Human Development and International Development Strategy for the 1990's
The present decade has brought a sharp deterioration in living conditions in many developing countries, especially in Africa and Latin America. Incomes per capita have declined and social expenditure has been cut, with setbacks in nutrition, school enrolment and health services as a result. The burden of economic adjustment tends to fall most heavily on the poor and on vulnerable groups, such as children. This is not only a tragedy in itself but also a waste of human resources and it has led to renewed attention to the role of human resources in the process of development. This is, of course, not a new issue. It has long been understood that the realization of the full potential of human beings is both a means and an end in itself and that the reduction of poverty should be a primary aim of development. But all too often development tends to bypass the poor unless steps are taken to ensure that they share its benefits; and in times of austerity their position tends to worsen further. Hence, the present search for ways to alleviate poverty, combat hunger and uphold educational and health standards, even in times of economic distress.
This book, containing studies commissioned by the United Nations, focuses on the dynamic interaction between the economic and social variables in development. It presents and develops the case for greater attention to the human factor by identifying and assessing the fundamental role of education, health, work opportunities and social participation in economic and social progress.