4.pdf


This site from BBC bitesize is an excellent summary. Read through the revision pages and then complete the Test at the end. Post a screen shot of your