Economic Development

The objective of this work is to define precisely what economic ‘development’ is through making an examination of the relationship that exists between economic development, economic growth and income. The question that will be answered are those of: “How would one characterize the importance of UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) and the UN Millennium Goals (MDGS) This work will also discuss and analyzes some of the characteristics that are inherent in rapidly growing economies.

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Economic development is the term used to refer to the “development of the economic wealth of countries or regions for the well-being of their inhabitants.” Economic development is evidenced when an increase in living stands is sustainable which “implies increased per capita income, better education and health as well as environmental protection.” (Wikipedia, 2006)

Economic development is defined by the ‘Economic Developers Association’ as: “The process of developing and maintaining suitable economic, social and political environments, in which balanced growth may be realized, increasing the wealth of the community.” (Economic Developers Association, 2003) Economic development is not static but is a “process.” (Ibid) Within this process of economic development are “series of steps that build on each other to crate a desired product or outcome.”

Economic growth is determined by the community or region and experiences impacts upon its’ successful implementation by the factors of: (1) available resources; and (2) desires of the community or region. Because economic development is a ‘process’ then the requirement of evaluation of the process exists. Periodic evaluation allows the adjustments that are necessary at each different stage to be made which allows for better use of resources and goal achievement.

In the work entitled; “Meeting the Demand for Skilled Workers in a Rapidly Growing Economy – Malaysia” published by the International Labor Office one of the characteristics of a rapidly growing economy is the lessening of unemployment and the addition of opportunities for workers. Furthermore, a rise. In rapidly expanding economies. Wages in Malaysia have risen by 10% annually for skilled and semi-skilled workers while wages for managers, technical workers and professionals rise by 7.5% and unskilled worker wages rose by 5%. In Malaysia the unemployment rates have fallen to below 3% during the last decade” while Stated within the report is that: “Malaysia’s economy has experienced a sharp turnaround since the recession of 1985-1986.” (2003) While the rise in wages and fall in unemployment rates is very positive the problem that exists in the economy of Malaysia in relation to wages is that There are many reasons for these wage patterns, not all of which have implications for vocational education and training. But studies show that the main reason for widening wage differentials is that the supply of skilled workers has not kept pace: managerial and technical workers have the lowest supply elasticity, followed by skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers. ” (Ibid)


The traditional approach to economic development ahs was one that is one-dimensional in nature according to the Centre for Community Enterprise. Today’s worked make sit a requirement that: “we can and must undertake something much bigger and more powerful; community economic development.” (2006) CED is stated to be a process wherein the individuals on a local basis collaborate and partner in economic and business pursuits that are interactive directing the community toward growth through a process of wealth accumulation through business.

CED is characteristic by the following:

multi-functional, comprehensive strategy of on-going activities, in contrast to individual economic development projects or other isolated attempts at community betterment;

an integration or merging of economic and social goals to bring about more ;

base of operating principles that empower the broad range of residents for the governance of development organizations and their community as a whole;

process guided by strategic planning and analysis, in contrast to opportunistic and unsystematic tactics;

businesslike financial management approach that builds both ownership of assets and a diverse range of financial and other partners and supporters; and an organizational format that is nonprofit, independent, and non-governmental, even though for-profit or governmental entities are closely linked to its work. (CED, 2006)

The work entitled: “ the Millennium Development Goals: The UNDP and Hurist Experience” states that the commitment of the UNDP is characterized by “the promotion and application of the human rights based approach to development dates from the issues in 1998 of its policy of integrating human rights with human development.” (2003) it is believed that this policy option will “derive additional strength from the system wide application by UN agencies of the ‘common misunderstanding on a to development cooperation.” This work goes on to say that: “The goal of human development is to create an enabling environment in which people’s capacities can be enhanced and their range of choices expanded. Human rights approaches add the element of duties and obligations as well as the ability to claim rights.” (CED, 2006) These goals are very important due to their methodology which is an approach that adds value to the work of the UNDP “as it offers a path toward the alleviation of injustice and inequality in the fight against poverty.” (Ibid)


The working definition of the UN HR policy is given definition by three ‘key’ principles which are those of: (1) action; (2) guidance; and (3) empowerment. (Ibid)the stated methodology of the UNDP programming is inclusive of the elements of: (I) assessment, beyond root causes; (2) analysis through the HR framework; (3) capacity building; (3) monitoring; and (4) advocacy” (Ibid) in the application of this approach the framework “for the pursuit of human development” that has as its’ basis and direction the “development of capacities to realize human rights.” (CED, 2006)

One ‘key’ factor within this framework the capacity of the ‘duty bearer is identified and the duty bearer then claims or makes as their own through both their rights and actively influence decisions toward the desired outcome in their life. The work states: “The global legitimacy of an objective starting point for dialogue and discussions with government, the people and external partners. Secondly, it helps policy makers and citizens to recognize the power dynamics of the development process. Thirdly, the accountability structure pursued through a human rights based approach facilitates the development of quantitative and qualitative benchmarks and indicators for measuring progress in development planning and delivery.” (CED, 2006) Stated outcomes are in the areas of: “parliamentary development, justice, decentralization, local governance and urban/rural development, public administration, poverty reduction, HIV / AIDS, crisis prevention and recovery, energy and environment, and gender and the advancement of women” which serve to “contribute directly to the “realization of one or several civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the individuals and groups in society.” (CED, 2006) These development programs must necessarily “explicitly address issues of equality, nondiscrimination, participation, inclusion, accountability and rule of law that arises in connection” delivery of this program. Outcomes are expected to include social transformation, democratic government and universal ethics. (CED, 2006)


Definition of Economic Development (2003) Economic Developers Association. Alberta. Online available at:

Community Economic Development (2006) Center for Community Enterprise Online available at;

Economic Development: Defined (2006) Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia Online available at

Economic Development