Human Development

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Population-environment theory and contemporary applications Last Updated on 2014-07-24 15:49:49 Introduction Humans have sought to understand the relationship between population dynamics and the environment since the earliest times (1-3), but it was Thomas Malthus’ Essay on the Principle of Population in 1798 that is credited with launching the study of population and resources as a scientific topic of inquiry. Malthus’ famous hypothesis was that population numbers tend to grow exponentially while food production grows linearly, never quite keeping pace with population and thus resulting in natural “checks” (such as famine) to further growth. Although the subject was periodically taken up again in the ensuring decades, it wasn’t until the 1960s that significant research interest was rekindled. In 1963 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences published The Growth of World Population, a report that reflected scientific concern about the consequences of... More »
Human Development Index for Latin America and Caribbean Nations Last Updated on 2009-05-14 13:53:10 The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of human development that is published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The HDI provides an alternative to the common practice of evaluating a country’s progress in development based on per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The HDI is the signature trademark of the Human Development Report (HDR), an independent report commissioned by the UNDP that is written by a team of scholars, development practitioners and members of the Human Development Report Office of UNDP. The HDI has had a significant impact on drawing the attention of governments, corporations and international organizations to aspects of development that focus on the expansion of choices and freedoms, not just income.The HDI measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions of human development:A long and healthy life, as... More »
Africa collection: Development Last Updated on 2008-05-19 21:04:13 Human dimension of development in Africa Opportunities for development in Africa Seizing opportunities in Africa: interlinkages in environment for development Policy and legal responses for sustainable development in Africa Harnessing the opportunities for environment and development in Africa Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Prospects and status of millennium development goals Early warning systems Migration and the environment Return to the Africa Collection More »
Historical anthropometrics Last Updated on 2008-04-28 00:00:00 Historical anthropometrics is the study of patterns in human body size and their correlates over time. While social researchers, public health specialists and physical anthropologists have long utilized anthropometric measures as indicators of well-being, only within the past three decades have historians begun to use such data extensively. Adult stature is a cumulative indicator of net nutritional status over the growth years, and thus reflects command over food and access to healthful surroundings. Since expenditures for these items comprised such a high percentage of family income for historical communities, mean stature can be used to examine changes in a population’s economic circumstances over time and to compare the well-being of different groups with similar genetic height potential. Anthropometric measures are available for portions of many national populations as far... More »
Technological Nightmares (Lecture): Accountability of Representatives Last Updated on 2008-04-02 15:29:59 Series: Pardee Center Distinguished Lecture SeriesDate: October 2003Location: Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Boston University, Boston, MAAs technology becomes more arcane and specialized, political decisions require training and understanding confined to very small circles. Questions such as “what is the correct missile system” or “how much should the exchange rate be varied (or left to market forces)?” are highly technical. Must then technocracy replace democracy. If so, how can technocrats be made socially sensitive and politically accountable? Or are we to be delivered into the band of what C. Wright Mills called “technological crackpots?” This is a chapter from Technological Nightmares (Lecture). Previous: Six Concerns  |  Table of Contents  |  Next: Should Prometheus be... More »